I'm completely serious. My kids, aged almost-9, 7, and almost-5, have apparently forgotten everything they ever learned in preschool -- and the youngest is still in preschool.
Surely I'm exaggerating, you're thinking. But no, I'm not. Over the past week I've had to referee countless tussles over that one thing that preschool supposedly teaches you,above all: how to share. I literally had to assign turns with the red crayon at lunch yesterday, and this morning, I awoke to the far-from-delightful shrieks of "It's MINE!" and all its usual accompaniments.
I wish I could figure out what's going on here. Normally they are not such brats -- or maybe it's just that I'm better at ignoring them? I don't think so. My theory goes that it's all the excitement of Christmas and the pending trip to Disneyland. At this point I'm regretting telling them about the trip, maybe it would've been easier to surprise them with it -- but then again, DS1 does not deal well with surprises.
Regardless, being excited about the upcoming holiday doesn't excuse their behavior. I figured out that my throat is sore not from strep but from yelling at them to behave. So now I'm working on getting them to behave without my having to scream at them. This new technique requires, mostly, proximity: I stand over them until they get their acts together. I really do have better things to do, but I can't have them assaulting each other and screaming like banshees. I remember the days when a reminder that "Santa's watching" would be enough to get them to straighten up, if only for a little while. Alas, that formula lost its power last year, and there's no way to restore it.
Other preschool favorites like being kind to one another and doing what you're told, when you're told, have also been notable by their absence lately. I'm not exactly sure what to do about this, but I am regretting that there is no such thing a remedial preschool. If I could find one with a "winter break" program, I'd sign them all up in a heartbeat.