W started preschool this week and somehow we both survived.
Originally, Tuesday was supposed to be his first solo day. I had tried to prepare him ahead of time, telling him that I would be dropping him off and picking him up. Emphasizing that I wouldn’t stay.
Monday was Meet the Teacher Night and W was not having it. There were lots of parents and kids and he was no doubt overwhelmed. It was also late in the day. He refused to let me put him down and insisted on being in my or A’s arms the entire time.
Tuesday rolled around and W was supposed to attend class for 45 minutes on his own. It was divided so that 8 children would come to the first 45 min session and 8 would come to the later session. But somehow there was a miscommunication and most of the kids came to the first 45 minute session. There were only 2 other boys in W’s session. I ended up staying with him because the other moms were there with their kids and class was kind of a bust since there was a total of 3 kids. But I have to say I was SO SO proud of my boy. He listened to instructions, cleaned up the toys when asked, and even told another boy who didn’t want to clean, “we’ll work on it.” He was so cute. And watching him walk into class with his little giraffe back pack… melt my heart.
So today was the real test. W asked to be picked up when I got him out of the car, but I told him he had to walk in to school so I could carry his backpack. He did just fine. Upon entering, a little boy was crying and screaming. Uh oh. I hoped it wouldn’t frighten W. He took notice, but I tried to act like it was no big deal. W noticed and commented, “that boy crying.” I said “Yes, he’ll be ok.” and W repeated, “He’ll be ok.” We put W’s backpack in his cubby and walked over to the sink so he could wash his hands. Then I told him to choose an activity. He picked trucks (no surprise there). Once he was playing, I told him I needed to run some errands, I had to stop at the store. I tried to keep it positive and didn’t want to say anything like, “Mommy can’t stay”. He’s said, “Mommy can’t play with W?” Break my heart into a million pieces. But otherwise, he was fine. No tears. I was wearing my W necklace and asked him if he could hold it for me until I returned. Annnd here’s the part where I wanted to burst into tears. But I held it together. I stuck my necklace in his pocket and told him I’d be back to get it. And then I left. And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You better believe I cried as I walked to my car. But I’m just so proud of my W. I know that not all drop offs will be easy. His teacher mentioned that kids sometimes have a tough time around the second or third week because they realize school is a long term thing and not just a one day thing. We’ll see. But all in all, the first week went better than expected. Here’s to the first of many, many years of school.