Monday, November 8, 2010
Last week marked Sabrina's very first day of school ever.
She started pre-school last Monday. Which happened to coincide with Travis' admission to the hospital, which sucked in every way, but somehow we managed to do the drop off and pick up without her thinking the day was about anything but her.
This parent of 2 kids thing is tough.
Since Chris and I both work full time, even before she was born I knew she would enter a preschool program when she turned two, as there were a few in our area that take two year olds and the only option before they turn two in my area is in home care. I figured if she has to be in care all day, she should be in a school-like environment as soon as possible. Which is now.
Despite having this planned forever, I was a nervous wreck for weeks. Mostly worried about the other kids and how she would get along socially. She hasn't had a ton of exposure to many other kids outside of her family and the occasional playdate, and I worried about how she'd be accepted. How she'd feel. If she'd feel excluded or sad. I stressed about it tons. Then I worried about her speech delays and how that would affect her socially but more so how would it affect her getting through the day without someone close to her being there every step of the way? These teachers were going to have to attempt to decipher what she was saying and if they couldn't, she probably would stop trying.
So much of what I worried about were reasons why I knew this experience would not only benefit her, but was very important. So we went for it.
Drop off was easy. She went straight to her classroom that she had visited with me before when we did the tour. One little girl said, "Are you my friend? Are you my BEST friend??" Sabrina of course didn't even acknowledge her. I don't think she knows what to say, let alone how to say it.
She spotted a painting easel and that was it. She was done. We were not needed. She blew us a kiss, said "BYE" and turned around. Poof. My baby was gone.
Until I picked her up later that day. Initially I had thought about doing a half day just to get her used to it, but with Travis' sudden admission to the hospital, Chris and I were doing everything possible to be there with him and be there for her, so she stayed the whole day. The teachers would have called if she needed to be picked up.
When I arrived, she was hysterical. Like I'd never seen her before. The teacher said she didn't sleep during nap time and was over tired...which I am sure was a major factor. In addition to not sleeping, she had a long busy day, something she wasn't used to. I asked her if she wanted to go back to school and the answer was always a resounding NO.
Unfortunately, no wasn't an option and she had to go back. Wednesday, I dropped her off anticipating a complete meltdown tantrum when I tried to leave. When we got there, the director said, "Good Morning, Sabrina" and Sabrina just looked at her feet. Another little girl from the first day said, "It's my friend, Sa-nina." Which I loved, but Sabrina ignored. But oddly enough, she was quite happy. She went with the teacher into the classroom and was just fine.
That day was a half day as we had to pick Travis up from the hospital. When we picked her up she was happy as a clam. She loves painting, participates in circle time, likes reading and loves the playground. The teachers have taken her under their wing and take special care of her during this transition. Sure, there are tears at drop off sometimes, or tears at pick up, but overall she's adjusting well and enjoying her time at school. Now when I ask her if she wants to go back she says yes. And it's only been a week. Can't ask for much more than that.