I definitely didn't anticipate that this level of emotional and mental exhaustion would be associated with the first week of JK. Sure, I knew that it would be hard and there would likely be tears, but I didn't expect it to be this tough. But, we all made it through!
|Day 1 of JK|
|A rainy walk to school|
On Tuesday morning, Teagan and Quinn's first day, we arrived at the school to find some ordered chaos outside (and inside) their classroom. Parents and kids were lined up to say hello to the teacher and get the run down. It was an unusually and muggy hot day, so the school was a sauna. Poor Jenn was dripping sweat while she waited in her suit. After saying hello to the girls' teacher and ECE (early childhood educator), they reluctantly walked into the room on their room. They found their name tag that had been laid out and started decorating it with markers and stickers. I give them credit. They were very brave and likely a bit shocked. When I picked them up for lunch, they were happy and full of stories. There were a few kids from their preschool who are in their class, so the familiar faces were nice for them to see.
Not surprisingly (to me), Wednesday morning was tough. They knew what to expect. Teagan lost it and clung to me. She begged for me to take her home. She asked me if it was the last day of school. That broke my heart. Little did/does she know that this is only the start of many years of schooling. The kid is quite articulate and in touch with her feelings, making it that much harder on both of us. When I left her, she was in hysterics. While I would have wanted nothing more than to scoop her up and take her home, I wouldn't have been doing her any favours. I left her in the hands of her teacher. Fortunately, after a little walk with the teacher, she was able to calm down and finished the day well. I walked home in the rain crying that morning. By the time I picked them up at the end of the day, Teagan was smiling. They had done some painting. They sang songs and played outside. They talked about making new friends. They told me about some of the classroom rules. "If you play with something, you clean it up before moving on to something else." Great rule. If I only I could make it work at home as well as it works at school. They stayed for lunch. I was very proud to open their lunch boxes to see that they ate every bit of the lunch I packed! (Rotisserie chicken, tzatziki, caprese salad, carrots, cucumbers and grapes)
Thursday was similar to Wednesday without the drop off drama, which was MUCH easier on this Mommy. It was a gorgeous day, so they got lots of outdoor time. They got to visit the library for the first time and learned how to take a book out. They each came home with a book, to be returned the following day. They had stories of playing with new and old friends. Each day has one period of quiet time. The kids can decide whether they would like to have a rest/nap or read books. Both girls said that they read books.
And today, Friday. Drop off went smoothly. After two days of eating lunch at school, I brought them home today. It was nice to have lunch together and hear about their morning. We played for a little while after lunch. I guess I hadn't made it clear that they go back to school after lunch. Teagan told me that she wants me to pick her up for lunch everyday. They reluctantly got their shoes on to return to school (a 5 minute walk). We approached the kindergarten playground and they happily talked about the friends they would play with. After a kiss and a hug, they walked in smiling. I walked around the corner to make sure that they went to tell their teacher that they had arrived. They put their heads up and saw me. Quinn started sobbing and ran to the fence. I managed to get her to stop crying, only to have Teagan run over sobbing moments later. Once again, she begged me to take her home. She begged for me to lift her over the fence. She promised that she would go back to school after a kiss and hug. We met at the gate. She stayed true to her word and took the hand of the ECE after our hug. The tears started streaming down her face again. It never gets easy to walk away from them like that.
It's a long day for a 4-year old. The kids notice it. It is definitely going to take some time for us all to adjust. They are tired and moody by the end of the day. Teagan usually chats on the way home. I'm having some challenges with Quinn, who immediately becomes rude and mean to me upon leaving the school. I'm usually met with some grabbing (of my hand or shirt) and some yelling, "I'm hungry!" or "I'm tired!" While I understand that it's been a long and overwhelming day, I'm trying to help her understand that she can't treat me as her punching bag. Hey, I get it. You take things out on those you're closest with, but it is a tough one to rationalize after it goes on for three hours straight. I'm cutting her lots of slack, but trying to set some clear rules. I usually pick her up for some hugs and cuddles, because it seems like that's what she needs, in addition to a good snack.
It isn't even 7pm and they both just fell asleep. School has affected their sleep as well. Teagan has been having nightmares. Quinn was up for nearly 2 1/2 hours at 12am last night, struggling to settle. I've been impressed by my patience this week (usually not my strong suit). My babies are growing up and whether we're ready or not, they're moving onto a new chapter of their lives.
Teagan was shocked to learn that they will be returning to kindergarten on Monday…Can I fast forward to a month from now when it supposedly gets easier?