At 10:30 we marched down the hall back to the classrooms and the doors were open. When I entered the room, Daniel was sitting on one of his teacher’s laps, reading a book. The teacher told us he had cried when two other toddlers crowded him while playing, but that the crying ended quickly. I heaved a sigh of relief and held out my arms, and he ran to me. I picked him up and carried him out to MIL’s car, and he wrapped his arms around my neck and buried his head in my shoulder.
We had survived the first day of preschool.
Daniel is a little slow to warm up to strangers, especially other kids. I know that this behavior is pretty normal for his age, but it makes me worry about whether he will embrace preschool. I think he will. Eventually. He likes the toys, and he likes the teachers, but the jury is still out on the other kids.His preschool is a church-run preschool. MIL and I researched many preschools and visited a few. We visited the preschool associated with the Catholic church at which he was baptized, but we agreed that we didn’t like it. It was kind of dark and gloomy, and the director was terse and smug because they had a waiting list. I didn’t feel like she actually liked children either, so we crossed it off our list.
We both had a really good feeling from the preschool we chose as soon as we toured it. They were welcoming, and the director obviously loved children and cared deeply about the preschool experience. And even though I am not religious and normally shy away from religiously-affiliated activities, I felt that my Doodle would be safe, protected and cared for there. My instinct was confirmed when J and I had to travel to Florida suddenly for his father’s funeral. We would be gone during the preschool lottery for non-members and making sure we were able to secure a place was a big concern. MIL called the director, explained the situation, and she let us register early, and that kind act secured my loyalty.As the first day of preschool approached, my anxiety has increased. Daniel has been cared for by us and his grandparents almost exclusively since birth. I know he isn’t used to other children and is a bit reserved by nature, so I know preschool will be good for him, but oh how I have worried. I have worried that he won’t adapt and will hate preschool. I have worried that he will think we have abandoned him. The preschool gave us literature on separation anxiety intended to help our children, but in some ways, I think I am having separation anxiety.
As of today, Daniel’s first week of preschool is over. He didn’t cry today but according to his teachers, he needed lots of hugs, which they are happy to give him until he feels comfortable.
My sweet boy. I’m glad he’s in a preschool that will give him the comfort he needs and let him adjust at his pace. I’m sure that making friends with the other little boys and girls will follow.