Preschool here starts the term after you turn 3 years old so this month it was finally your turn! Your first day, I was there with you the entire time. I talked to your key teacher about you, while you played. It was fun to see you go about your way that morning. I hoped that first day would make you feel settled enough to be able to leave you there by yourself on your second day. I had already learned from my stint in hospital this summer, that you can cope without me pretty well so I felt conservatively confident you could do it.
Lucky thing is that your friend Robin goes to the same nursery school. He turned 3 in February so he has been attending preschool since April already. You and Robin were super excited to see each other! You two were so happy, it made it a lot easier for me to go home. I did feel on the verge of tears (uncharacteristically I did not cry!) when I walked home. I think because it was such a momentous event in your young life, the start of school, which made me emotional.
It was exciting to pick you up from preschool. I tried to get information out of you about what you did, you said you went on the slide and yellow tricycle and gestured and wildly talked about something I didn’t really understand, perhaps climbing? And about an hour after we came home you said “I missed you, Mama.” Aaah, how cute are you?!
You go to preschool every morning from 09:00 until 12:00, your friend Robin does not. The first few days, with Robin there, were great. You two played together all morning. But then came the first day Robin was not there. And as feared, you did not do well, neither did I.
You did not want me to leave. Your key teacher told me to have a little play with you and to explain that after that I would leave. You understood and happily played a numbers puzzle with me. When you put in the last piece you started to say that it was now time for me to leave. As you were saying it, you realized what that meant, exclaimed “no” and started crying. Every time I had calmed you down and tried to explain I was about to leave, you panicked again. We both spent 45 minutes at nursery upset and crying. Then I left you, crying hysterically in the arms of a nursery teacher. I waved goodbye through the waving window and we both cried when I left.
There’s a gate around the corner from the entrance, through which you can see the nursery playground. I spent 15 minutes there spying on you. Luckily, you were near the window on the lap of a teacher so I could see you. Apparently, you were watching Peppa Pig on a tablet with her while she was comforting you. You weren’t crying anymore, but you will still shaking from crying. When she took you to do some puzzles and out of view I went home.
I called the nursery to find out how you were doing. They said you weren’t playing and still needed comfort, but you had stopped crying. You also kept asking for something they didn’t know. These days you keep calling Papa and me by our first names. So, you kept asking for me by saying “Louana” and they thought you wanted to see the movie “Moana.” They actually tried showing that movie, but yeah that’s not what you wanted.
They advised to pick you up earlier that day. When I got there about an hour after I had originally left, I could see you were happily playing and being your crazy little self. That was such a relief. I watched you play for a little while, and made sure you could not see me.
Your key teacher and I decided, to keep you there until your regular time. We don’t want to confuse you and help you get used to and comfortable with the nursery routine as soon as possible. Everyday after together time in the sunshine room, I will be outside the door waiting for you.
You were very happy when I picked you up. I was kind of expecting you to be angry with me for leaving you there. Instead, you were thanking me for picking you up and bringing your buggy and your grapes. You’re such a sweet boy.
The next day, on the way to preschool you were already telling me not to leave. Robin was there again, but unfortunately that didn’t help. I left you there after 10 minutes, hysterically crying in the arms of your key teacher and you yelling for me to come back. I know it’s a phase you will get over and that this is better for you in the end. But this is so hard. All you want is me and milky, and I have never before in your life ignored that ask. And your little upset face, red eyes, tears rolling down your face, screaming my name, wildly pointing at me as I go. It is heartbreaking, I hope you didn’t feel like I betrayed your trust.
Today, on the last day of your first full week, you were protesting and not wanting to go to nursery. Papa and I had to pretend we were leaving without you, to make you come. You were very sad to say goodbye to Papa at the elevator and the whole way to nursery you kept telling me not to go back home.
When we arrived, I showed you all the other parents who were also going to go home soon. This seemed to resonate with you, and I saw you starting to accept the concept of me leaving. I also gave you photos of the two of us to keep in your pockets and to look at if you missed me. You thought this was really interesting. I left you in the waving room with a very sad little face, nearly crying, but definitely understanding I was leaving but also coming back later. I waved goodbye outside and send you a kiss and left. I did it all quickly to not prolong the sad goodbye like before.
Apparently, soon you were playing quite happily. I later saw a photo of you making your face from play doh. I heard you were singing “we will rock you” and teaching other kids the song. You also showed the photos to a teacher. All in all, you had a good morning at the nursery. What a relief.
I hope this progress keeps over the weekend. Also, I hope that soon you get used to going to preschool and will actually look forward to going there everyday.