Tuesday, September 4, 2012

[Insert first day of school picture]

I hate to say that I don't have the picture of Miles holding up a chalkboard that says "1st day: PreK" with a toothy grin and an award winning exuberance for his new academic home.

First, I don't have a chalkboard.
Second, this morning I was at work at 6am resetting my network password while Eric alligator wrangled the boys before he started his TWO MONTH jury duty service, and when I got home, it was either a first day of school picture, or ensuring the boys' teeth were brushed. Dental hygiene always wins.
Third, Miles was not happy about big boy school.

See, Miles starts PreK this year at a fantastic school (with unfantastic hours. Like that made up word?), but it's not Marist. He's been in the care of Marist since he was minus 1 week old (#preemie math. And that was more Twanilla practice, which absolutely bothers my husband on the off chance I force him to read my blog. #youarewelcomehoney). So going to a new school after 4 years of consistent care is mind blowing--for all of us.
  • Meet the teacher day: he was my cute little parasite on my leg all morning.
  • Short morning last week: he came running out telling me he loved big boy school and wanted to go every single day. 
  • Today: the first real day of big boy school, and he started this morning off with "I want to do Marist circle time, not CMK circle time." And then the "I don't want to go to big boy school" started echoing throughout our house, followed by the real question: "how many kids will be there?" 
I know his biggest fear is new kids. He's told me he is nervous about big kids...he's told me he is shy. It kind of breaks my heart. And truth be told, he is one of the youngest and smallest. One of the 4-year-old girls looked like she could eat him for snack.

What I've learned about children who are extremely shy and nervous, is that you have to find that sweet spot of providing enough information so that they feel prepared, but not bombarding them with talking about the future experience so that they start agonizing over it.

I feel like we have done a great job getting him ready for school. It's just the fact that I am assuming a great backpack of guilt about these first couple of weeks of school...

...2 days/nights this week, Miles and Felix are having someone else stay with them while Eric and I are at Eric's best friend's wedding in PA. Hey boys! Have fun starting your first week of school--let Mom and Dad know how it goes next week. We won't be here.

And then the next week, we start our pick up schedule: 2 days with one neighbor, 2 days with another, Fridays with me. Even better? He's never met these neighbors. Hey Miles, totally jump into this stranger's car who is going to drop you back off at Marist, where you'll need to jump out of the car and run down to school by yourself. 

Trouble is, we don't have an alternative. I try not to complain about my work (at the very core, it is a choice), but I just have to take one moment to vent that working full time outside of the house and having a child in preK is overwhelmingly difficult. Okay, done.

So the plan is, after I get over the first initial weeks of emotionally damaging my child, who will start answering to the name "orphan" or "foster", I'll do a twofor picture of both Miles and Felix.

Until then, if you see a little boy named Miles who looks lost, give him a hug...or at least "the rock" with fireworks. 


  1. He will do awesome. You all will find your groove. Betcha by Halloween all this will be a forgone thought.

    Also, I wonder often if my kids are going to drag me to therapist to tell me that I didn't really love them because I refused to do professional newborn pics. And they are only kids that don't have some goofy hat sleeping photo.

    Trust, no one is perfect we are all having issues. Have fun at the wedding. Its good for the soul of a marriage to take some time away every now and again.

  2. I think you have done a great job preparing Miles for his new school, and he is amazingly verbal with his concerns (a good sign). Will he get to meet the drivers before he gets picked up? Who will explain the drop off routine? I know you are agonizing over the things which are non-negotiable, and that's understandable. What you can do for the boys is keep your angst to yourself, give them what clear information they need (you're right about not over informing to worry), and sharing a tone of confidence in their safety and well being. They will be in safe and comfortable care later this week, I know. When you get beyond this crazy beginning, you all should be golden! Things will settle in and settle down.

  3. Oh, so apparently first day of school pictures have gone totally over the top with parents staging thematic photos complete with costumes and props, videos and more. Can you imagine adding that pressure to a child full of trepidation?