Schoolhouse Rocks!

March 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Posted in School (aka: daycare) | 7 Comments

Last July, when O transitioned into the toddler room, I wasn’t sure he would ever really adjust. He HATED it for the first few months. He’d cling to me when I brought him in, and wouldn’t let me leave without sobbing.

And I know from other parents and his teachers that he had plenty of “moments of sadness” during the day.

He’s an introvert, my O. Pretty much from birth, he’s ALWAYS hated loud noises and crowds. Even with his grandparents (on both sides), he’s reserved for a good hour or two before he’ll really interact with them. There have been very few people with whom he has immediately been comfortable.

My sister, actually, is really the ONE person who can consistently get him comfortable immediately.

So the poor kid had a rough transition. Bigger kids – and a whole lot MORE of them. Different teachers. A strict schedule.

It was hard on all of us. On O, because he was so unhappy. But for me, too.

It is an awful feeling, to know that the love of your life is unhappy, and not be able to DO anything about it.

But J and I kept telling ourselves that it was good for O to learn how to adjust to change. And we kept talking with his teachers, and spending more time with him at dropoff, and making sure that we were doing everything we could to ease the transition.

And it worked. By the end of October, beginning of November, he was better about being in the room.

And now?

He’s absolutely THRIVING.

The main teacher in his room is a former preschool teacher. They work on numbers, colors, shapes, and letters every day.

So my kid may not be a social butterfly. But he sure LOVES to learn.

He loves pointing out the letters he knows in the books we read. He is working on counting to twenty (hilariously, he LOVES the number seventeen. Anything he doesn’t know is seventeen).

He loves books – he happily fills in the blanks when we read Green Eggs and Ham , crowing “do you WIKE geen AY YA HAM?”

And every time we pull into the school’s parking lot, he will say “here!!!” As soon as he’s unstrapped from his carseat, he runs right up the ramp to the door, and then straight into his room.

And, granted. Once through the door, most days it still does take a few minutes for him to hang back, survey the room, and decide on what he wants to do.

But then he runs away and starts playing. And doesn’t look back.

(Until I ask for a hug, of course. Then he comes running over with a big smile and gives me a hug or a kiss.)

And often now, when I drive away, he’s there in the window, all smiles, waving “bye bye Mommy!” in the window of his classroom.

It’s SO wonderful to me that he loves where he is. I love that he can name ALL the kids in his toddler room. I love that he will sigh his teacher’s name some days with a big smile. His teachers actually ENGAGE his love of learning.

And I especially love the fact that we decided to stick with something when it was hard on all of us. Because really, change IS something that kids need to learn. His classrooms every year from here on out will change. We will continue go to big family gatherings.

It would have been easy to blame the daycare and accuse them of not wanting to make O’s life as easy as possible.

But see, here’s the thing. It’s my job as a mom to prepare O for real life.

The real life that’s out there can be hard. It can be crowded, and loud (“youd!” as O says), and unfair. And somehow, somewhere, he needs to develop coping mechanisms to get him through those times that are rough.

And of course I don’t mean that I will throw him into a lake and force him to swim.

But in this case, there was a caring staff who really cared about helping him transition and two parents who were willing to stay later and leave work earlier to get him on rough days. We all gave him extra cuddling time and let him bring two bears to school (one for outside, one for inside!).

We spent as much time with him as he needed to get there.

All of us together.

And THAT is why I am very happy with our daycare situation.



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  1. Awesome… I am not very happy with the homecarethat Lyla goes to, we are changing her to a new one in 1 month… I know that it will be hard but in the end it will better for her.

  2. your comment about 17 made me smile. My daughter…14 🙂

    Glad O loves his situation now. Good on you for sticking it out.

  3. Sounds like a great situation! And, not to get into a debate, but this is why I think centers are great. The same-age socialization aspect and the structure. (Sometimes I think I should have interned at a daycare center to better know how to deal with multiples!) I would NOT ever have D’s mom watch the girls more than once a week. She just turns on the TV and sets up the toys in front of it., but N is a TV addict and I know she gets far too much TV time.. She used to watch kids in her home (not a licensed home care center) and I hope she wasn’t like that with paying clients’ kids.

    I like hearing about what older toddlers are doing, but I have a hard time grasping the concept that I & N will be learning these things soon!

  4. I love reading your posts about learning how to parent. Cuz that is the big thing that we as parents do–as much as our children learn, WE learn a lot about life and our children as individuals every day.

    I am glad O is thriving! I enjoy this age, as we slowly see the little person coming out of the baby…

    And just cuz he is shy now, doesn’t mean he will be later…(and the girls always LOVE those shy ones!)

  5. My little boy is also incredibly shy and incredibly sensitive to noise and other kids in his personal space. As much as I love to stay home with him, and we don’t watch tv so we do a lot of “learning” activities, I wonder if he would have been better off in a daycare environment.

    I loved this post. Way to go O.

  6. I love reading this about O. My kiddos love school too and it always amazes me what they know, what they’ve learned and how interested they are in knowing things. I have to admit, I love it too. I love watching them grow into the little people they are.
    I think they adjust a little just because they have each other, this morning, Jacob didn’t want us to go and I left him in Ms Bernie’s arms crying, and my heart was breaking, just as i heard Gio say “ok Bacob…ok” ..I am so happy that they both have someone to go to, when I can’t be there.

    thanks for this update and good for all of you for hanging in there. It sounds like you have one little awesome boy!!!

  7. He likes learning? Now there’s something that’ll stand him in good stead on any given path. Way to go, O.


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