Friday, September 9, 2011

Preschool... the parenting lesson

I thought my well adjusted, amazing little girl would have a great time starting pre-school. Boy was I wrong.

The first day, I went in with her and stayed a bit, she sucked her thumb but, she was interested in the teachers and the play dough.  So, she walked over and started working on play dough and I left.   I called the school and the secretary said she was doing great -- and when we picked her up, she was playing with some other kids. When she saw us though, she got very emotional and started crying and wanted to be held. I think the emotions of the day caught up with her. 

The second day, she did not want to even walk through the fence.  She was so tentative and it took a lot of coxing to get her through the door.  Finally, I told her I would read her a book inside - and she followed me. When I got inside, I went to read her a book, but, it was clear that my presence was upsetting to the other 2 year olds who also missed their Mommy's.  One of them, Lily, started crying. The teacher came over, and started reading to Izz -- and then walked her over to the play dough to get it out.  Isabella's big eyes filled with tears and she stuck her fingers into her mouth. I offered her blanky and she took it, clutching it -- and held onto my leg. Honestly, at that moment, I would have just picked her up and taken her home with me... but, I knew that she would be fine once I left.  My heart broke as I walked away.... when I called the school to check in the secretary said that she was doing great.  When Daniel picked her up, her teachers said that she was a joy all day. 

Third day, she didn't want to leave the car at all.  The teacher could see us because they were outside playing -- and she waved at Izz and Izz waved back and smiled. So, clearly she likes them .. but, still she did not want to get out.  Finally, I said - how about I walk in and we go see Miss Holly together.  She said "ok" very tentatively and got out of the car and followed me (clutching her blanky).  We walked in, and Terri scooped her up and took her to play.  She started to cry... and Holly (Miss Holly) waved at me to go.   So, I left.  Again - broken heart.

This morning, she got out of the car willingly, but, wouldn't walk through the doors of the pre-school. I coaxed her for over 20 minutes and she was just so upset (not crying, just really tentative) that she wouldn't budge. I tried everything, being stern, being caring, joking, incentives and nothing worked. Finally, the door opened because the teacher was taking the kids outside. They walked past us, and Holly came over and tried to get her to go play. Finally, I noticed (again) the kids starting to get a little upset that a Mommy was there - so, I told Izz, "I'm going sweetie, I'll see you in a few hours" and walked away. Holly picked her up and she started crying. When I called later, Miss Terri got on the phone and said, "I think the long goodbye's are worse." ... I know I know I know. I'm doing the exact opposite of what I'm supposed to do. But, my little girl is having a hard time transitioning, and clearly... so am I.

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