A Tale of Two Kindergarteners
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Michael started Kindergarten four days ago. It hasn't been good. There has been crying. And pleading. And death grips. I know this is not out of the ordinary. I know starting Kindergarten can be overwhelming for a lot of kids. I know riding the bus can be downright scary for a little person who still needs me to wipe his rear after #2. I know. I just didn't want it to be this way.
Let me give you a quick synopsis of the last four days.
Day 1: Michael is in fairly good spirits on the morning of his first day. We snap some pictures for posterity, and he is all smiley, and backpack-ey, and excited. But these pictures will forever be a misrepresentation of how his first day really went: The bus pulls up. He takes two steps on, turns around, takes two steps off, then grabs onto me for dear life. My husband picks him up and physically places him on the bus. The bus driver quickly shuts the door and then drives off with my little guy sobbing and searching for a seat on the already crowded vehicle of elementary school torment. Then I cry.
Day 2: The bus pulls up. Michael won't even get near it. I pick him up and try to put him on it. Larry the Bus Driver tries to get the kids in the front seat to scoot over and make some room so Michael can sit near him. The kids just stare blankly. Michael claws my neck. I apologize and tell Larry the Bus Driver that I will just take him to school. Michael cries when I drop him off at his classroom.
Day 3: We don't even try the bus. I take him to school. He walks in already whimpering, then escalates to the cry that comes from a place so deep that it doesn't even make a noise when it comes out. His teacher has to pull him off of me.
Day 4: He starts getting weepy during breakfast. Obviously, the bus is no longer an option I even consider. Upon entering the school, we have a repeat performance of yesterday.
I hate it. It makes my heart all mopey that his anxiety over separating from me is getting in the way of the sheer excitement he should be feeling about Kindergarten. I know it won't always be this way. This too shall pass. And I guess I should be feeling very flattered that he loves being around me so much. ..even though I really suck at playing Transformers.
I wish that instead of being the kindergartener who is afraid to go to school, he could be the kindergartener he is at home: the confident, energetic, crazy, fun one. I would love to help those two little kindergarteners change places...and not just because I wouldn't mind getting a piece of the kid who is apparently really quiet and follows rules.
But no one gets a magic wand when they get their parenting gig; I can't conveniently "Freaky Friday" the situation. And I am unfortunately not a sitcom parent who just needs to cue the sentimental music and deliver some wise and carefully crafted words that put everything into perspective for my child who is unrealistically mature for his age. It's simply going to take time, and consistency, and love, and many, many brave faces each time the teacher in the drop-off line has to physically remove my child from my car and walk him into school. And one of these days, those two kindergarteners will slowly begin to trade places, or at least find a way to co-exist with each other. Maybe the anxious, sad little kindergartener will pull a Sydney Carton and allow my little Charles Darnay kindergartener, full of life and curiosity, to be free to enjoy all the bliss that comes with a really great day at school.
In the meantime, if anyone who has experience this with their child has any suggestions, I'm all ears.
Speaking of school, remember two weeks ago when I posted reasons why it was time for my kids to go back to school? Well, that post is currently being featured on BlogHer!!!! I've never been featured before! It feels like my birthday! Oh wait...it IS my birthday! Thanks to BlogHer for giving me a nice little gift today!! You can check out the post HERE...feel free to leave me comments or favorite it there (hint, hint)! I'm trying to be all cool about it like, Whatevs...I'm a pro blogger. This stuff happens to me all the time. But it doesn't. So I'm going to be all goofball excited about it. I might even do a little dance. Probably the "Roger Rabbit."