Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting back on track

We thought we were all getting perfectly adjusted to preschool. For the first 2 weeks, Jack clearly enjoyed himself there, slept and ate better, and came home buzzing with enthusiasm. He did not seem to miss me when I dropped him off, though was always pleased to see me when I came back to take him home.

Then we hit a little bump. Last Wednesday Jack fell asleep at preschool, and I had to go pick him up and bring him home. This was the prelude to a little cold, and he spent the weekend crabby and napping, which threw off his sleep schedule.

So Monday rolled around and I filled in for an ill teacher during Jack's preschool shift. He was still a bit tired and wanted to go home early, so we did. I kept things mellow on Tuesday, and he continued to recover from his cold. Wednesday was my first preschool snack day -- I brought melon, red pepper strips, and zucchini bread with cream cheese for all the kids, and Jack "helped" me set that up in the preschool kitchen. Then he didn't want me to leave. Over and over he said "ready for mommy to pick me up now." I hung out a bit longer, and after consulting the pm director, kissed him goodbye and took off. According to the director, he cried for awhile and then pretty much moped around. When I came back to pick him up after 2 hours, he was starting to warm up to the idea of preschool, but was still a bit low. Jack finally did not nap and had a decent (and somewhat early) sleep last night, so I'm hoping that will put him back on the no nap/early bedtime/sleep until past 6am train again. Toot toot.

Today both Hans and I approached the preschool topic gingerly with him. He said a few times he didn't want to go, and I countered with "you'll just go for a little while and then I'll pick you up," which seemed ok. When we got there he said again "ready to pick up now," and his chin quivered a bit. I read him one book and then kissed him goodbye. I know the director will call if he's beyond coping, so I'm watching the clock and listening for the phone until his early pick up time.

This has been a good lesson for me. I've had to really scale back my expectations and desires for what I want preschool to be like for me, and focus on what's best for Jack. I had hoped to get some good 4 hour chunks to write, cook, maybe even lounge about (gasp!), but that's not really happening now. It will at some point. Right now I need to be patient and give him more emotional support when we're together at home, rather than letting him play by himself and trying to squeeze in one more load of laundry or email. I see the difference when I stay to close to him -- he is more secure and less whiny. So instead of a rest time before we headed off to school, today I read with him.

I'll update tomorrow how things went for him today....

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