Pumpkin started Pre-K at a new school a couple weeks ago. She’s been in daycare since she was just six weeks old, so she understands being in school. But transitions can be hard for her, and it’s been a transition for all of us.
For starters, she has to be there at a certain time every day, which means waking her up at a certain time, plus there’s packing lunches and two drop-offs – adjustments for mom and dad, too. (And I’m guessing it’s different for Peanut, to not have her big sister at the same school anymore.)
Anyhow, we visited the school several times and met the teacher. We talked about the uniforms, the routine, let her know some of her older friends were at the same school and she’d see them from time to time.
When the first day came, she was so excited. Almost giddy, even. There was a cartoon playing when we dropped her off and she didn’t even seem to notice when we left. I was relieved. (And also, to be honest, a little sad that she didn’t care when we said good-bye.)
Day two, however, there were no cartoons at drop-off – but there were tears. She started on a Thursday, so after that we had the weekend, which made the following Monday a little emotional as well. But she tends to do well with a routine, so I came up with one for drop-offs: after I sign her in and give her a hug and kiss, I have her walk me to the door, give me high-five, and then we part ways fairly easily. She’s pouting, still, but lets me go, and each day gets easier. After a couple more days she began talking about friends at school (and Friday even told me she might marry one of them!) and telling us more about her day (fire drills! assemblies!).
Then, there were back-to-school sniffles, and then, finally, today – after two full weeks of class – the meltdown came. A close friend of ours works at the school, and Pumpkin didn’t see her today. She cried about it when my husband picked her up. Then, at home, I sent her to change her clothes and could hear her sobbing in her room. I asked what was wrong, and she told me she missed her friends at her old school. This is one of the things I worried about when we decided to move her, because she had grown very close to some of them. She had been worried about it, too. We explained she’s not losing her old friends, but gaining new ones. But I think, after having a challenge with a new friend today (over a hair clip, naturally), and seeing her old friends when picking up her sister, it was just too much.
Luckily, after dinner and some frozen yogurt, it didn’t come up again tonight, so I hope it’s not weighing too heavily on her. I know there are always going to be new, scary things and growing pains and she will be stronger for them. It’s just so hard to watch her go through it.