Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Off to pre-school

I'd been looking forward to this day for weeks and weeks.  The day that the Chick started preschool and I'd have two hours alone, in silence to put my swollen feet up, catch my breath, and chill with a diet coke and some Doritos.

My baby.

Oh my baby.

He's been a little sensitive the last few weeks.  He knows that his little world is getting turned upside down with a new baby and doesn't really know how to cope - and doesn't know how to tell us about his emotions and what's really unsettling for hi.  All he knows how to do is cry that his legs hurt, get mad, and throw mighty tantrums every day.  And then, he cuddles and burrows and just loves you to pieces.

A little bit of three year old bi-polar disorder.

If a new brother was about to take over your turf, you'd probably act the same way.

Anyway, we were all on egg-shells this morning - the morning of the first day of preschool.  No one wanted to upset the happy boy who woke up at 6:30 and ate his breakfast and willingly got dressed.  That kid - he gets what he wants most of the time but this morning, it was like he was king.

We dropped big brother off at school.  This week, we now have to do the drop-off instead of walking him to class because there is too much of a time crunch to get one kid to school and then the other.  Watching my first born walk himself to school?  It's killing me.  He is so big and brave and smart and he doesn't need me.  He can do it himself.  In fact, I think that he prefers it.  He knows I drive up the street and that Wyatt and I watch him walk to where his class lines up.  He doesn't know that every day I hold my breath to make sure he can do it, and then sigh one of those deep, "my baby doesn't need me anymore" sighs when I see he was successful.  Oh man, this boy growing up is way harder on me than it is on him.

Once we dropped Elliott off, it was time for the 10 minute drive to preschool.  Wyatt has the same teacher Elliott had - the same classroom - the same structure.  Only difference?  He is not Elliott.  There are a lot of things that make me nervous about sending my baby to school, most significant, right now, is his emotional stability.  I want school to be awesome for him and not sad or scary or traumatic.

We got to the parking lot.

He was SO EXCITED!!!!  He hopped, skipped, and jumped all the way to the front door.


The two of us, my boy and me, hand in hand walked into school, into the classroom, and found his cubby.  He got the mandatory squirt of hand sanitizer and then just stood there, not sure what to do or what to look at.  I suggested a few different toys and he wasn't interested.  I suggested I leave and he have a good time and school and he clung to my leg.  ("Please don't cry.  Please don't cry.  I cannot leave you here if you cry" I kept repeating to myself)

Finally, we found some puzzles.  He likes puzzles.  I helped him get one started and after a minute or two, I told my sweet baby boy that I was leaving.  He looked at me with confidence, lifted his hand in a wave and silently gave me the OK, I was free to go.

I made it to my car before I started to cry.  Dumb hormones!

I cried just a little mind you - only a few tears.  I was so proud of him.  My baby...he did it.

Then, I came home with almost two hours all to myself.  I started a bunch of projects and didn't finish any of them.

At the appointed time I jumped in the car to go and get my boy.  Once I arrived at school, I watched him through the window in the door.  He was cooperating and participating.  I was so proud.

Then, the door opened.  I waited for him to catch my gaze.  When he saw me I gave him the biggest smile that I could and waved.

What did he do?

He burst into tears!  And it took me ages to calm him down.  Thank heavens I had a juice box and goldfish crackers waiting for him in the car.

Preschool, dear Internet, is hard work.

First day of preschool. He only needed me to stay five minutes. Now I might cry.


Emily said...

I am so proud of both your boys. I have to say that my eyes got a little teary reading this. I remember the days when you and Ross taught my sunday school. You did not have any kids then. Now look at your family. Almost to five memebers strong. I am so proud of all your boys.

Four Hearts Haven said...

Thank you for sharing this experience. It was nice to hear someone else feeling the same way I do when I send my kids off to school. You wouldn't believe how different I feel from most mom's.

I know that my kids are just a wee bit older, but every year when I send them off to school I feel exactly as you discribed. Jacey is like Elliot, and Max is like Wyatt. Max is going into the fifth grade, and I still stress and worry about him emotionally.

Max is tough. He won't let his friends see his sensitive side, but that is why I worry. All I really want is his heart to be happy as he navigates through life. Juice boxes and fish crackers aren't the fix that they once were.

Watching my children grow and find success is one of my very favorite things in this life, but I worry and stress about all the details along the way.

Thanks again for sharing. It made me feel that I was not so alone today.



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