Caitlinn - Welcome to the world of colds! In that respect, I was fortunate - ever since Lindsey was 8 weeks old, she was at a babysitter who'd accept any of her kids with anything short of bubonic plague, so she was fortunate to grow up with pretty hefty immune system. Now her school requires 24 hours no fever. Last month, she developed low grade fever and green snots, sneezing and coughing - first day, we stayed home, second day, I had to go to work, our babysitter took her. even though she was sick and had another 2 yo and two 1 yo (I was VERY specific to ask up front how the other parents felt). In fact, when Lindsey was a baby past the 6 month period and there were other sick children, I was actually pleased with the situation. This year - in October, she got the first series of colds in the class, so due to lots of extenuating circumstances, she was out most of the week. Since then, nada - I'm hoping she got through her bout of common cold now so that later in the year, she'll be able to weather them a bit easier.
We're pretty much 30 second rule (at home) people so there is little she hasn't encountered in the house or in the yard. In fact, I think the fact you're introducing him at this age to a broader environment will help his immune system over time. I'm embarrassed to even mention where she dropped a piece of granola bar and picked it up and popped in her mouth. OK - we're friendly here....it was a public bathroom at our local food co-op. I almost had heart failure and said - "Lindsey, when we drop food in public places, we do not pick them up and eat them". Our home kitchen is fine, our yard is fine - but, NOT in a public bathroom. Sigh.... she survived, but I'm still a bit squeamish at the memory. Ugh!
If I recall, Luke is in a toddler program, right? Your post really hit home with me. To put some context - I was offered chance to submit Lindsey (MID-YEAR, January 2011) to a Primary class (age 3-5) when she would have been 2 y 9 mo because of an open space. Based on observation, school said she would not be a good fit, because of some of the things that you mentioned. Some examples - they didn't want to integrate energetic (stubborn) < 3 yo into a smoothly working class where she might be told not to barge into activities when other child had the routine established through either maturity, experience or repeitition. My question here - Is Luke's enthusiasm a result of his age and is he being held to the standard of a primary program rather than toddlers. OMG - the difference between Lindsey last December and today - 2 to 3 - HUGE. I personally think the rules in a toddler program should not be the same for a primary program.
Ask the teacher, is Luke's behavior appropriate for his age. I would say that 2 yo (and even later) are in a more parallel than interactive stage - meaning, 2 kids may do the same activity side by side, but not interact. Maybe Luke's social nature surpasses his judgement - yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'd rather a social and impulsive 2 yo than shy and withdrawn. He's a 2 year old. And yes, 2 year olds barge into many situations, including mommy on the potty holding cameras. That's another story. HA! What is it about me and bathroom stories????
You mentioned a key phrase: UNOFFICIAL RULES - what the heck? Do you recall being 2 you and sensitive to UNOFFICIAL RULES. Puleeeeeez. I would suggest that if there are opportunities for redirection, this would be great chance to teacher to calmly walk over and say: Luke, let's ask if we can join this activity or time to wait. I do NOT think all 2 yo are intuitively socially aware to subtle cues - and if this is a toddler program, this MUST be taken into consideration. If a 2 yo is not responding to unofficial rules, I say it is up to the teacher to make them explicit. Not saying official, but gentle intervention with statements like: "we clean the table when we're done with lunch", "we ask if we can join activities". Sure, he can be help to a high standard of etiquette, but, he darn well deserves the chance to be given the chance to respond to gentle etiquette cues.
Please note - I am a HUUUUUUUUUGE advocate of Montessori etiquette and rules - it's amazing. But, a toddler program should also reflect the maturity and capabilities of the student. Lindesy's PRIMARY class has a couple of shy 2 yo that do fine. She would have probably been a disaster if they accepted her last January, but at our parent teacher conference, the only concern was possible language issues, like lisp and skipping letter she can't pronounce. Other than that, her Spanish teacher always stops me when she sees me to say how attentive she is - everyone knows her by name. Had she gone to primary at 2'9" - I doubt she would have been so well-received. That's my main point - if Luke is < 3, he's in a toddler class, the expectations should be according to age and reasonable maturity.
Look forward to hearing about the parent conference....