Thursday, September 9, 2010

Two Days Down...

Day two is over and we SURVIVED THE FIRST WEEK! WHEW!! I am so glad to have that under our belts now! I also want to thank all of you for your comments, both here and on has helped SO MUCH to have such good friends that I can lean on!

I won't sugarcoat it, this morning was horrible. Colin started digging in his heels the minute he woke up. He wouldn't even get dressed. I finally had to physically restrain him to get clothes on and then he wouldn't get in the car. He even started arching his back and screaming so that I couldn't buckle his car seat. I was sweating bullets by this point! I had to drag him out of the car and into the school and then he literally attached himself to my body. When we rounded the corner to his classroom, he really started putting on the big show! He was screaming like you have never heard with tears and his nose pouring all over the place. I thought he would surely lose his voice. I tried to pluck him off of me, which ended with him pulling my shirt almost completely off. It was crazy! His teachers had to help me and they physically extracted him from my body, which is when I made a mad dash for the car. It was brutal, but I was prepared for it. Despite the horrible beginning, I still did not get a phone call from the school. I am already getting the picture...Colin pulls it together immediately after I leave. If there was any real problem, I know that they would call me.

While Colin was at school, I went to the dentist. For the first time since he was born, I actually made my appointment the first time without having to reschedule over and over. That is a beautiful thing! I also ran some errands, which felt like heaven on earth. It is amazing how much you appreciate going to Target without a child in was so great! I came home and even managed to pick up the house! I actually ran the vacuum without having to find Colin's noise blocking head phones first! It was great to be able to get some things done. At 2pm, I went back to get the little man and it went really good. Ms. Kelli said that he was "perfect" today and had absolutely no problems. He even brought home his very first piece of artwork for the fridge! I got a little teary over that one! :-) When I got there, she was weighing him for their stat sheet and before he saw me, Ms. Kelli was holding him in her arms and he was very happy to be there. That brought me more peace than you can imagine. Colin is not quick to let anyone touch him, so to see him that comfortable being loved on by her was a dream come true. She pulled me aside and told me that she loves that he already chants "Miss Kelli!!" over and over when he wants her. She said that he is the only child in the classroom already calling her by name. I am not really shocked by that. haha! She also said, "There is just something about him...I can already tell that he is going to be one of my most special favorites. He just melts me!" How great is that?!?!? I almost kissed her! Now, Colin still told me the whole way home that he does not like school and that they did nothing fun and that he did not have a favorite part of his day because he does not like school at all. That is a direct quote. BUT, there is no way that Colin's teacher is already being "melted" by him unless he is having fun and being his usual sweet self. So I don't believe a word he is saying. ;-) When we first left, I offered to take him for ice cream. He yelled "NO" and sulked in the backseat...but then when we started to pass Blue Cherry, he changed his tune and said he wanted to go. The next thing you know, we are having ice cream together and he is laughing and having fun. So, I consider today a success!

I am absolutely going to start keeping Colin on more of a schedule. That is a great idea (thanks, Shannon!) and I know it will help. He is going to start getting up and dressed every day first thing, even if we don't have anywhere to be. I should have been doing that for a long time, since he thrives on routines. I am also going to get a big calendar over the weekend for him so that I can label the days and what we are doing during the week. It will help him to have a visual of what is going to happen next and that way he knows what to expect. He will be able to see when he has school and when he is home with Mommy and hopefully that will help him with the transitions. We have a long road ahead of us, but I feel good about it. We are going to make it! :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The First Day!

Well, we did it. Colin went to preschool. I still cannot believe it. This whole day has felt like a strange dream! It has been a VERY BIZARRE DAY!

The morning started out crazy, of course. First of all, the first bands of the hurricane moved through and we had a torrential downpour. Second, Colin slept until almost 8:00am. Seriously. The child has NEVER ONCE slept that late. He wakes up between 6 and 6:30. ALWAYS. He could stay up until midnight and wake up at 6am. However, on the first day of school in his whole life, he decides to sleep in. I had to laugh. :-) I went ahead and got up and dressed and made his sandwich before he woke up. Everything was already packed and ready to go, but Colin is a slow mover, so I knew we were going to run behind. He ate a bite of yogurt and banana and then I managed to get him dressed, despite him telling me that he did not want to go. He knew the second he woke up that today was the day and he was nervous for sure. He refused to hold his backpack or even take a picture. He did pack up Peanut and Bear Bear inside his backpack to take with him, which I think helped him feel a bit better. We had promised him that we would have breakfast at the donut shop on the way to school, but it was POURING down the point that it was coming down sideways! I attempted to suggest that we wait on the donuts, but he immediately flipped out. I ended up running inside the shop and buying him a single chocolate donut to eat in the car. That was not exactly what he had in mind, but it appeased him and kept him calm on the way there. I was soaked down to my bra at this point...awesome. We got to school and went inside and while he was still refusing to be photographed, he did seem to get a little bit excited. Jer was able to go with us and we walked back to Colin's classroom together. When we got there, he ran right inside and seemed to be thrilled at first. That made me feel better; I am glad he really seems to like the room a lot. Everyone has to wash their hands when they first arrive and Colin started to head back with Ms. Gina, until he realized that we were then going to leave. He put up a serious fight at this point. I had to walk into the classroom to get him to wash his hands (which must be done for health code purposes) and he was getting really worked up at this point. As we washed hands he began begging me not to leave him there. I thought I was going to absolutely die. "Please, Mommy! PLEASE!" was just as horrible as I thought it would be. UGH! The teacher tried to get his attention with all kinds of cool things, but he just kept yelling "NO!" at her and asking me not to leave. I finally had to just make a run for it, so I said goodbye and walked out. Ms. Kelly had to shut the door to keep him from running after me. I almost ran to the car. There were parents everywhere in the hallways and I felt everything closing in on me. It was not my best moment. This whole scene took less than 5 minutes...I did take their advice and just left instead of lingering. The only way I could do it was to take off running for the car. I cried my eyes out, of course, but once we got home I started to slowly pull it together. I watched the phone for the first two hours just knowing they would have to call me, but nothing happened. I emptied the dishwasher, put up toys and cleaned the living room. I kept myself moving as much as was SO strange to be in an utterly silent house. I finally sat down on the couch and informed Jer that it was the strangest moment of all time. Once the first couple of hours passed, I finally started to calm down. I took a shower and got dressed. Jer and I went to lunch together, just the two of us! That part was wonderful. He even took me to look at the kittens at PetsMart afterwards. :-) I realized that the day was almost done and the teachers had never called me...Colin was going to make it!

