The first day has come and gone. I got up early and got myself ready before either of the kids were awake and without the aide of an alarm clock, which is unheard of in our house. Brenden ate breakfast and watched Super Why while I got Lauren fed and ready to go. I was a nervous wreck! Did I pack the right things? Would he eat anything for lunch at all?
Ready to go!
Tim met me at the school to walk Brenden in, which was a big surprise for him. He went right in, threw his lunch bag in their basket, and promptly started playing with another boy. We said hello to his teacher, who looks no older than 18 but who I know is older and very qualified, explained a few things about Brenden, and gave him kisses goodbye.
I thought I would be a wreck, but the anxiety about the whole thing was much worse than actually leaving him there. Target is right down the street so Lauren and I spent about a half hour wandering around the store, comparing prices and wishing for a leather bench for my bedroom, before heading home. She took a nice long nap and I cleaned, folded laundry, and relaxed. I felt like a horrible mother! I didn't cry dropping him off and I enjoyed my afternoon. Am I really allowed to be happy he's in school?
I headed in to pick him up at 2:30 pm and found him sitting on the rug with the other kids, watching his teacher read a book. He was happy to see me, which was a relief. I was afraid he would cry because he had to come home! Then I asked his teacher how he did and all I got was a shrug and "He did okay." Um...just okay? Can we expand on this a bit? I asked if he was up to par with the other kids and what they were doing. "Yeah, he's about there." I wanted to shake her. Give me something to go on!
Eventually she said he could use some work on cutting and staying in the lines when he colors. I explained that he hadn't worked with scissors much because we have a baby in our house and there was no way I'd let him near her with those. Plus, I don't think the dogs would appreciate it, either. I asked if he ate lunch. Another shrug. "Yeah, there was a lot in there." I replied that I put a little bit of everything in there because I had no idea what he would and wouldn't eat when he wasn't at home. "Oh, that's smart!" she said. Not just 4 seconds ago you made it sound like I had done something wrong. The most helpful person was a little boy in Brenden's class that came up and told me that Brenden was still in the green, which means he didn't have to go in time out. Thank you, 3 year old, for telling me more than his teacher!
I think, because she sure as heck didn't come right out and say anything, his biggest problem is his listening skills, which are seriously lacking. I knew this, and even wrote it on the piece of paper that I sent in to describe him. She said something about how that was one of the big things he'd learn in school, but that's really all I got.
So, this is where I come out and admit I'm the weird mom that cried when I picked my child up from preschool, and not when I dropped him off. All of my concerns before made me nervous, but not enough to reach my tear ducts. But, not getting much out of his teacher about how he did, hearing that he needed to catch up and knowing that he didn't listen, all made me feel like a failure. I feltl like I failed to teach him anything up until now. I felt as though she called my son dumb. I felt like she was judging me. (Nothing like that was said, and I know I overreact and over-analyze, so after I cried to Tim I felt better. Tim's best point? "She couldn't find anything specifically bad to say, so he must have done just fine." True.)
All of those things were MY feelings, though. Brenden had a great time! He can't tell me what they did, or the names of any of the kids in his class, but he was happy to go to school, happy to come home, and happy to be going back on Thursday. I keep reminding myself that it's his experience, not mine. I glad that he didn't notice how upset I was. I know that he'll learn to listen and socialize correctly. That is what going to school is going to help him with, and I'm glad to have him there. I'd really like to be able to get more out of his teacher, and I think I just need to ask more specific questions. It's a learning process for all of us.
Not in the lines, and not the right color, but it looks great to me!
In the end, I would say the day was a complete success in Brenden's mind and just fine for me. I really need to not make this about how it affects me and worry more about how Brenden is taking everything. It's completely new and I have no idea what I'm doing, so the best I can hope for is to not make any big mistakes along the way. Someone remind me of this when I'm crying because Brenden failed his driver's test and he could care less, because I can totally see that happening.