Week One is in the books and it was both easier and harder than I anticipated. The good news is that after my night-before little meltdown, I didn’t have any others. The bad news is that The Who had one two days in a row.
In retrospect — and to my credit, also in the midst of them — I realized that they were a result of the transition from the school and kids he’s known his whole life to a brand new place. I hadn’t anticipated it, given how excited he was to go to kindergarten and how short the day is, comparatively. But I also hadn’t really thought through just how different public kindergarten in a room with 15 other kids is from Pre-K in a room with 7 other kids. The expectations are high, there are new rules, and a lot of unfamiliarity. Of course as soon as he comes home (at “the witching hour” no less) he’s going to fall apart in the safety of what he knows. The meltdowns were unrelated to school or anything that happened there; he seems to really be loving it and is excited to go every day. It just seemed like asking him to handle anything was too much to ask this week. Sharing toys, being patient, waiting for turns — all of it was too much. (An added challenge was that his anxiety was curbing his appetite and he wasn’t taking very much in for the first couple of days. And if there’s anything I know about my boy, it’s that he gets hangry and it comes on fast.)
By the third day, he was better. He was eating regular meals again and I had caught on to the learning curve well enough to know that the best afterschool activity is to come home and have a snack and watch a show or listen to stories. Nothing that requires much of anything from him. By today (the fourth day) he was handling plan changes like a boss and was pretty much back to his usual self. It was good to see — especially given the weekend we have coming up.
Tomorrow, he starts dance class and we have spent the week at various dance supply stores procuring black ballet shoes, tap shoes, tights, bike shorts, and a dance shirt. He is ready. I was wary of adding yet another new thing to his routine so soon, but I didn’t want him to miss the first class and he is excited. Sunday starts Hebrew school — another new thing. This one’s at least in the synagogue where his old school is and he will be in class with two of his Pre-K friends.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he now goes to school every day. That we are now fully entrenched in our community in a way we never have been before. Each day when I amble up the street at dismissal and sit among all the other parents picking up, discussing PTG meetings and picture day and Fall Harvest fairs it becomes more real. I’m kind of loving it.