Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"I Don't Like Preschool Momma"

This is what I hear every time the subject of preschool comes up.  Z has been having a really hard time transitioning into school and it is breaking my heart.  The people closest to me and his teacher say it is all an act for me, that he would rather stay with me and that he is fine while he is there.  But this pregnant (and very hormonal) mommy can't take much more of this.  I fight back tears as he cries and reaches for me when I go to leave.  He begs me everyday to let him stay home...."I want to be with you" he'll say or "I don't feel well mommy".  He even wet himself one day so that I would have to change him and our journey to school would be stalled.  Last Friday I had to drag him into the classroom flailing and sobbing (I was tearing up as well).  It was awful.

When I pick him up, his teacher assures me that he cries for a bit, calms down and then has a great day!  When I ask him about it, he never has too much to say and tells me that he doesn't like school.  If someone else asks him about school, he sometimes has good things to share and other times gets all quiet and depressed.  He is only 3 (just turned 3)...he is too young for emotional stress!

This whole ordeal has me dreading Wednesday and Fridays.  When I wake him up and tell him it is a preschool day, his whole cheery demeanor changes.  This has me wondering so many things!  Is he too young for school?  Should I pull him out and pray that we don't go through the same ordeal next year?  Should I continue to be upbeat about school and encourage him to continue?  Should I give myself a deadline (January maybe) that if he is not liking it better, then I pull him??  I know it is only going to get worse with the arrival of the baby.  Oh what to do???

On a positive note, there is no place (other than home or with close family) that I would rather him be than this preschool.  The teacher's are amazing and love each and every child already!  They are so quick to scoop Z up and make him feel better.  They know all of his interests and even brought in some soft golf balls to help cheer him up.  The class only has 13 children and from what I can see, they are all great little kids.  I love that there is a parent volunteer in the classroom everyday and that the philosophy of the school is all about friendship and community.

My mother and S like to remind me that I too have a hard time with transition and change.  I always had trouble adjusting to new school situations.  Z is just like me in so many ways and I like to think that this preschool is a good place for him to explore his world and work on peer interactions.  I hope that with time (and lots of patience) Z will learn to love school, just like I did (after all, I became a teacher!).

 ***Thanks to all of you for your support throughout my pregnancy.  I apologize if I have been a bit whiny and hormonal :)  It has been really nice to have you all here by my side for the last few months.  I am looking forward to introducing you to our little peanut soon.  Thanks also to those of you who have submitted guesses in my baby game :)  It has been really fun to play a Blog Shower Game ;)  If you still want to submit a guess, check out this post.  You have until the baby is born to submit your guess!***


Alice in Wonderland said...

I'm sure that Z will settle down. He is going through a period of change too. Now he is the Big Brother and has to help look after the new baby.
I'm no expert on these matters, having no children of myself, but make sure that he is involved and not left out. Maybe all children go through this faze, especially when a new baby is due. There is no words of advice that I can give to re-assure you, but everything will turn out well! I'm sure other experienced Mothers will advice you.
By the way, my guess is a 7lbs 4oz baby girl born on 29th October!

Poolside with the Girls said...

I had one child who couldn't wait to go and another who cried. What I found is that the longer I lingered the worse it got with the crying one. Socialization is good for kids so since you are only doing this on a limited basis, I don't think it's hurting him. I think he's just having trouble transitioning. I'm no expert, but I think this time with other kids is good for him. I think that you are doing the right thing. He'll be that much further ahead for next year. I wouldn't give up but that's just me. It sounds like a a great place for him to be.

Connie Weiss said...

Oh man...that's a tough one. I've not been in that situation so I don't even know what to tell you.

I know that I would feel just like you and want to keep him home. My little boy doesn't deal with change well either and I'm afraid Kindergarden is going to be hard for him.

I can't wait to see what other's have to say!

P.S. you are entitled to be hormonal! Can't wait to meet the new baby!!

Mommy Lisa said...

From what I can tell it is harder for boys too. I know I shoved my mom out the door at school & my brother, not so much.

Too with my Boo Boo La La and her friends that go - she is the one who is excited, the two boys not so much.

