But as usual… plans changed!
Overnight he just seemed ready for the next step. He was feeling more confident, independent, & interested in classes & other kids. He was also getting bored with always being home with me & his pesky little brother.
Luckily, I found a preschool that was a great fit for us. They were one of the only places near us that offered an afternoon program, & my hope was that Julian would nap while Teo was in school, & I could get some work done for Free Mania.
I was also really impressed with the teacher that he would have! She is just one of those teachers that understands each & every student as soon as they spend 5 minutes with them. On the first day, she already knew to say things to Matteo like, “It doesn’t need to be perfect. You can color into the other lines & that won’t matter.”
Julian & I got to go with Matteo on his first day of school, which I think helped immensely! They did a mini version of their day, & Matteo got to become familiar with everything & everyone with me nearby (I actually didn’t need to interact with him much at all that first day, but it was comforting to know I was there).
I was so anxious on the second day (his first day by himself). We had talked about how I would drop him off at the door, & he would walk in with all the other kids & do what he did on the first day. I was half expecting him to cry or want me to come in, but he didn’t question it. He gave me a hug, kiss, said that he would miss me & that he thought me & Julian would miss him too, & he was off! I was so nervous & kept checking my phone for the 2.5 hours he was there. I was so out of sorts that on the way home, I even waited behind a parked car on the street thinking that it was the line for the red light… (so maybe take a few minutes before driving home on your kid’s first day of school :-p)
I definitely expected to be greeted with some tears from him when I picked him up, but instead he said “That. Was. Awesome!!!”
Such a relief to know that I had made the right call in sending him.
That first week was draining for all of us, but now we are settling into things a bit more. It is fascinating to see him go through this experience, & I am so proud of him! Here are some of the moments we experienced in just the first few weeks:
- The teacher was surprised to hear that he had never been in daycare or preschool before. She said he followed the rules very well & was a good helper.
- Matteo was surprised to realize that all the same kids came every day. He had been used to Rec child care where it was always different kids.
- The teacher said that she would love to keep him all day & that he doesn’t get involved in all the other kids’ drama.
- I had a dream that Matteo got sent to kid jail for eating strawberries in the grocery store (think I was feeling a little guilty for sending him to school haha).
- Matteo cried to me after school b/c he was not the first one to find the letter “e”
- Each day he gives me a kiss & says that he will miss me before marching off with his little back pack through those big doors.
- Every day he holds the door open for every family on the way home.
- He loves having jobs at school – door holder, napkin passer outer, line leader
- About two weeks in, he asked me, “how many more days do I have to go to school?” I explained that he had 3 days off, & then he would go again on Monday. He said, “No I mean how many more days do I have to go before I never have to go again.” I didn’t tell him, “oh, about 20 years…”
- It bothers him when other kids don’t listen, & he repeats what the teacher says in an attempt to get them to follow directions.
- He told me that the boys played knights, dragons, & superheroes on the playground. I asked if the girls played too, & he told me that the girls just wanted to play pretty things.
Overall school has been really good for all of us. Matteo is only there 7.5 hours a week, but it makes me realize that I will not have full days with him much longer! I am enjoying the time with him, & he is much more pleasant now that he gets to go be challenged & play with kids his own age. Julian is starting to get into a schedule of napping while Matteo is gone, & I think it helps him sleep better knowing that Matteo is not downstairs being exciting. I am able to work on things without having to ignore Matteo, which is also really good for our relationship.
I hope that things continue to go smoothly 🙂