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.