We headed back to pick Colin up at 2pm. The rain is still falling in sheets, but this time I remembered my rain boots. ;-) I was a nervous wreck walking back to the classroom...I could barely hear over my own heartbeat! We rounded the corner and Ms. Kelly spotted us. She said, "Colin! Look who is here!" We peeked in the half-door and there was Colin, sitting with several boys and playing with a puzzle toy. He was clearly LOVING this toy, because he looked up at me and smiled...but KEPT PLAYING! He didn't even get up! I was close to hysterical laughing at this point, the kind of laughter that can only come from a woman about to lose her ever loving mind. ;-) He seriously would NOT leave. He even told me that he did not want to go! Unreal. This allowed me to talk to his teacher for a bit. I found out that he had been very good, but had also behaved very true to form. He did not want to sit in a circle with the other kids for "circle time" and also did not want to sit down with the other kids at the table for a snack or lunch. He apparently also had a pretty big meltdown when Ms. Gina asked if he wanted to use the potty. Yeah...potty training will be taking a back seat for just a bit, I think. He got upset a few times over where I was, but managed to shake it off. The other good news is that even though it took some time and energy, the teachers did manage to get Colin to do what he was supposed to. They got him to sit in the circle and also got him to sit down at the table during lunch. Now, I don't know how long he actually sat, but he did eventually do it. That is great news! I think it shows a lot of promise that he stayed all day long without completely freaking out. That was all I could hope for from his first day!

We finally managed to get him to leave the class and it was quickly evident that he was mad at me. I don't know why, but I had not thought of this turn of events ahead of time. It actually never crossed my mind, but Colin was furious with me. He would not hold my hand or touch me and was actually scowling during the entire walk to the car. We asked him all kinds of questions about his day, and his answers were:

I don't like school. I don't like my teachers. They didn't have
balls. They didn't have paint. They wouldn't let me use my nap mat.
(what the heck?) I don't want to go back there. I didn't have enough to eat. I wanted you to come back.
It was not great. I saw that he was playing peacefully when we arrived, but he would admit to nothing happy. Granted, he was not smiling and was not his normal self, but he was clearly fine. I know that he must have had fun at some point! He was just too mad at me to admit to any of it. I have never truly had anger directed at me from him and it was hard to handle. My emotions today have been so insane and all over the map. When I walked up to find him playing and not wanting to leave, I was giddy with happiness. Then to see that he was deeply angry with me and hurt...that had me almost in tears again by the time we got to the car. What a day!! We were home for more than an hour before he would even let me sit beside him. He would only let "Daddy" get his juice or snack for him. I have never seen him that way before. It surprised me that he was not mad at Jer, despite the fact that he was there for both drop-off and pick-up. In his mind, I am the one who abandoned him. That is tough! He finally shook things off just a little bit ago and even managed to admit over dinner that Ms. Gina told a Barney story that he liked. One positive thing! YES! I was very happy to hear it. I sure am glad that we went ahead and started this now instead of waiting any longer. Hopefully he will be an old pro by the time kindergarten comes around! Thursday is going to be BAD. I have heard from lots of people that the second day is harder...and I can see that he is going to put up one heck of a fight when he realizes that he really does have to go back. The teachers were so sweet and I really think that everything is going to be fine! We just have to tie a knot in our rope and hang on until this tough part is past us. I can do it! Here are the only pictures we got of the day. I hope we can do better on Thursday and maybe get a smile!

Colin just entering the school. This was the closest that I got to a grin. ;-)

Me trying to convince Colin to wash his hands. That is Ms. Gina. She is wonderful!

Not a happy moment. While we washed hands, he was begging me not to leave him!
What a difference a few hours makes! This was our view when we came to pick him up! Playing with friends!
Please note that smiles for me today! However, I am so happy that he already made friends!
On the way to the car and not letting me touch him. YIKES! ;-)

Jer ran ahead and tried to get a picture. We were talking about him not having enough lunch! Goodness! He is not a happy camper...but he was a very brave boy and I am very proud of him!
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