Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Matthew's Preschool Visit

Matthew and I went to visit his preschool class today. He will begin on January 2nd. When we entered the classroom he was fine. Then I had to change his diaper b/c his leaked and his pants were wet. I did it on the changing table there and he refused to lie down but we managed and I had spare shorts (need to add pants!) in his diaper bag.

Then he went over to play with some toys while all 5 kids were lining up by the door. The teacher said it was time to go to the gym. So I tried to get Matthew to follow and he didn't want to leave the FP school bus (his favorite) so he started crying. We had to drag him down the hallway (with the bus) to the gym and for the next half hour he screamed and cried and only wanted to be held by me (standing up). Everything was new to him (the lights, smells, sounds, other children in his face) so he was very overwhelmed and out of his comfort zone.

We finally made it back to the classroom and he was still crying. I told him we were going to the car and he stopped, caught his breath, and said goodbye. The teacher said it was normal for him to cry and be upset and this would happen for at least the first week of school but it will get better. It is heartbreaking to watch but I know it will make him stronger and by the time he gets to kindergarten he will be a pro.


J said...

awww.. how sad! It would break my heart too. I hope that the separation phase will not last too long for Matthew and before you know it, he will love to go to school :)

With the teacher's & aide's attitudes, I am sure that they just think it is probably better to let them get over it and let them get used to the separation in their own time and in their own way. I really hope it is not too hard for him - I know that he will miss being with his mommy all day but also know that getting this much therapy will be pretty awesome!

Lena said...

Hang in there Cyn and Matthew. I understand the process, as Peter was just completely overwhelmed in new places with new people at the same age. The only suggestion I have for you is to breath in and out. Keep talking to Matthew about who and what he will see before you go and try as hard as you can to be excited for him in your manner and voice.

Anonymous said...

Oh man - I remember those days. My youngest son was a "mama's boy" when he was between 2-4 years old, and had the toughest time at day care drop off. They told me the tantrums lasted about 5 minutes and was over. Sometimes they had to hold him (I would have to carry & give him to one of the teachers) as I left or he would chase after me, hold my pants, not let go, and scream/cry. The tantrums lasted only a few minutes after I left, and then everything was fine. There's going to be an adjustment period, but hang in there. For the diaper changing I would let them handle as they are professionals. Yeah the hard plastic/no pillow sucks, but is all a part of the learning, and Matthew will get used to it. BTW - for day care drop off the longer you hang around & coddle Matthew before you leave makes it 100x worse for both you & him. I've been through that and the screaming & crying was HARD to deal with as I left. Try the in and out approach: sound excited about day care & talk to him in the car- you're going to have a great day, you guys have so much fun, the trachers are sooo nice, I love you and will have a great day etc... then sign him in, put the stuff in the cubby, quick hugs & kisses, and mommy is out. If there is a window give him a wave - I used to do this. Most of the time Dill would cry at the window as I drove off, but as time went on he stopped crying, and waved without any tantrums. After a while we made a game out of waving, and would make silly faces at each other too - and that was funny. Over time once Matthew adjusts (and this could take a WHILE) the seperation anxiety will disapear. Its hardest on the parents trust me - I re-thought the why am I doing this to my son, but I did go back after a 1/2 hour to drop off something, and they were right. He was playing with other kids and not worried about anything. If you can bring him back a couple more times for a "tour" and get to know your teacher & classmates, where the both of you can go through and try again - this would be good too.

Good luck!!
Jen in CT