Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's official!

Yes, Pete is a normal preschool attendee now. He had his first full day without mommy today!!!

Admittedly, I was a complete and utter wreck. I'm not sure when I had become one of THOSE mothers but it appears the transformation indeed snuck up on me. Last Thursday (he goes Tues/Thurs mornings only) I was the parent volunteer, so I was around a lot, although did have to leave the room a number of times to do different chores and things. He was very good, hardly fussed at all when I left for 5-10 minutes at a time. So his teacher said today he would be ready for me to leave for good.

Yes, SHE was ready, and PETER was ready, but did anyone consider that I might not be ready???? I mean, didn't I give birth to him? Yeah, that's right, I was that woman who pushed him out med-free and breast-fed him for a year and cuddled him when he needed it . . . and . . . you get the picture.

I didn't sleep last night. Hardly a wink. I had stomach aches and total anxiety this morning, the whole drive there and the whole morning. I was shocked to see how physically I was showing symptoms of my anxiety. It wasn't too bad - just faster heartbeat and some quick breathing . . . but still!!!! I'm a grown woman, a mother - who acts like this? I really was having flashbacks to a year ago when he was in that other program (known to those familiar with it as Duffer Doo) where we were "asked kindly to leave" after he screamed for six weeks.

He cried when I left - and clearly, being an educated and sometimes-with-it individual, I expected. I had to bite my tongue to the point it bled not to cry myself. I know how important it is for me NOT to show anxiety or stress so I hugged him, told him I loved him and said goodbye. I got in the van and realized David was with his grandmother for the morning.

What the hell was I going to do with myself???? I hadn't really thought that far ahead. So I went to get gas for the van, got a coffee (totally splurged - a vanilla latte, a decaf at that), staring at my cell phone the whole time. The teacher said they would *not* let him cry or carry on for long before calling me. More time passed. My cell's tune didn't beckon. It's silver little casing never vibrated. I went across the street to Motherhood Maternity and bought a dress for the wedding I'm going to this weekend. Went and bought a purse to match it at Winners.

Now it's 10:15 a.m. - I pick him up at 11:30!!!!! I could never last that long. I was going nuts, I called home four times in case they called there and left a message. You know, in case they couldn't actually READ the two numbers I clearly left on my registration form - my CELL number and my HOME number. I finally gave in and went back to the parking lot at the school and proceeded to knit for the last hour.

Am I the most pathetic person ever, or what?

When I arrived back inside I went to peek in their two way mirror. Pete was playing quietly alone. No crying. No tears. No broken limbs. No broken hearts. I was SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED and more SHOCKED.

When the teacher (I love you Janet, you have changed my life) opened the door to let the children out, Pete ran straight for me and gave me a hug - STILL no tears. She said he did very well. He cried five minutes this morning then stopped (they play outside the first 45 minutes every morning). She said transitions were difficult and that that is normal, but that if he cried/fussed for a minute he was easily redirected by her. He even let her comfort him by hugging him once when he said he missed me. :o :o :o

Clearly, I am way beyond thrilled and never thought I would reach this point. This child has had such severe separation anxiety since about 6 months old I can count how often I've been away from him on my hand. He is ready, I am ready, and this is going to be so good for all of us this year.

I'm not delusional either. I expect he will cry when I leave for a number of weeks, that he will have good days and bad days (just like we all do). But he never once said "I never want to go back there" or "I hate it there" or "I was hurt when you left me there" - these are all good things in my book!!!

Now if McGuinty wins the election and mandates full day four year old kindergarten next year, I'll have another battle on my hands!!! ;-)

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