First Day of Preschool: I’m a Big Kid Now
By Allison Norris
It was Baylor’s first day of preschool last week. Photos on Facebook revealed a big week for all parents with kiddos. The same cheesy grin with a new backpack and outfit seems to be the norm as I cruise through my news feed. I, of course, had to do the same and made Baylor stand in 400 different locations with the same sign so that I could capture his first-day-of-preschool-moment forever.
We had discussed, role played, chatted, and talked in great detail about preschool and what a big boy he was going to be. I thought he was pumped. I thought we would walk into that classroom and he’d say, “Laters, mama.” And I’d walk out feeling like he didn’t need me any more and that he was all growed up.
My sensitive boy hesitantly entered and all of the sudden he didn’t speak English, couldn’t see, and forgot how to walk. Lila, his best buddy who came along with us, thought it was her classroom and jumped right in line to wash her hands and asked the teacher where her cubby was. Teach was all like, “who is this girl?”
I walked Baylor over to the hook with his first and two last names and instructed him on hanging his backpack and lunch box and then joining the other kids to wash hands. He listened and then let every kid cut him in the hand washing line. Trying to pump him up and help him out, I told a kid to back off and let Baylor take his turn.
Mistake 1: Let your kid figure it out on his own. Especially when talking to a kid you don’t know in front of their parents.
Bay figured it out and when I realized I had nothing left to do on the parent drop off checklist, I told him I’d see him after lunch. Tears, arms flailing, climbing like a little monkey. Where the hell was the teacher to pull him off of me and let me escape so that he could make new friends, grow, and figure out how to pull up and button his own pants?!
His 34-week pregnant teacher spotted the resistance and tackled Baylor to the floor. Well… he was already on the floor, she just held him there so that he couldn’t chase me out the door.
I waved goodbye and prayed that he would not cry for the entire four hours he was going to be there.
Quickly, 1:00pm arrived and I walked the two blocks in the glorious sunshine to pick up my big boy. The wind had a little chill in it and it made the leaves rustle when it whizzed through the branches. It felt like Fall… and like school. I opened the door and there was his class sitting on the carpet with their backpacks on and lunchboxes in hand. He saw me and looked to his teacher for permission to greet me. She nodded and he jumped up and ran over.
“I ate my lunch! I had snack. LOOK, I drew a circle on blue paper. And I picked you a piece of mint when we were playing outside. We played outside!”
The teachers assured me that he only cried for about 10 minutes total over two meltdowns and that they hoped he was excited for Friday.
He held my hand the whole way home and talked to me about school. Then he fell asleep in his big boy bed and took a wonderful afternoon nap in his t-shirt and a diaper (because he can’t quite make it through a nap without peeing all over the place). I peeked in on his long, smooth legs and his white hair. So peaceful and big… and still such a little guy with so much to learn.