June 2, 2011

Pre-School

After nearly 4 months of waiting (and 4 months overdue), PK has finally started attending the pre-school at daycare. I have to say that while I was looking forward to having her start in the more age-appropriate room, I was a little nervous about the transition. The staffing changes in her toddler room, had caused PK to start freaking out every time we dropped her off at school. I'd be there for 10 minutes trying to comfort her as she'd try to climb on me for extra-long hugs and kisses. I eventually had to leave, and while some days she'd be calm when I left, other days, she'd be crying. I hate to leave her when she's crying like that.

This also affected our bed-time routine. What used to be a pretty quick bed-time routine had turned into a 45-minute torture fest of having to go up to her room multiple times after she went to bed, just to get her to fall asleep. (Aside: the book Go the F to Sleep couldn't have been more fitting at that time.) It got worse after her ECE, Shirley, whom PK loved dearly, decided to leave the daycare and work at another location. And of course, going on vacation didn't help, because for one week, she not only slept in the same room with us, we'd sit with her in her bed until she'd fall asleep.

Fast-forward to this last week. By that time, miraculously, drop-offs started being painless. She started telling me that she would give me a kiss and a hug before I left, and then happily went about her business in the room. Bed-time routine improved quite a bit too, as the hubby somehow convinced her that she didn't need to keep crying for us after going to bed, because he would be at the bottom of the stairs while she fell asleep. Somehow that jived with her.

So when the daycare staff started to transition her into the new room, you can imagine my surprise when I was told that she was having an absolute blast, and that the staff were totally impressed with her - what parent doesn't like to hear that about their kid? It probably helped that she started the day in the toddler room and then spent the latter half of the day in the pre-school. Monday, however, was a different ballgame. It was PK's first full day at the pre-school. I had warned her that we were no longer going into her old room at the beginning of the day. She was okay with that, until we went inside. Then she started crying. Fortunately, it stopped soon after, when a kid said he had to go to the bathroom, and then she said she needed to go as well. Whatever works, right?

Subsequent days have been even better. Every day, she is totally stoked to be at the pre-school. She can't wait to go inside, and wants nothing to do with her old room. I think she really likes the older kids in the room. I always jokingly say to the hubby that PK would love to have an older sister. Alas, the laws of physics cannot be changed.

Of course, the fact that PK loves the pre-school so much makes me a bit frustrated too. Because she has waited FOUR MONTHS to get in. FOUR MONTHS of being in a room with younger and younger kids, having her development being potentially stifled. I suppose I shouldn't dwell on that. At least it was just four months. And she's thriving now, and that's what matters.

And the fact that she's thriving now is bitter-sweet for me right now, because in September, she'll be going to her new Montessori pre-school. I'm totally psyched about that. I think it will be great to get to know more of the kids in our neighborhood. At the same time, I'm a bit sad. I love PK's daycare. I love the staff and the parents. And PK loves her new friends. It kind of sucks to pull her away from that. At the same time, she would've only had another 2 years at daycare before I had to pull her away and put her into an elementary school, where the kids would've already all known each other because they'd all gone to kindergarten together. I guess this is the lesser of the two evils. And she's better off than I was growing up. We'd move every 2 or 3 years, it seemed, so I never had roots down anywhere. Plus I was and still am a creature of habit. Change was not something that I embrace well.

But this isn't supposed to be a sad post. It's a happy post. And I'm happy that PK is doing well. I'm happy that she looks forward to going to school. I hope that she feels the same way when she starts in her new school. I think that the fact that her pre-school room at daycare is Montessori will help a lot, because she'll be in familiar territory. And unlike me, while PK is adverse to change, she seems to embrace it a hell of a lot better than I do. That's progress!

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