Monday, March 3, 2014
Henry started preschool last week, yay! It's been a wonderful thing, but definitely a transition...and because he only goes two half days so we're still in the transition really. On his first morning I was a little emotional- half sad that this was the start of Henry being away from me more and more, and half in shock that this day was already here. The whole morning went by quickly and before I knew it we were right there, walking up to the gate to enter the school. Right away he let go of my hand and ran off to the playground, yelling "see ya, Mommy!" with a big grin on his face. So funny. I had already known that that part wouldn't be hard for him. As much as he loves his mama, he's fiercely independent and not shy about new people or situations, so I knew that saying goodbye wouldn't be too bad.
I went over and talked to the teachers, put his lunch in the fridge and his water in his cubby, found Henry for a little hug goodbye, and Charlie and I headed home. It was very weird to have Henry away from us all morning. Weird and a little sad, but also great to have one-on-one Charlie time. I thought about that more throughout the day, and how Henry had undivided Mommy time his entire life until Charlie was born. Subsequent children never really get that, and I'll be soaking up every minute of it with sweet Charlie boy.
So. The very quiet day at home flew by of course and before I knew it it was time to pick up the big preschooler. When I arrived the kids were outside again and Henry ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug. "Mommmmmyyyy!" Smiles all around- the best feeling ever. I talked to the teachers for a bit (there are three of them for 10 kids, very awesome), and they let me know that he had a great day and that it was no big deal but he had had some trouble with the transition- playtime to circle time, or sitting still when it was time to sit still etc, and would get angry when told what to do. It made sense to me because although we're around other kids all the time, he's never been in a structured environment with someone else giving him direction.
We went home and Henry and I talked about it and ran through scenarios together, and ways he can respond and act, but I will still nervous for the next day he attended school. That drop-off was great again, but when I came to pick him up he was sitting in a side yard with one of his teachers, crying and angry. The teacher let me know that Henry had refused to sit at the lunch table while eating and got very upset when he was told that he had to. The three of us talked for awhile once he calmed down, and we left with him smiling (which is what matters) but I was feeling a little upset that this second day not only didn't go better than his first day, it actually seemed to be worse.
So over the weekend we talked and talked about school. We practiced sitting and eating our lunch at the table, we role played circle time, we discussed saying "okay!" instead of being obstinate. And this morning while driving to school we talked about it again. I dropped him off and made a little wish that today would go better. And guess what? It did! I went to pick him up a little early and watched the class for a bit (Henry didn't notice I was there) and he was being so great. Sitting when it was time to sit, listening when it was time to listen. He ate lunch at the table, no problem, and the teachers told me he had the BEST day. I could have cried.
I know it's only week two and there are all sorts of days on the horizon- good, bad, terrible- but we're a week and a half in and I'm just so happy that he's loving it. It's weird this uncharted territory stuff- aka all of parenting with a first child. We're all just doing the best we can, and it always seems a little harder when you introduce outside things into your little bubble. School, sports, new friends...it's all such a new world for us and it's exciting and a little scary too. At three years old and this is just the beginning for Henry, and I feel lucky I get to be on this adventure right alongside him. Here's to week two!