Monday, September 27, 2010

First Day of Preschool

So I know this post is a tad tardy. Owen actually began preschool three weeks ago. But I haven't dared write about it until now. I wasn't altogether sure preschool would happen this year. You see, the picture above tells a very different story than what happened on the first day of school. Let me fill you in.

The morning began normally. We had spent the previous days and weeks prepping Owen for his first day of preschool. He had visited his classroom, even met his teachers. He expressed excitement about all of it. To an outsider, it would seem Owen was well-prepared for this new experience. But as his parents, we knew Owen had a track record of not welcoming change. Transition, he does not. Yet with all the cheering and prepping, he seemed to be handling everything really well. We took a picture of our proud preschooler just before heading out the door to drop him off.

It was a big day, so we all piled in the car to give Owen the big send off. Gavin and I were still in our pj's so Mark walked Owen in to school, hand in hand. Things were looking good.

45 minutes later....

Gavin and I were still sitting in the car outside of preschool, waiting for Mark to return. Things were looking a little grim now.

When Mark finally returned to the car he confirmed my suspicions. Owen refused to stay at school. As you can imagine, there was a lot of talking, arguing, reassuring, threatening, pleading and the like going on. But Owen would not let Mark leave the classroom without him. He kept following him out, disregarding his teachers and fellow classmates. Now I'm not sure how it all went down. But Mark was late for work and just needed to leave. So the way Mark explained it to me was something like:

The teacher grabbed hold of Owen and held him down while I ran out of there. All the while Owen was screaming, "Let go of me PLEASE!"

Upon hearing this story, I felt awful. I felt a whole range of emotions.
I knew we shouldn't have done this.
What a terrible and traumatic first day.
He'll never want to go back.
Poor Owen.
Poor teachers.
What could we have done differently?
What's wrong with my kid?
I'm a terrible mother!

The rest of the day was pretty awful. And the next few days of school were also kind of awful. (AND, this was all happening during my "be a carrot, not an egg" phase). It was a mess. I was a mess.

And that brings us to today. Owen got up for school. We cheerfully loaded the car. He said, "I'll wave to you Mom!" We waved goodbye and I dropped him off like nothing had ever happened. I think I'll pretend like today was the REAL first day of school.


Kimba said...

love the sign idea! totally adding that to my list of Ideas from Bridge. :)

so glad it's going better! i knew he'd do it!

Brenda Hodson said...

I knew all that cool stuff at the preschool (real fire truck, airplane, golf cart, merry-go-round, toys galore etc.) had to be there for a reason! Good choice Owen... you are one luck kid! I want to go to that preschool!

Angela said...

I am so glad he decided to like preschool and give you the much neede break you deserve.

Diana said...

I haven't checked into your blog for a while but it's great to catch up. First, let me just say that I go through the carrot/egg thing like every 6 months or so. Just when I finally think I've got a certain thing under control, the kids start a new phase--school, complaining, talking back, unwillingness to try new things, running away...well, I could go on but that would just be depressing. Anyway, my big sis always says, "No stage is better or alternatively, harder. Each is just different. So plan for different."
And now that Owen is a pro at heading to school, just laugh about the first day, write it in his baby book to chuckle over later and then quickly disregard the whole thing as a phase. Tomorrow will be different.