Jerek started preschool on Monday. It was a day that I almost dreaded. Not because I would be teary that my "baby" was growing up, or because I would be leaving him in the care of adults that knew nothing about him (yet).
I was scared for him. My sweet little boy is T E R R I F I E D of other children he doesn't know.
He's fine with adults, almost too ok with adults he doesn't know. There is a small part of me that sometimes questions why he hasn't been scooped up and taken yet. He has no problem talking to adults at the park, the gas station, the store. He will leave my side to talk to someone about anything. It took us 15 minutes to pay for my coffee and his kid drink at the gas station today, because he wouldn't quit talking to the attendant. At least she thought he was cute!
He is also fine with the other kids at church. I assume this is because the poor kid has been at almost every service, every Sunday, for the majority of his life. He knows everyone and everyone's kids. He has also gone from an infant to a busy 4 year old with the same base group of children for those 4 1/2 years. PLUS his best buddy is one of the other PK's. So, church kids, they are safe kids for him to play with, talk with, run around screaming in the worship center with (which we are trying to curb, I promise!).
But, children he doesn't know? He avoids them like the plague. We take him to McDonald's to play (eww, gross, I know, it builds his immunity, right?) and he REFUSES to play if there are other kids. Even a cute little toddling 2 year old that can't even get past the second step causes my son to stop in his tracks, turn around, and pleasantly eat his french fries instead of playing. Take him to the playground, same thing. It doesn't matter where we go, he freezes up and just watches.
So, Dad and I knew that preschool was a MUST for his social development. Even though our budget is tight (like counting pennies sometimes) and I have an early ed. degree, it was going to be worth the money and my sanity to make him go.
Open house went well. He was very shy, refused to talk with, play with, or interact with the few other kids that were there, but he warmed up to the teacher. We decided that was a big deal. At least the teacher saw and understood what he was like and did a good job at trying to get him to do activities at the same table as the other children. We left, got icecream, and Jer said that he was excited and thought he would have fun. PHEW, wipe the brow, at least he is excited.
Monday morning, Jerek came running out of his room, "WHEN DO I GO TO SCHOOL!!"
"After lunch, buddy."
9 a.m. "Mommy, can we eat lunch?" "What?!? Why?" "'Cause I wanna go to school!"
I picked him up that afternoon and he could barely sit still.
He had had fun.
He loved it.
He made a new friend and played with her on the playground.
Can he go tomorrow?
I didn't cry. He didn't cry.
It was a good first day for the first ever day of school!