My two year old is a tenacious little man and I’d like to think he’s picked up only the better parts of who I am. Reality is that he’s probably also taken to the idiosyncrasies I possess as well combining these with his own.
I signed him up for a one morning a week pre-preschool for his age group thinking that he’d really enjoy the other kids, activities and change to pace. Never a home body myself, I sense he’s picked that up as well.
Day One began with his joyful burst into the classroom, magnet pull to a giant toy excavator and I thought we were set… until I headed for the door. He was not to be consoled and screamed (not cried, screamed – I’m being really literal here) for 45 straight minutes. I stayed unseen in the hall until the teacher brought him out – a sweet woman who assured me they wouldn’t give up on him and that many kids, including her own, take time to adjust.
Now this is the same little man who effortlessly clambered by himself up the two-story inflatable water slide at a birthday party last week.
So we try again this past week – same experience. The teacher physically pulls him into the classroom as I try to close the door and leave gracefully. The magic really occurred when I came back at the end of class…..
When you exit the elevator to see your child, the teacher and the head of children’s education all sitting together outside the classroom well, you are basically reduced to your twelve year old self heading into a parent-teacher conference. Phrases like, “I’m rarely called down for incidents like this,” and “he threw a chair,” and “he’s not to be consoled and impedes the other children’s learning” are tough blows. Again, these folks were very gentle and sweet during the discussion, but when they invited us to try again next semester, wow – that was a blow.
Not a blow to pride – God kept me safe from that, but a blow to my heart. It hurts to me to see him so upset – he crumbles into my arms visibly exhausted from the hour and a half of screaming.
So we’ll try again another time. I’m in no hurry to put my children in formal school if they’re not ready. I will admit I cried a little all the way home…..