Please forgive any ramblings; I was behind in posting this and didn't want to put it off any longer, so it might be a little incoherent, as it is past my bedtime! ;-)
LO started preschool last week. It wasn't something that was on my mind for a long time, but earlier this year, it dawned on me that LO could really benefit from a part-time preschool program, that I felt like he would enjoy the opportunity to spend time with other children his age, which he doesn't get often at all, being an only child of a stay-at-home mom, with all of his local cousins being teenagers or young adults. This preschool is through the church in which I grew up. It's full-day, but only one day per week. After taking LO with me to visit with the director (whom I have known most of my life) and tour the school, I got a really good feeling about the school. My biggest apprehension was the schedule (full-day as opposed to half-day) - had it been just 2-3 hours a day, I would've been happy to try a two-day program, but as it was, I felt one day was good to try out. We have the option to add the second day at any time.
The first day, which was last week, went well beyond my expectations, the only hangup being naptime, which I had anticipated. Even potty breaks apparently went well! When we picked LO up from school, he was all smiles. I was ready to burst when I saw him; this is new to all of us, as LO's only time away from us has been when he has gone to my parents'. I was just thrilled with how well the day went. He wasn't forthcoming with details (as per usual), but he would answer specific questions (which we had information on in a written report), and he even told Daddy that he played with a boy named Jack.
Yesterday was day two. The morning routine went well, and LO seemed eager to go back to school. When we took him to the classroom and said our goodbyes, he said, very matter-of-factly:
"Don't leave me."
I gave him a firm but quick hug and said my goodbyes as he walked into the classroom and was greeted by his teacher. I went to sign in and didn't see Daddy, so I assumed he had already headed outside. When I got to the car, he wasn't there; I turned around and saw him walking out the door. He had hung back and watched LO just a little bit longer to make sure that he was OK, and everything seemed fine.
All day long, I just felt kind of off, with butterflies in my stomach. I had a difficult time focusing on things and didn't get a lot accomplished. I finally made my way out the door to pick up some fabric and run by the grocery store before I had to pick him up. When I returned home, I still had an hour before school ended. That last hour wasn't miserable, but I was pretty anxious to go pick up my boy!
When I got there, he was calm, fiddling with his backpack, his back to me. He was still happy to see me, but he didn't seem cheery.
His teacher told me what I probably knew all day long: it had been a bad day. He had cried off and on all day, and potty breaks were difficult - no accidents, but each visit to the restroom resulted in a screaming fit. The only time he was in good spirits was playtime and lunchtime, and even at lunchtime he wasn't eating well. There were moments when the teachers and director had thought about calling me... but when they would ask LO about it, he would tell them no, that he was OK! So he would recover for a while and then get upset again, so they just tried their best to comfort him. Apparently, part of his anxiety stemmed from when the other kids would get excited or animated. His teacher and I both told him that any time he wanted his teacher to call Mommy, that she would!
I'm not sure how to feel about all of this. I would anticipate that he might be a little anxious or even maybe very upset at drop-off, but my hope is that he would recover after a bit of time after getting involved in the busyness of school. It breaks my heart that his entire day was distressful, and I am not sure how long we are supposed to "press on" if these kinds of days continue.
The weekend prior to preschool had had some out-of-the-ordinary moments - a few potty accidents (one of which I didn't react to very well), a weekend houseguest, and a few hours' stay with my parents while I had to do an errand - none of these things were really issues, but they all happened in the same weekend, and were outside the norm for LO. Also, I handled drop-off a little differently, leaving more quickly than the first time... I've just been wracking my brain trying to figure out anything that could have triggered such a day. Also, when we had gotten home and he subsequently fell asleep on the couch, he woke up all sweaty, as if he'd had a fever and it broke. I'm wondering if he just wasn't feeling well all day.
When we got home, I asked him some specific questions about his day based on the written report. I asked him if he played with Jack that day, and he told me that Jack was getting on his nerves (What on earth??). He was able to sing the song they'd learned that day (one that was new to him), tell me about the story they read and what snack they'd had that morning. He also was able to tell me what the quote on his coloring sheet said. So it was evident that he had been paying attention and learning.
So I'm still hopeful about the preschool program for now. I know that it is a very different schedule than he's used to - he's not used to mid-morning snacks OR juice, which I know is the reason that he isn't eating his lunch well, nor is he used to being around so many kids at once. And naps! Ugh. He doesn't nap very often here, but I thought there might be a slim chance that he would nap after playing... nothing doing. But really, dealing with that many kids would be no problem if Mommy or Daddy were there, even if in the pheriphery. I'm just going to keep praying hard that if I need to change this direction we're going, that God tells me! Preferrably in a billboard on the way to school or in a post-it note stuck to my car keys. Clear signs, please! :-)
Am I Distracted?
3 weeks ago