I’m proud to say I am surviving Kindergarten!
I will be the first to admit, I did a lot of worrying over the summer about Emma’s transition to Kindergarten. She had been going to Bright Horizons, located on our work campus, with only work people’s kids since she was 16 months old. I had formed relationships with teachers, staff and parents and felt fully comfortable and content with the way things were. Kindergarten and Elementary School seemed like a whole new foreign world to me and I harbored a lot of anxiety in the weeks and days leading up to the first day of school. Part of it was also due to Emma’s own reluctance. She was not looking forward to the change and that multiplied my own anxiety. I tried to keep it positive for Emma, though. In preparation, we talked a lot about all the friends she would make, and things she would be doing and learning in Kindergarten. We shopped for clothes, supplies and lunch box staples. We visited her classroom and met her teachers. When the first day of school came around, Emma was terrified. She clung to us as we walked her in and the tears started as soon as we got to her classroom. After getting her somewhat settled, assuring her it was going to be ok and a final hug, kiss and I love you, I walked out the door and my own tears started flowing. I had been nervous about this whole thing, but I hadn’t expected to be that emotional. I was somewhat embarrassed, so I kept my head down and made a bee line for the car with poor Todd walking behind. He assured me she was going to be ok, but I was so sad to leave her crying and scared. I rode to work with such a heavy heart. Then…I missed a call from the school and panicked because they didn’t leave a message. I did end up getting in touch with her teacher and she said she called me to reassure me that Emma was doing great and stopped crying shortly after I left. She said she doesn’t usually do that, but she could see it in my eyes that I needed some reassurance. I am so grateful for that because I was able to get on with me day feeling a lot better. Todd was home sick, so he went to pick her up instead of having her go to the After School Program. They called me when they got home and Emma chattered on happily about the things she did and the new friends she made. WHEW! That made my day. On the way home I stopped and got her flowers, balloons and an ice cream cake to celebrate a successful first day!
Since then, things have been running very smooth and we have fallen into a good routine. She is more tired at night due to getting up earlier, no nap and increased activity. Last night she was sleeping by 8:30, and although we were not quite sure what to do with ourselves at first, Todd and I enjoyed a little peace and quiet to unwind and relax. Something we definitely were not used to since she has always been a NIGHTHAWK!!! She loves to help me pack her lunch and pick out her clothes the night before and genuinely seems to be enjoying the Kindergarten experience. This morning, we got out of the house on time and in peace since we were all rested and relaxed. Todd asked us if he came home with the wrong family last night!!!! We do have some work to do on drop off. I am still walking her in. She is clearly not ready to hop out of the car in the drop off lane (although I KNOW she could do it). We are trying to take it a step at a time. She still cries a little when I drop her, but I have toughened up and don’t feel the need to stay until she calms down (b/c I know that will only prolong it). I am getting over my desire to stay and make it better because I know she is capable of pulling herself together on her own and this is building up confidence in her that she can do it.
Kindergarten isn’t so bad after all!