Mama Talk: Preschool

(Luke practicing his brainiest of looks for his future preschool days. Pictures via Instagram.)
Not two days ago, my phone chimed with a new daily update from The Bump informing me it was time to start thinking about preschool for Luke.
"Your little guy sure is growing up fast! Now it's time to check out preschools (if you haven't already started)..."
Say whhaaa? Preschool? For my 1-year old?
Lumps were beginning to form in my throat, my heart starting pounding, and I swear I broke out in a mild sweat from the anxiety of thinking about Luke and preschool. My mind was racing back and forth with all sorts of first-time mommy questions...
Am I already behind the preschool game? At what age do all of these shenanigans start? Should my toddler be learning a second language already? Should he know the entire alphabet and be able to count to 100 already? Should I start him in piano lessons while I'm at it?
I was a mess. An utter, hormonal, pregnant mess. The thought of preschool for Luke hadn't even entered my mind until that blasted email hacked its way into my life. Sure, I'd seen a few friends put their little ones in daycare classes and programs, but not full on backpack, sack lunch, reading, writing and, 'rithmetic school.
I never went to preschool at all. I just skipped along into kindergarten with a death grip on my mom, accompanied with a few tears and the occasional stinkface. Perhaps I should have gone to preschool, considering I had some major social anxiety looking back on it in retrospect, but I just don't remember this insane push for earlier and earlier education. Why can't we just let our little ones be little? Sometimes the parenting world overwhelms me with the competition and need for having the brightest, most accomplished toddler. Is it really that important that my 4-year old knows Mandarin Chinese? What ever happened to climbing trees and banging on things with sticks? There is plenty of time in life to be grown up, and not enough moments to indulge in the innocence of youth. Stop trying to rob my babies of their childhood, world. Let's just take a step back and breathe a little easier.
That being said, what is the appropriate age to enroll your bambino in preschool? Or do you even think preschool is necessary?
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