We moved into our house on a Saturday and Sunday. That following Monday, Bean Man started school. Normally, I am really big on avoiding too much change at one time for the kids, but the situation was unavoidable. So, we tried to love him up really good during that busy time so that he at least knew that we were constant and stable, even if everything else was changing.
The move into the new house went fairly smoothly for Bean. I think it helped that we spent a few weeks at the house before we moved in. While we were stripping wallpaper and painting, Bean came with us. Spending that time at the house helped him get comfortable being there before we actually moved in. We didn’t plan it that way, but it was a nice transitional period for him.
And then, one day, we were driving home from school and Bean was talking about the “new house” and “home.” He kept asking me if we were going to the “new house” or if we were going “home.” We’d been living in the new house for several weeks, but I guess he was just putting it all together that the new house was now our home. During our conversation while I was driving, I said a few things like, “Well, we’re going home to the new house.” He would repeat what I said, but you could tell he was really trying to think this through.
Then, when we turned onto our new street, Bean suddenly started crying hysterically. He literally just burst out in tears.
“I wanna go home!” he cried. “No new house! Want to go home!”
By the time we pulled into the driveway, he was sobbing and wouldn’t get out of the car. I tried to get him out of his car seat and he started kicking and hitting and crying hysterically, yelling, “No, Mommy! Want to go HOME! Want to go HOME!”
I kept it together long enough to get him inside and calmed down (snacks helped!), but then I called my mom and started crying myself. I felt terrible. What had I put him through?
For about a week after that, Bean had trouble sleeping at night. He woke up crying in the middle of the night sometimes and he cried a lot when we put him down. I spent a lot of time laying with him, rocking him, and talking to him as he went to sleep. Normally, we don’t do that when it’s bedtime. We put him to bed and then we leave the room. But this wasn’t a two-year-old just acting out. You could tell he was scared about being in a new room and we didn’t want him to be scared of our new house. So, we took some extra time with him at bedtime and did a lot of soothing.
At the same time this was going on, Bean was having a tough time at school, too. He was really excited about going to school at first. We talked about it for weeks leading up to it. He started carrying around his backpack at home. And he was super excited when he got to pick out his nap roll for nap time. He actually had a pretty good first week there, too. He liked his teachers and he came home talking about his “fends.” There were the normal amount of tears when I’d drop him off for the first few days (from both me and him), but overall he was taking it like a champ.
But about a week later was when he started having trouble sleeping at the new house and about that time he started having trouble at school, too. He cried harder when I dropped him off and his teachers said he cried a lot during the day. He cried at home whenever we talked about school. He didn’t want to wear his backpack. He was just so sad to see. First, he was sad during the day at school and then he was sad at night because he wanted to go home.
Honestly, it was one of the toughest things I’ve been through yet as a mom. Knowing that your child is sad or, worse, scared and that you can’t do anything about it was heartbreaking.
During that one awful week, Bean woke up in the middle of the night crying, but when I went in to help him go back to sleep, he was burning up. He had a really high fever. Two weeks at daycare and he was already running a fever. Perfect. We kept him home for three days with a fever and runny nose. He was whinier than usual, but we thought maybe that was more from him not feeling good.
When Bean got over his fever, we took him back to school starting this week. He cried a little bit when I dropped him off on Monday, but he was much better than the week before. And as the week went on, he grew more and more confident and comfortable. This morning when I dropped him off, he walked right in and waved goodbye to me like it was no big deal.
Since that second week after our move, Bean hasn’t had as rough of a time. He seems to really like our house, especially his bedroom. Anyone who comes over has to immediately go visit Bean’s room. It’s his rule. And at dinner, he tells us all about how much fun he has at school.
We’re still taking it pretty easy with Bean. He’s getting a lot of extra hugs and attention these days. But I think the worst part of the transition period is behind us. I’m hoping his therapy bills later on in life will be minimal…