They get over it, it is a good thing for them to be social, it will all be okay. And since you know you have trouble with change, do not let this stress out your pregnant self...its all going to be fine.

Lisa Anne said...

Its hard, he just may be too young for preschool. You also might want to try a different pre-school. There could be a child there he doesn't like or something like that. He has his whole life to go to school, I think starting preschool at 4yrs old is perfectly fine. My son started at 3 I regret it because he learned everythign he needed to know for kindergarden and I ended up pulling him out of kindergarden for a whole semester. Now he is in the 4th grade at the top of his class.

If you don't want to pull him out, I say try a different pre-school. If he has the same issues at a nother pre-school then you at least know nothing wierd was happening at the pre-school and that it's just your son trying to adjust. I have trust issues as you can probably tell. LOL

As a parent all we can do is our best to try to decide on what we think is best for your child. Don't let anyone else tell you what is best for him.

Good luck, let me know what you decide. You're supported here no matter what you do!

I am Lee-Ann... said...

Poor Z and Mama. :o( Those transitions are so very hard for everyone involved. I think that once the baby comes he might warm up more to the idea of preschool. It will be something just for him, a big boy can do and not the baby. It is good that he settles down quickly though. I also wonder if he can bring a transitional object to help him through the transition of home to preschool and leaving you? Hugs Mama, it is a tough job!

Annie said...

It's a hard time. Why don't try other preschool?

So glad everything is fine with the baby.

Beth P. said...

I think it is so hard to watch our kids go through these changes, perhaps even tougher on us than it is on them. I would trust everyone who is telling you he is "putting on a show" (although, no doubt he really does miss you!) and just keep reminding him he'll have fun with his friends and you'll be there to pick him up before he knows it.

I am not looking forward to the types of days you've described. Right now Collin doesn't know much better, but when he can talk and tell us what he's thinking, oh my heart is already breaking.

By the way - be hormonal! You're entitled! I can't wait to "meet" your new little one!

Nicolasa said...

I think Z will settle in shortly. If you say he is like you in so many ways then it will be helpful to keep mind that he just might need more time adjusting. I think it will be important to keep encouraging him and the fact that he'll have fun. Plus, when the baby comes it will be good for you to have a day with just the baby and for him to get different attention at preschool.

If it is still this bad by January, then I think it would be time to rethink things. Try to keep up hope. I am sure it is hard though!

Can't wait to see pictures of your little one!

kitkat said...

Oh boy can I relate! This is Michael's 3rd year of preschool and I STILL hear "I hate school" pretty much every morning! I'm sure that is NOT what you wanted to hear, BUT you know (as a teacher) and I can tell you (as a teacher) it probably is mostly a show for you. I had a preschooler once who cried for 45 minutes straight everyday for a month. I made a velcro chart for him so he could have some control over what was happening, (ie a card for playtime, one for circle, one for snack, story, etc), and he would rip them off as he finished. It gave him a concrete way to observe time passing. Of course, I think he really just needed extra time to settle in, and when he did, I almost wished for the 45minutes of crying he was so wild! LOL!

On a more positive note, I felt the same way about M's school--love, love, love the philosophy, the teachers, the teacher-student ratio, even the building! But my heart was breaking, and even though I had witnessed these types of "shows" myself as a teacher, it's a whole different story when you're the mommy that has to leave. But I did leave, and I stayed positive, always asking about what stories his teacher read that day, who played in the sandbox, did anyone have an interesting snack,etc. I also began writing little notes, sometimes pictures, and stickers all over his snack & lunch. It made me feel better to know he had something special from me to surprise him at snack. Now I'm forced to be very creative, but I love doing it and he saves all his ziploc bags after eating because, (as his teacher told me when I complained that he was bringing all this trash home everyday), of my notes.

I also am not a fan of change, and hate that M shares that trait with me, but I know he loves school & his teachers & friends--which, btw when he finally made a really strong connection to one of the other kids at school, I heard a lot less complaining! Maybe Z just hasn't found that special someone yet--but he will! And I know, even though I love my job, when I hear that alarm go off in the morning, all I am thinking is "I want to stay home!!!", but I'm fine once I'm there. Maybe some of us will just always struggle with transition, but as long as we are happy once we are where we need to be, it all turns out OK!

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