As our family gradually settles into our new fall routine, I’m beginning to feel more settled too. When N started preschool about a week and a half ago, it seemed that everything in our orderly home was thrown off balance—not with our schedules, which didn’t change much, but with our comfortable, happy family dynamic.
N went through about a week of very trying behavior that had me and G nearly pulling our hair out, asking each other, “Who is this child??” She wouldn’t listen to us at all, acted out, cried a lot over every little thing, and had a hard time going to sleep on her own.
It was clear that she was reacting to the big transitions she was undergoing—preschool was a huge change from her beloved little day care, with new teachers and kids and none of her old friends, but that wasn’t the only change. She gave up her dear old “bobu” (her pacifier, which she used since infancy to go to sleep) AND she’s potty training.
I don’t blame N for being stressed out with all those changes. In fact, I must admit that I was also quite stressed during that week—more than once I saw a little thought-bubble over G’s head that said something like, “Oh great—TWO crying females in this house?!?”
Although I knew N’s behavior would very likely calm down and she would return to her normal happy, somewhat-less-dramatic self, I couldn’t help but have normal mama worries—like, is this preschool what we thought it was? Are they nurturing her enough? Is this going to be a total disaster from which we’ll have to withdraw her and send her back to day care??
G was terrific—any time I expressed my worries to him and we talked about it, I wound up feeling better. He reminded me that N loves to learn and will be exposed to an age-appropriate “curriculum” in preschool; that she is absorbing a great deal about social interaction by playing with other kids, which will help her when she starts kindergarten; and that she will (hopefully!) build self-confidence with each little success in her new environment.
N still cries a little when we drop her off, but only for a few minutes. Bit by bit, she’s settling into our new routine and is returning to her normal, happy, well-behaved self.
Of course, I still tear up a bit as I pack her backpack or label her lunch with a big black sharpie. G—I see that thought bubble above your head—don’t worry about N, she’s just fine. It’s mama you’ll have to console! 😉