No Tears This AM!!!

Today marks Charlotte’s fourth week of school (she only attends on Thursday and Friday mornings). Last week I had noticed a huge difference. On Thursday when I picked her up, she was SO happy… not to be picked up, but just to be there. Her smile and adorable demeanor said that she had an amazing day.

Then, on Friday, after we dropped her coat off in her cubby, she started walking into her classroom by herself (normally she demands that I hold her). She made it halfway, but stopped because the teacher and administrator were standing in the doorway. Still… a HUGE milestone. Not to mention, that while she still cried when I left, it only lasted about a minute.

Then… today. She was adorably happy on the way to school, but kept yawning. When we arrived, she seemed excited, but by the time we got inside and put her coat down, it wasn’t looking great.

I asked Charlotte if she wanted to walk into the classroom herself and she kind of fell to the floor with her arms up. I grabbed her and we walked in. I pointed out some fun activities set up in the room and asked her if she wanted to play. She literally just stared blankly.

After about a minute, her teacher said to me, “I’m ready when you are.” I looked at Charlotte and said, “Okay…” and before I could even say that I was going to go, she turned to her teacher and stretched out her arms to go to her. Once in her teacher’s arms, I asked Charlotte for a kiss. She gave me my smooch and I turned to leave… totally dumbfounded and happy and excited and surprised.

I waved and told her I’d see her in a bit. Looking totally comfortable in her teacher’s arms, she waved back and just like that, she’s adjusted.

I literally had tears in my eyes. I think more because I was excited and just relieved and happy for Charlotte. She seems to really enjoy her time at school and the morning tears seemed to be the last little hangup.

When I got back to the car, Toby apparently wanted to share in the excitement, because as I opened the door, he peed all over my seat. A little grand finale. Thankfully C’s diaper bag was in the car so I had some wipes to use for clean up.

As a side note, I can’t help but feel – in the back of my mind – a little sad. Charlotte has been SUPER clingy with Daddy and not so much with me this past week or two. Like, demanding that he hold her or put her to sleep instead of me. HEARTBREAKING. So there is this slight part of me that is thinking, “is that why it was easier today??” I know, I know… whatever it was, it’s so good for her! I’ll just go cry in the corner.

Day 1 – The Drop Off

All dressed and ready for school.

After last week’s perfectly executed “Preschool” orientation, I had really high hopes for Charlie’s first day of school and our first drop off.

Let’s just say, the word perfect didn’t come into play this morning.

Right off the bat, the morning was off. Charlotte woke up about 45 minutes early and was a bit cranky/sleepy/VERY clingy with mommy. Breakfast was a cluster. She picked the cheese off the top of her quiche and refused any other part of it. She wouldn’t drink more than 1/2 of her veggie shake. She took three sips of milk and was done.

Finally, I broke down and gave her cereal. I was desperate for her to eat something to help her make it through the day today. She ate it… kind of.

Marky was supposed to join me for the first drop off, but because he’s amazing and was busy slaving in the kitchen (prepping dinner for tonight), he wasn’t able to make it.

So Charlie and I headed off on our way. She whined on and off the whole way to school, which is totally out of character.

That’s a pretty apprehensive face…

When we got into the classroom, she stood frozen in the doorway, staring blankly. Finally, after a good 5 minutes, that lower lip puckered and some tears came. I called her name and she came running towards me, arms wide open.

The teacher called Charlotte and another kid over to show them a big bag of puppets she just received. Charlotte reluctantly watched as we showed her all sorts of puppets. She was on the edge.

FINALLY, the ice melted a bit when the other teacher brought over a bucket of dominos and corks and an empty juice container. C immediately jumped in and started taking the corks from one container and putting them into the empty juice container.

This was my time to exit. I looked at my little buns and said goodbye and told her I’d see her in a little bit. She stared and stared and stared… and then the lip puckered out and the tears began.

Her teacher told me not to worry and said they would handle it.

I walked out of the room. Tears welling up in my own eyes.

The administrator stopped me on my way out. She told me that C’s tears are her way of asking a question.

“Mom, is this okay?”

Immediately, I started feeling guilty for not turning back to her when she started crying and reassuring her that I would be back and that she’d be great. Instead, I just left.

The administrator peeked in at C and let me know that she was already tearlessly playing.

I left, got in my car, called Mark and started bawling.

I’m not talking about tearing up. I’m talking full-on, unable-to-speak-through-heavy-sobs crying. Of course, once I got enough words out to let Mark know that everything was technically okay, he started laughing at me.

I knew (know) that she’ll be great and that it’s so good for her to go to school, but for some reason, it felt so overwhelming. I can’t even pinpoint what specifically was so overwhelming. I definitely had guilt about not turning back to her when she started crying… but I had felt teary before that.

Thankfully, I received a text from Charlotte’s teacher before I had even gotten to work telling me that she was doing well. She also sent a cute little picture of Charlotte playing with the classroom play kitchen.

The photo from Charlotte’s teacher.

Regardless, I’m really happy that I get to go and pick her up in just 45 minutes. I can’t wait to see her and am hoping that pick up goes better than drop off.