Yesterday was Bean’s first day at his new school. We got up and going early and totally would have been on time if Bean didn’t eat like a snail. He takes forever to eat anything (just like his Dad…) and so we all sat around, fully dressed, staring at Bean in his high chair until he proudly pronounced, “All done!”
When we got to school, he immediately knew something was up. He attached himself to my leg and started wimpering, but I just kept talking to him in a sing-songy voice while he helped me unpack his daycare essentials. It was really different to start daycare this time around than it was when he was a baby. On his first day of daycare when he was three months old, I was so nervous that I forgot to pack any bottles for him! This time I was a little more prepared and we took a pack of diapers and a pack of wipes, two extra changes of clothes to keep in his little cubby, three sippy cups (as requested by the daycare), extra binkies, and, of course, Mr. Bear. This particular daycare provides all food and snacks, so I didn’t have to worry about those.
After we unpacked everything, I talked with his teacher for a minute about Bean’s personality and I told her how to calm him down because I knew he would flip out when I left. Then after about 10 minutes of chatting while Bean slowly started to venture out into the classroom, I quickly kissed him and told him I loved him and then I scooted out.
And that’s when he started wailing.
I stood out in the hallway where he couldn’t see me and just waited for him to stop crying. That was more just so that I felt better about leaving, really. When I heard him get quieter, I peeked in the room and was happy to see that his teacher had done everything I had suggested. She gave him his binky (which I asked her to only use when he got REALLY worked up and during naptime) and she gave him Mr. Bear (which Bean was clinging on to for dear life) and she walked him over to the window and they were looking at the birds and trees outside (which is one of Bean’s favorite things to do).
I called a couple hours later though and the teacher said that Bean was having a rough day. He cried most of the time, but he was actually interested whenever they started doing an activity. He would sit with his teacher and participate, but the minute she either put him down or there was a break in the routine, he would start crying again.
It just broke my heart, but not really because he was upset. I know that is just part of adjusting to something new and I know this is going to be so good for him so I’m actually okay with him being upset right now. I hate to see him crying like that, but I know it’s better for the long run. What breaks my heart is that I know this isn’t Bean’s little personality. I know what a happy, excited, curious, engaged, fun, silly little boy he is and I want everyone who meets him to know that about him. So what I hate about this beginning part is that his teachers don’t know that part about him yet.
I’m sure it will get better, but I also know that it’s probably going to get rougher before it gets easier. The second day is always harder than the first because he knows what’s coming now. Which is why it is 5am as I write this and why I woke up at 4am thinking about dropping him at school today. Poor little buddy.
Neither one of us is looking forward to going back today. But that’s the hardest part about being a mom. You don’t always get to just do the fun stuff. Someone has to be the one to say that we have to do things sometimes because they are good for us. Do you think mom’s like eating their vegetables? No way! Do you think mom’s like seeing their kids get shots? No way! But mom’s are the heavy hitters sometimes. It’s just part of our job description. I think it falls under the “Management” category.
Bean will get the hang of it – and so will I. But until then, I’m going to drop him off every day with big ol’ smiles and lots of kisses and tell him how proud I am of him, and then I’ll spend the rest of my day worrying.
Because that is also part of our job description. I think it falls under the category “Things No One Else Wants to Do.”