Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preschool: An update

Yesterday, the lovely and thoughtful Becky sent me a note wishing me luck on preschool drop off (and also lamenting the suddenly freezing weather) and it occurred to me that I haven't updated you all on how all that is going.  So.

If you'll recall, two weeks Oscar had become quite nervous about school, particularly about Lunch Bunch (LB) and was getting very upset and argumentative about going to school and LB.  My strategies were not to over talk things, remain calm when Oscar got worked up, and to reaffirm his feelings and reassure him.

I continued those strategies, but I also implemented some excellent ideas I got from you, readers!  Both Frogs in My Formula and Anymommy suggested I send him to school with some family photos, which I did; and Monica at Susanica suggested I write him a little note and I did that as well.

I started doing both the photos and the notes last week, and his teacher reported that he loved them, so I've kept that up.  As of last Friday (as a reminder, he only goes to school on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) he was no longer telling me he did not want to go to school or that he did not like LB.  He has actually been excited about both (now, go knock on wood for me, okay?).

The first day I noticed the change was last Thursday, the first day I put the photos and note in his lunch.  Oscar had been weepy and telling me he did not want to go to school all morning.  I had all the kids suited up to go, and I need to run up stairs and use the bathroom.  I took Benji with me and left Oscar and Miles downstairs.  A moment later, when I was coming down the stairs, I witnessed Oscar give Miles a very hard two-hand push to the chest that resulted in Miles flying backward about a foot, landing on his bottom, and almost cracking his head against one of our metal radiators.  Oscar did not know he was being watched.

"Oscar Dominic!  What on earth do you think you are doing!  You cannot push your brother like that.  He could have gotten really hurt. [Note: Miles was unharmed and not even crying] That's a time out!"

"But Mommy, I can't have a time out! I have to go school today!"

A complete 180 to avoid time out.  Now, normally I'd have had him sit his three minutes on the steps no matter what, but we were already running late (due to massive pants pooping and general toddler assholery) and the cleaning people were there so I didn't want to deal with a scene.  I forced an apology and we left.

When we got to the school, Oscar went in without argument, I helped him hang up his coat, and then I left without so much as a tear.  I told the teacher about the photos and note and that was that.

I came to pick him up after LB that day and Oscar ran up to me and said, "Mommy!  I wasn't nervous in Lunch Bunch today!" and he was just so proud of himself.  The teachers tell me he loves the photos and the notes so I've kept doing that and yesterday, when we got to the school, he skipped ahead of me with his friend R, put on his hand sanitizer all by himself and went into the classroom without me.  I barely got a kiss goodbye.  He hung up his own bag on his hook and took off his hoodie by himself and hung that up as well.

And that, was that.  

Today, they are going on a nature walk and Oscar can't wait.  When I told him that he did not have LB today (they have staff meeting the first Thursday of each month) he was very disappointed.  He's a like a different kid.

When I pick him up at the playground, he shouts "MOMMY!" and runs into my arms at full speed, chattering about his day.   I'm so relieved that Oscar is adjusting, but I have to admit I'm kind of glad to know he still misses me, he still needs me.  I mean, how many more years of those flying hugs to you think I have?  Not many, I bet.


Michele said...

So glad to hear that Oscar is finally into school. New things are always scary.

Fickle Cattle said...

Those are great ideas! Will send a link of this post to my sister, she's having a bit of trouble with her eldest.

I am Fickle Cattle.

Aliceson said...

That's wonderful that's he's coming around to liking school. It can be a big adjustment but it sounds like you are doing all of the right things.

VandyJ said...

I still get flying hugs from my seven year old but I think these days are numbered. I'm enjoying them while they last.

Keely said...

Yay! I'm glad that's working!

I don't get the flying hugs at all, so I'm pretty jealous.

Jan said...

You know, even at 15 I still get hugs from The Young One, especially when he's feeling stressed or is upset about something. Heck, Oldest Son is 27 and calls me when he's sick, just to hear mother's sympathetic voice.

They're going to need you in some way all of their lives, Jenni.

Anonymous said...

I get flyimg hugs from my littles still, 9 and 7. Glad Oscar is doing well with the whole school drop-off, it can be a nightmare.

Sprite's Keeper said...

I don't get flying hugs anymore. :-( In fact, most of the time, the kids are doing their own thing when I come to pick Sprite up, so I'll usually be told to "wait until I finish" whatever she is doing. Then I have to force a hug out of her before I hand over the snack.

Becky said...

I'm expecting a flying hug from Hank at his college graduation. I mean, that's normal, right??

I am so glad he's warming up to the school idea. I am not surprised, either, because you are really giving it the full-court mama press. Nice job with the notes and all!

Kat said...

Kiki barely acknowledges me anymore when I drop her off at school. I am glad she is adjusted but I would like a kiss before I leave dammit.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jenni, I really, really like your idea of tucking in the note & picture. That's awesome that such a little thing has helped change Oscar's attitude about preschool.

Amy said...

Wow--nicely played, Mom! :) Sounds like he's doing great. And those flying hugs are awesome...Nate is usually bummed when I come get him--he wants to keep playing! Maybe one day he'll give me one!

Frogs in my formula said...

I'm glad the transition is going better. We turned a corner too, and it's a wonderful feeling. Love those "Mommy I am so happy to see you!" hugs at the end of the day.