We are coming to the end of little r's first two weeks of Kindergarten. I'm honestly in shock that it's been two weeks already, and yet it's surprising how quickly we fell right into our daily routine. Our routine still needs some work and a little getting used to, but we are making great strides.
So, how is little r liking Kindergarten, you ask? He is actually doing quite well at school. Nothing I should be too shocked about, but I am relieved that it's going as I had anticipated. What I hadn't anticipated though is how much little r would dread "going to" school. He enjoys himself immensely when he's there, and he's always having the time of his life when I pick him up at the end of the school day. His teachers tell me he is adjusting really well and is learning the rules quickly. Little r just hates, and I mean HATES, going to school in the morning.
For the past week or so, every morning has been a struggle. Getting him dressed, packed, bundled up, and into his stroller for the walk to school is a challenge of gross proportions. Little r is NOT a fan. I was a little worried that he hated school, and that I was somehow torturing him by making him go every day. But that couldn't seem further from the truth. Instead, I think these past six months have built a really strong bond between us, and once he figured out that school was a daily event, and that he was no longer spending his entire day with Mommy, well...I suppose that's all it took for him to get disappointed...
I have this child that went to daycare nearly every day for the first two years of his life. Except for a few minor phases, little r rarely protested my leaving him with his teachers for the day. Even once we moved here and I would put him into hourly care on occasion, he did really well, mostly...
So, it has been a bit of a shock to see little r so torn apart when I leave him at school every morning. His teachers have to pry him off of me - literally. I am told that it barely takes five minutes and little r is happy and playing with the other children, which is a huge relief. Not that I don't want my little man to love me with every cell of his being, what mom doesn't? But man, this phase is tough! Big R keeps reminding me that this phase will soon be replaced with a child that will most likely push me away and be embarrassed in my presence. "Eeeeww, kisses, mom," and "don't take me to school, mom, that's embarrassing," and all those other awesome things that young children say.
To embrace this clingy phase of dependency and separation anxiety, I have vowed to hug him longer, kiss him more, and cuddle him to pieces. Having more time in the mornings to get things done also translates into more free time in the afternoons to play with little r. He, of course, loves this.
I am hopeful that little r will accept, sooner rather than later, that school is part of our daily routine. I want him to look forward to seeing his friends and playing in his classroom like he did his first week, and no longer dread getting dressed and being dropped off at school. Until then, I will remain strong and hold back those tears that want to come every time he screams for me like he's being taken from my side for an eternity, and instead relish the cheer I see in his eyes when I pick him up from school and he talks endlessly about all the things he did that day on our walk home.
Just another fun phase of motherhood. If you have any advice on how to help little ones adjust more quickly to being separated from "mom", I'm all ears.