Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All true adventurers need to occasionally anchor their ships

Not surprisingly, BOY's reality has set in. He's suddenly aware that he is going to a new school. And that he's there to stay. It is a usual pattern for him. His sense of adventure and curiosity about new places carries him for a few weeks, and then once the routine is established...he looks around and is a little thrown by what he takes inside himself. This time he is dealing with separation anxiety from me, and I think from GIRL. E has been home more, so he may be thinking we're all having fun at home while he goes off to school.

It's been challenging to get him up for school in the morning. Naturally a morning person, and until the last few months the first one to wake up, now he can sleep in until 7 or 7:30am. The bus arrives at 6:55am.... So, I have to get him awake, dressed and fed by that time. It is slightly torturous. Luckily, him being a morning person, makes it easier. Once he's up, he's up and moving. But, I don't enjoy feeling like I have an electric cow prod in hand for the first 15 minutes...

The wonder of the bus has worn off a bit. Yesterday he didn't want to go to school or ride the bus. So, I compromised by driving him to school, and once he saw his friends and his teachers he was fine. When I picked him up, his teachers said that he had a great day. An art teacher comes on Tuesdays to the class, and they made a collage with feathers, twigs and pom poms. Of course, when he saw his friends getting on the bus to go home, THEN he wanted to ride the bus. So, I talked to him about how he couldn't do that this time, as he had made the decision to not ride the bus that day. He took it in, pretty well, but was really disappointed. I took that as a positive sign, because he once again wanted to ride the bus.

This morning was less difficult, but he did express that he didn't want to go to school and be away from me. I emphasized the fun he has chatting with Miss Anita, the morning bus driver, and that his friends were really looking forward to seeing him. They missed him yesterday! Miss Anita is one of those wonderful warm and cozy kind of people. She really enjoys BOY, and was surprised by this new change in BOY's reluctance to ride the bus. BOY brings a stuffed animal, and as of this week, his special blanket aboard the bus. When he gets to school, he puts everything in his back pack. Miss Anita encourages this, so that BOY feels supported. He will decide in his own time, when he is ready to leave his security objects at home.

I feel confident that we are just going through a phase right now with BOY. Whenever I ask him about his time at school, he always describes it as "GREAT!" He didn't do that before at his previous schools - describe his mornings as GREAT. It feels like it is going to be a good fit. I am happy that he has been able to express himself emotionally, in words, with what is going on with him. He's been able to talk about feeling scared, his tummy hurting, missing his friends from his previous preschool, and missing me. Although it is emotionally hard for me to see him uncomfortable, I do know that talking through this and following through is important. Life is often uncomfortable, and I don't want to overprotect him. However... All true adventurers need to occasionally anchor their ships. And to come out of life's stormy seas. When my little adventurer sails back in, I plan to provide a safe harbor...

***"Sailing Ship in a Storm" by Robert Kimball.

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  1. I'm sure you're right and it's just a phase. I'm paying close attention to all of this, since we'll start this in the fall. We're skipping the bus altogether though. It comes to our house at 6:25 and school doesn't start till 8:30. And the driver of this particular bus is insane. I try to make sure I'm not on the road early in the morning or around 3:30 in the afternoon.

  2. I know what you mean about them feeling like they are missing something at home. Mark never forgets to ask me what his sister and I did while he was away. It's a little heartbreaking that he feels like he is missing out. Even though he is having way more fun at school than he would at home.

    Sounds like you are handling the stormy seas very well.

    And lastly, I love the art work you are now featuring on your blog. It feel like I get a touch of culture when I come to see you.

  3. He's grieving the loss poor little dude. I feel for him but he sounds like he'll rebound pretty quick since he's in such a great new school.

  4. The bus comes at 7?! This is preschool, right? That seems so early! Dylan gets up between 7-7:30 and even then, I have to drag my tired butt out of bed.

    It is great that he is expressing his emotions about the new school. All new things are hard, even for adults! Heck, especially for adults!

  5. so sweet and you are guiding him through it just right.

    we are just beginning to think about switching schools next year and i am freaking out. i don't want to, but i think it is time...

  6. I love that the first school-related person that he sees each morning is Miss Anita-warm and cozy and encouraging. Every kid needs that.

  7. My son is not a morning person and I still use a sticker calendar to incent him in the morning. If he does well, (meaning he does not have a host of unnecessary delays or meltdowns), a sticker goes on the calendar. When he gets 10 stickers (we started with 5 until he got good at it), he gets a special treat.

  8. This is such a milestone for him. And the fact that he can talk about it with you is wonderful. He is working it through and he will come out on the other side. You are so compassionate and so good for him - challenging him yet letting him know that you will be there if he needs you.

    What a brave little guy he is.

  9. I'm willing to bet he will sail right through this just's wonderful that he's expressing his feelings about the change.

    But 6:55, really? Wow.


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