Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Big Boy

He started preschool yesterday. Well, really it's the summer program at the preschool where he will be enrolled in the fall, but to him . . . it's school.

We packed a big boy lunch that consisted of a sandwich, some carrots and blueberries, a small bag of cookies, and a juice box (quite a treat for a kid that only gets water and some milk throughout the day).

We stuffed his backpack full of all the essentials: towel and swimsuit, change of clothes, and a soft blankie for naptime.


We entered his classroom, and he immediately ran for the toys. He didn't need us there. He was a strong, self sufficient little guy who was excited to finally be in school (for this is what he has talked of for the past 5 months or so . . . nonstop . . . well . . . school AND tractors . . . and trucks too). He found a little friend and they found some cars and then Dad and I became almost nonexistent to him. I won't lie, I felt a little crushed and a lot happy.

I left him there with the thought that he was going to have a great day, but, I was worried. I was worried that my little piddler wasn't going to eat all his lunch. I was worried that he wasn't going to share or would yell at the other kids, or even . . . ahem . . . at the teacher. I was worried that he wouldn't nap during naptime (my boy is used to a solid 2 hour nap each day). I was worried that he wouldn't go potty when he really needed to go potty.

I. was. just. worried.

But happy too.

Does that make any sense at all?

I thought about him all day. I wondered what he was doing? Was he adjusting well?

I managed to get off work a little early so I could go pick him up from school. In my head I imagined him running to me, arms outstretched saying "Momma, Momma, I had the BEST day! I did this . . . and this. . . . and this . . . and this." And we would hug and kiss and talk to his teacher and he would show me his cubby and his friends and his room. And then we would ride a Pegasus into a rainbow and sing campfire songs while petting cute little white fluffy bunnies.

Yeah, didn't happen quite that way.


I got there to pick him up and he was wandering around the cafeteria where the other kids were all sitting at the table. He saw me and FELL APART, and I mean completely just fell apart. He was screaming and crying and trying to hit me and kicking, and acting in such a way where I was really questioning if this was my little man? What did you do with my big boy? Where is he? Who is this kid?

I tried to calm him down. I TRIED, but he was having none of that. Finally, I just had to pick him up and leave. We got in the car and got him strapped in his carseat. It took him a good 5 minutes in the car before he would even calm down enough to sit quietly, and then as we are driving to pick up his sister, he fell asleep. Stone.Cold.Out. Honestly, my kids are not car sleepers. We just returned from an 11 hour drive back from Mississippi, and they slept maybe 30 minutes the entire trip. It's just not what they do, but my little man was exhausted - physically and emotionally I'm sure.

Once home, I realized I left his lunchbox at school, so I left the kids with Dirck and went back up the school. The teacher said he had a good day, just lost it there at the end when he saw me, but she said she felt he did really well for his first day. I looked in his lunchbox and the only things missing were his sandwich and his juice box. Not only was he completely exhausted, but probably hungry as well.

I walked away feeling a little like a failure. Is this really what is best for my child? I'm envious of you stay-at-home moms out there. You don't have to deal with this, and if you did, well, you could just pull your child out and keep them home. That's not our situation. We just have to make this work, and that's hard for me right now (and hard for my little guy as well). I know he needs to grow and learn to become more independent. I just hope this adjustment isn't too hard for him. I know it has to happen, but I want this to be as easy for him as possible.

Needless to say, he was ready for bed. He actually went to bed about 30 minutes early, and didn't make a peep once I turned out his light.

And just guess what happened this morning? That little stinker woke up this morning ready to go! He was again excited about school, and his backpack, and his lunchbox, and his teachers. Just like his little emotional breakdown didn't happen at all! Kids are great that way. I think as parents we worry and worry about them, but really, things probably aren't as big of a deal to a kid as we think that they are. I'm hoping that's the case.

I'm hoping he . . . ahem . . . me. . . adjusts better over the next week. Today was a much better day for him, and I'm sure there are more to come.


Anonymous said...

Sweet, sorta=sad, story. Glad he had a better 2nd day.

Marcina said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about it! And yes! There will be much better days ahead for this cute BIG boy! :)