The Dancing Queen had a blast at her 'nother school.
Leaving him all alone in that big school was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a mother. I kept wanting to call to check in on him like I did when he was 3 months old and I dropped him off at day care for the first time, but I couldn't. Instead, I sat and worried, thinking of every possibility that could go wrong, like what if he doesn't know to ask if he has to use the bathroom and gives himself a bladder infection (we had a problem like that with him when he first started at his last preschool). Or what if can't get his lunch food open and is starving? And my biggest fear was if he would make it to his after school program okay.
I'd like to say none of my fears were realized, but that is not quite true. I was way more worried than necessary, but TRex didn't eat much of his lunch and was STARVING for an early dinner (worked out okay because he finally gave chili a chance and loved it). TRex was excessively thirsty because he was told the drinking fountain was broken, so he couldn't have water. I asked him why he didn't drink the water I packed and his answer was that the teacher at the afterschool program didn't know he had water (he didn't think to tell them). As soon as the Mad Scientist got to TRex, he immediately asked if he could drink his water and then guzzled the entire container. My poor baby.
And that wasn't the worst part about the day. My biggest fear came to life as well. TRex felt abandoned at the afterschool program. School got out at 3:45 and the Mad Scientist was there within 45 minutes, but when he arrived, TRex was in tears. All day, he had been taken places, shown what to do, with lots of new friends and classmates, then he was just left in a huge gym with a couple of other kids and a teacher who he didn't know (even though we introduced him this morning). TRex wanted me and he wanted the Mad Scientist and we weren't there. And it breaks my heart.
I was a latchkey kid (well not really because I went home by myself and my sister, not to a school program). I remember being the last kid left some place. I remember the waiting for my parents. I don't remember being sad about it, but I remember it being hard (and I was probably sad at points). I also know that in time, it will be okay. I just wish TRex could learn this lesson at a little older, but I don't have the luxury of not working, so we'll do the best we can now (it still breaks my heart).
TRex and I developed a game plan. First, when I drop him off tomorrow for the before school program (which is the same as the after school program), we are going to look for books to read for him. I'm going to talk to the before/after school program coordinator about TRex wanting a drink and not knowing how to ask for it. TRex has been told that if he is thirsty, he is allowed to ask for a drink. And most importantly, TRex knows that he will be able to read books at the end of the day while he waits for his daddy to pick him up. And we have reinforced that he will always be picked up.
Once these issues are worked out, which I know will take time, I think TRex will do really well. He was very excited about everything else. He told us about classmates, stories, his Spanish teacher, and eating lunch by the windows. He is looking forward to a real recess too. Apparently, they were running late today and didn't get to really play.
So, we survived. Tomorrow, we will work on enjoying more. And, hopefully, some time soon, school will be easy and fun!