Big Transition #2

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Tomorrow my son starts preschool. He’s been with my in-laws since I left maternity leave almost two years ago. For the first year and a half I picked him up at 1pm, but these past two months he been with them until 4:30 or 5pm. He has never been in a group care setting of any kind.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day.

This week is going to be a hard week. For him. For me. For all of us.

In preparing for this transition, I’ve realized what a huge transition my daughter going to Kindergarten was for me. I hadn’t anticipated how stressful it would be for me, how much would change in my life. Looking back on these past 2 months I realize the transition has been as significant for me as it has been for my daughter. We’ve both been learning our new roles and managing uncertainty. We’re both unsure of what each day, let alone the rest of the year, holds. It’s all just been a lot more unsettling than I anticipated.

And now my son is starting school and the other half of our family will experience the same upheaval the rest of us are still recovering from. My poor boy will be thrust into an unfamiliar environment, surrounding by people he doesn’t know, speaking a language he can’t understand (I wasn’t great about speaking Spanish with him when he was younger and by the time I started to try, he was very much opposed). All I can do is hope that he will know that his teachers care for him, that he will make friends and enjoy playing with them and that he’ll thrive in his new environment.

And I hope that my husband and I can manage this transition with a little more grace than we did our daughter starting Kindergarten. That really did knock us on our asses. And I know this will too, because my husband’s morning routine is completely different now that he has to take my son to school on the bus. I just hope we can be there for each other, and for our kids, as we all get used to our new reality. It’s going to be a rough couple of weeks, but I think we’ll get there.

This past week, and especially weekend, were totally insane. It felt like every moment of every day was scheduled. I took tomorrow off so I could take my son to his first day, and hang around for a bit if he needed me there. I scheduled myself a couple of hours to get a chair massage at the mall and do the grocery shopping that didn’t get done Saturday or Sunday. Then I’m off to my daughter’s class to be a parent helper after lunch and then two hours volunteering at her school’s book fair. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a day off, but I’m looking forward to the change in pace, before I get thrust back into my regularly scheduled programming, with the added static of a boy who is coming to terms with a massive change.

I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Which transitions have you found more challenging that you anticipated? 

8 Comments

  1. Good luck! Is this the same preschool your daughter went to? If so, at least you’ve got that in your favor. And the Spanish will be fine – I saw so many kids enter J’s preschool speaking no English, and within a few months they were totally adjusted.

  2. I hope it goes well! I think this one may be easier (for you, anyways) since you’ve been through it before. Kindergarten has ended up being a much bigger change for all of us than we initially recognized. Its a whole real-school big-kid world I just wasn’t ready for!

  3. Fingers crossed your day goes smoothly. And all this new change doesn’t stress everyone out (easier said than done, I know) but I always forget how resilient kids are in situations like these. And yeah, Kindergarten was tough for us. I thought it would be easier with her going to Pre-K. Nope. Agh.

  4. Hope he finds ALL THE KIDS to be wonderful. There will be changes, huge ones, for him; but hoping he is a child whose personal equilibrium is not easily battered. Your daughter is super sensitive to change, crossing my fingers your son is different.
    Good wishes to you all.
    And So Special that now he will have Super Exciting Big Boy time with daddy! Nice for both of them.

  5. I think any new school is difficult. So far the new school in a new place has been heinous for the Kid but it’s improving sometimes. I found the transition to daycare much easier than expected for both girls because the other kids and/or great toys were exciting so kindergarten and then first and then second grade were especially startlingly difficult. Smooth sailing ahead for you all!

  6. I’ve been reading all of your posts, but am just getting around to commenting on this one. I hope things went well (or better than expected) with his transition. And, I hope your day off felt relaxing and productive.

  7. A lot of transitions I really worried about turned out to be not so bad (sleep training 1st, both starting daycare–1st was 2y7mo; 2nd was 8 mo, both when converting their crib to bed, etc.)

    One transition I worried somewhat about but thought maybe I was overworrying about, but which did in fact turn out to be hard was when I brought #2 home. I had read big sister books etc. but wasn’t really sure she got it. Then she took it hard and I felt horribly guilty. #1 was 23 mo and speech delayed at that time so it was hard. And it was about 4-5 mo until she seemed to have gotten over it.

    Also unepexpectedly hard was #2’s currently nighttime shenanigans. #1 was a terrible sleeper until 6 mo/Ferber. #2 was a dream baby sleeper. She’s 35 mo now and for a couple months has been trying to push bedtime limits (has to go potty, needs a tissue, needs her blanket adjusted, etc.) #1 did very little of that. We thought we had hit the jackpot sleepwise with #2 but now we are suffering.

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