Saturday, September 08, 2007

better than expected...

Wednesday. Back-to-school for Gray. First day of school for Max. Tears from Gray. Tears from Max. Tears from Mommy (though she held hers until she was alone in her room).

Actually, things went better than expected. Hey, that's what you get for having low expectations, huh? No seriously, things really weren't bad at all.

Gray was the first to head off. He was fine all morning. Happy as could be. Until we went outside to take those obligatory "first day of school" photos. That's when the meltdown occurred. "I don't want to go to school!"..."I hate school!"..."Why do I have to go?" Hence this photo...



But then I asked him what it might be like to go to school where he was the only kid, and the other students were all dogs. We talked about what kinds of dogs would probably be the smart ones. He said he wanted Baker to be his teacher. (I said he probably wouldn't learn much.) He said he wanted Scout (his cousins' dog) to be the principal. (I said that school would be pure chaos.) And all this silly talk cheered him up. Hence these photos...




And he remained happy until the bus arrived and walked up those stairs with a smile on his face! Whew!

Max is in the afternoon kindergarten group, so unfortunately he didn't get to ride the bus with Gray in the morning. I really, really, really think that would have made all the difference...

He was actually quite the happy little fellow all morning long. Even when it came time to go out and take his "first day of school" pictures. He clowned and hammed it up in typical Maxidoodle fashion...




All was well...until the bus turned onto our street. Panic immediately set in. Max ran off and tried to hide. He had to be carried back out to the road. And then he refused to go up the stairs. Again carried. Luckily, there's only a few kids on the bus, and at least for now an "extra" grown-up. He helped Max get buckled in, and off they went.

Then came the waiting game. But three hours later, the bus pulled up with two very happy little boys. Thursday went much more smoothly...the boys got off the bus together laughing and talking a mile a minute. Friday...better yet, with both boys volunteering that they had a "really good day" at school.

Max still isn't exactly happy about getting on the bus to head off to school, but I think in another week or so, all that anxiety will have left him for good. So all-in-all, I would have to say that most of my worries were for naught. Isn't that usually the way?

8 comments:

Melissa R. Garrett said...

You're such a good mommy for turning what was a sad/frustrating/stressful experience into a positive one :-)

I'm surprised you have half-day kindergarten. Jacob is in all day long (and I love the quiet!!)

Jean said...

Public schools here are full-day kindergarten, which probably isn't a bad idea for a lot of kids. In terms of half days, I think afternoon would be much harder on a kid than morning. After all, there are kids who still need a nap or some down time in the afternoon to avoid a meltdown.

It's good to hear, though, that the first day, and week!, passed without too much trauma. I hope it continues to go smoothly.

Debi said...

Jean-
I actually wish that kindergarten was full-day here. Not for my sake (honest!), but for kids' and the teachers' sake. After all, they're still expected to learn as much and be every bit as prepared for starting 1st grade as those in full-day kindergarten (which of course, if much more than we were expected to know as kids). So what this means is next to no "down time" during their school day...no recess, little play, etc.

Jean said...

I absolutely hate the way that No Child Left Behind has changed education. Preschool was, for my kids, what kindergarten was for me, that is, the chance to learn to stand in line, wait my turn to talk, etc. Now kindergarten is jumping right in to academics, often without the fun that makes learning go so much more smoothly. If you're going to expect the kids to learn letters, reading, whatever, in kindergarten, make it a full day and give them recess, lying on mat time, etc. Grr! Of course, sometimes things do change for the better. It just seems that those changes come much more slowly.

Debi said...

Jean-
I hate a lot of things about NCLB, but no one wants to hear that rant, I'm sure.

Carrie! :o) said...

Awww, I read this with tears in my eyes. I know this past week was a tough one on the mommy heart. I am so glad to hear it seems to get better! I hope this week will be evern better for them! Precious pictures!! Oh! You crack me up! I love how you took Gray's mind off of it by talking about dogs in school, LOL!!!

gail@more than a song said...

Oh, those are SO cute!

Dawn said...

I am impressed with how you turned that situation around :)

I don't know if I could ever teach half day kindergarten. I don't think I'd do well with the stress!! We are starting our 14th year of all day.

take care,
Dawn