Our 2 1/2 year old has been under nanny care since he was about 9 months old. He is now 2 1/2 and this Monday he finally started pre-school. My wife and I were pretty nervous that he wouldn't make the transition very well and with good cause. Fortunately I was able to take him to a couple summer school classes and get him used to the surroundings and the teacher.
On Monday we woke up and we were already behind the eight ball and running behind schedule. Mainly because the boy woke up at 4am and walked into our room holding his missing sock in his hand. I escorted him back to his room, put on his sock, and we lied in bed until he fell back asleep. So back to the story. He usually has breakfast in the morning, but since we were running late, we tried to shove a couple blueberry muffins in his mouth before we left for school. We only got 1 1/2 in there, criminy.
We had been prepping him for the big day and he kept telling us he didn't want to go to school. He knew it was coming. My wife left first after about half an hour and I stayed. My boy had a little melt down right before snack time, partially because he didn't want me to leave and partially because he was starving. Their snack time is about half an hour past the time we usually do snack time at home. That made for a slight scene with the teacher and oodles of tears. I was trying to engage all of the other children while my kid was sitting there crying. Yikes.
The teacher was finally ready to try the separation and she told me to tell the boy I was leaving and then I'd come back. I tried to be quick about it, but it was tough, because he started crying and he had a death grip on my arm and I had to peel him off and not look back. I walked to the parking lot and sat in my car and listened for my boy. I couldn't hear him, so I pulled out my laptop and started catching up on some work emails. About ten minutes later, one of the teachers came out and told me that he was doing fine and he was helping the teacher clean up. I was so relieved that I Blackberry'd my wife and told her the good news.
About a half hour later my wife showed up and we went in to collect our son. He was very happy to see us and my wife got a little teary eyed. The teacher reassured us that all went well and that she was pleased with his progress. We had a sigh of relief and we were proud.
Today was day 2 of class and we were amazed at the transition. We were only there for 20 minutes and then we made the break. No crying this time and no phone call from the teacher. We went home and did work for a couple hours. My wife and I returned 10 minutes before school was over and we snuck into the classroom for story time. At first our son didn't see us, but about 5 minutes later, he noticed us and he got so excited and almost got teary eyed. He waited until story time was over to get out of his seat and then came over to say hi to us. We were so proud of him and so excited to see his reaction when he saw us. The smile and cheer was priceless...