Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bumpy Start

This morning my second grader got on the bus. He went to the back and waved, like he does every morning, behind the glass of the rear exit door until the bus rolled out of sight. And there was me at the end of my driveway as the morning commuters launched past. Did they question the sanity of the tall, spastic, goofy guy who waves at them with a stupid smile on his face?

My preschooler cried his way out of going to school this morning. Momma negotiated for about fifteen minutes in the driveway beside the car. I could hear them outside my home-office window. Tomorrow, it looks like it might be my turn to take him in. It's time for a little daddy-tough-love.


Beth said...

Scott, is there any way your wife could stay with him for a bit until he gets used to it? That probably sounds too lenient for a guy, but I'm making a pouty face for the kid. =(

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I used to fake illness to get out of school.

Never worked. My dad always saw through it.

Tee said...

Don't be too tough, Daddy.

Kids mature emotionally at different rates. Yours may be a little more attached to Mama since she's a stay-at-home-mom, whereas his peers may have a year or two of daycare under their belts.

I think he needs some reassuring and maybe the promise of a lollipop when you pick him from school if he does well.

You could even let him take a family picture in his backpack or pocket. And I recommend reading him the book called "The Kissing Hand".

Don't worry about his reputation or if the other boys will think he's a sissy. That's not an issue at this age. My (now Kindergardner), Julian, cried a few times at Pre-K last year. It had no ill affect on the amount of friends he made.

It can be hard for the kid and the Mommy. Don't be too hard on either of them.

Scott said...

Beth - The problem this morning was getting him into the car to go to school at all. But once there, they pretty much will take care of the child personally until he calms down, which they say never takes more than five minutes with their short attention spans. A parent staying prolongs the experience, and the child gets over it.

Ultra - That's what dads do! I hated preschool, and I even remember slamming my fingers in the car door I was so upset about having to go. My mom worked too, so that had to really suck.

Tee - It's funny that he is suddenly this way, having gone to the same school last year and loving it. Trouble is, there are no kids from that class in his class this year, so he is missing them.

The Kissing Hand. Thanks. I'll see if it's at my library.

As for all that business of how it affects him with his classmates, he's only three. You get a pass for a couple years to come. I've seen kindergarteners crying and haven't heard the term "crybaby" come from any of the peers yet. Jackon's in second grade, and still I haven't heard much of that kind of talk. In short, I'm not worried about that at all.

The reason I may take him to school tomorrow is that I have a thicker skin, but I'm not insensitive. Don't worry. He's still my little baby and I won't get all macho about this.

Tee said...

Scott - I know :) I guess it's a sensitive issue for me.

My husband, Carlos, as you know, can be quite the macho man. With our first son he was so strict - too much so. He wouldn't let him cry much and I found it unfair.

With our second son, Carlos' heart has melted just a bit. He realizes he was too hard on our older son and wishes he could do it over. (He's only 9 and we still have a lot of parenting to do, but still.)

Anyway - kids go through phases, as you know. Sometimes my kids will be perfectly independent, and then for some unknown cause or circumstance, get clingy for awhile. It could be something as silly as seeing a mildly scary movie (like Harry Potter), that can trigger it.

You and your wife are doing a terrific job :) Good luck.

Bernita said...

Complicated, isn't it?

Alan said...

The yin and the yang of the two-parent household.

I highly recommend. :-)

Beth said...

Scott, it didn't work like that with my kids AT ALL. I was a full-time volunteer in both of my children's classrooms and neither one cried when I had to leave them, but I suppose being teens now, I have a soft spot. I wish I had not been so hard about certain things and taken more time just to hug them ... just to love them unabashedly. You don't get those years back and you won't treasure them until they're gone. Believe it.

Scott said...

Believe me Beth, we love and hug our kids always. Just having an older son makes us appreciate our younger one. We know it all goes away. In fact, I've been aware of that since they were born. I am already going to miss them when they go away to college. I know exactly what you mean. Did you know that our younger son still sleeps in our bed at night? We soak up every moment that we can, knowing that the little things, such as that good morning smile when we wake up in the morning, that little face just watching us sleep, or that wave my older son gives me on the bus, the vulnerability he is willing to show us still. There is a lot of love in our house, and I realize just how much sometimes when I how it is in other homes, or especially when I compare things to my own upbringing, or my wife's. I hope I'm not coming off as cold when it comes to bringing Emmett to preschool. It's not that way at all. It's for two hours a day. He loved it last year, and he needs to adjust this year. In the end, he has a great time, but there is some separation anxiety now that we have to work through.