The weather is still warm, but fall is on its way—and in some ways it has already arrived for our family.
N started preschool this week. Previously, she was in day care 3 ½ days a week, so the transition wasn’t too dramatic—after an initial 5-minute freakout N calmed down. Her teachers said she adjusted quickly. When I picked her up she exclaimed, “Mom, I had a great day at preschool!” By her second day, she wanted to stay at preschool and keep playing!
For N, the start of preschool also meant giving up something very dear to her—her “bobu” (pacifier). Her preschool doesn’t allow pacifiers at nap, which we didn’t know. We had to quickly figure out the most painless way of phasing it out.
Recalling tips from other parents, we told N that big kids who go to preschool don’t use “bobus.” We explained that we could put hers in a box and take them to the babies at her old day care. She liked that idea so we did it (well, we pretended to take them to the day care). So far, she’s been without her dear bobus for a few days, and while she has cried for them a few times, she goes to sleep without them. Hallelujah!
Now that N is approaching her 3rd birthday in October, we thought it would be fun to try out a couple of new physical activities for the fall and winter months. We tried soccer camp but N didn’t want to participate. She stayed on the sidelines with us the whole time, while all the other kids were out running after the ball.
I wasn’t too surprised at her reaction, since N isn’t really a soccer gal. But I thought for sure she would like dance class—she loves wearing her tutu and pretending to be a ballerina. She’s even been asking to take dance classes.
But when we tried dance class, N clung to me and wouldn’t go into the room. I tried encouraging her to go in, step by step, and even sat with her on the side and tried some of the moves. But she wouldn’t have it. She refused to leave my side and started crying. So, we left.
Before we went, N said she was scared and didn’t want to go to dance class. I told her that she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do. But as we left the class, I couldn’t help feeling bewildered and a little disappointed—here was my confident girl, too scared to go into the room! She’s usually a very independent girl who loves doing things for herself like pouring her own juice and trying to brush her teeth. She handled her transition to preschool very maturely. So what’s the deal with dance class??
I’m not sure I have the answer, but I do feel like every new thing we try helps me know my daughter a little better, and paves the way for how we will handle changes to come…