Trying on a New Pair of Shoes: The Preschool Change is Going to Take Time for Both My Little Girl & Me

Just a little under a week ago, my daughter attended school for the first time. Tuesday was great. On Wednesday, she was still excited! Then on Thursday, the inevitable happened. When I picked up my three year old, the teacher said, “Quinn was a little sad today and cried a few times asking for you and her daddy.” As I looked at my little girl’s facial expression and imagined her crying, my chest tightened, and my throat became dry. “Oh, she did!” I then turned to console my daughter while trying to be positive and asking, “How was your day, sweetie?” With a unchanged face and monotone voice, she said, “Good.”

While on the car ride home, she asked why I left her at school for so long and didn’t come for her. She was upset that I wasn’t there to watch her play and do different activities. When we got home, I emptied her lunch bag and saw that for the third time in a row she barely touched her lunch. To focus on the positive and to get her mind off of the major change, we played a little in the playroom and got dinner ready, she seemed to be fine, but right before bed she asked, “Do I have to go to school tomorrow too?” To which I asked, “Don’t you like school? School is fun!” “Yes, but you aren’t there, Mommy!” I tried to convince her that school was just for her to not only learn but to meet new friends and do different lessons and activities with the teacher.

The next morning she claimed, “My leg is bothering me, Mommy, so I can’t go to school today.” “I think you’ll be just fine,” I reassured her. When I dropped her off, I was a bit nervous wondering if she would cry or be extremely upset. It would break my heart seeing her cry, and I would have a limited amount of time to comfort her because I had to get to work to teach one of my classes. Surprisingly, she smiled when she saw the teacher and eagerly went off with her after giving me a big hug and kiss. I smiled and said, “Have a great day, honey!” She responded, “You have a great day too, Mommy!”

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked her up but prayed that she had a fun day and enjoyed herself. I arrived a little earlier so that I could see her doing an activity since she said she was upset that I did not see her doing one, and she was happy to see me but then quickly exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m not ready to go yet!” What a wonderful phrase to hear and a sharp contrast from that Thursday. I know it’s going to be tough at times walking in these new shoes of change with many ups and downs as we both continue to become accustomed to Quinn attending school, but it certainly makes the time we spend together that much more special.

All the best,

Tanya

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