Darwin’s first week has seen lots of ups and downs. On the first day, she walked right into the classroom with only a little waiver that I’m pretty sure was the result of another kid who freaked out (a younger sibling, not even a classmate). She came home, played quietly by herself for over an hour. It was clear that being around so many people, even for a mere hour and fifteen minutes really wore her out. She even napped.
The second day was tears at the door to the point of walking away up the hallway, so I had to put her in the teacher’s lap and say goodbye and leave, hearing her sob as I walked down the corridor. That was the hardest day. She came home and was very tired. I carried her the whole 5 minute walk home. But she was excited that she got to play with puzzles again, and that there was some new game about being off and on the carpet (I’m looking forward to parent-teacher chats, because I know I’m getting about 3% of the whole story).
Day three, Leah did drop off, and she said it went better, but still involved placing Darwin in the teacher’s lap. I was hopeful that things were calming down a little. Then…
This morning was “I don’t want to be a preschooler anymore mama, I don’t want to go to preschool.” From the time she woke up. We got ready for the day and I reminded her that she had to go to preschool, and it was alright to be sad or upset about it, but that it wasn’t optional. Finally, as we neared our time to go, she doubled down and so I sat her down on the couch and tried, again, to find out why. Turns out she didn’t want to have to use the potty there. The teachers have asked that all the kids start the day by using the bathroom and washing their hands, and we hadn’t been so had started talking about it the night before. We are a five minute walk from home, and this kid pees like, once every six hours. I told her she didn’t have to pee, but she did have to wash her hands, and just like that she was fine and excited to go again. Oh boy. This kid has all the same anxiety traits that I showed when I was little. Once we worked through that though, she had no problems. Today she even walked right into the classroom after we said goodbye and had hugs.
Next week we move to three hour days with all 25 kids, so wish us all luck!
Linnea’s first week of care was also full of ups and downs. She is definitely having some separation anxiety, and I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but she doesn’t cry, she screams. Like, murder-movie, glass-shattering screams. And her caregivers are amazing and patient and text us throughout the morning.
Once the initial shock of mamas leaving wears off, she has a better time. She is searching out both J and D for comfort, and is now going between them as “home base”, which is delightful for us and them. She eats well when she’s there and she’s the oldest (a new experience!) of the three they are caring for. I love that she is getting lots of time with people who are able to really focus on her care, as much of the time we’ve had this summer has been juggling work and kids, and everything gets shorted! Plus, with work time that is dedicated, it means Leah has a little more non-work time once the girls are home.
All-in-all I would call this week a win. I feel like we’re finally on the road to a clear, semi-manageable schedule after years of juggling month-to-month and term-to-term, and I can feel my stress levels dropping. We’ll see how that goes when gymnastics and swim start up again at the end of September…