(I'm linking to a Dare to Share post on the Lightning and the Lightning Bug website - the prompt was to write about a "big day." The day Sam started kindergarten is one that I'll never forget, and reading this post still makes me cry)
The kindergarten drop off was horrific. Despite the fact that he tried on his outfit yesterday to make sure his new pants fit, and we had numerous conversations about what he'd be bringing for snack and lunch - he still managed to block out that TODAY was actually the first day of school. I got him to sleep nice and early last night, and got him up with plenty of extra time this morning. We were sitting on the couch, all snuggled up and I was going to just let him relax and wake up before I started doing the "get dresssed, get fed, get out" routine. Jessica came in, plopped down next to him and said (as is customary with her every morning) "I don't want to go to school today."
Sam looked up at me, with the big, big eyes and said in a tremulous little voice "I don't have to go, do I?" I was sunshiney happy and said "Today's your first day!". But all my (fake) joy was for naught, because he immediately started sobbing. Cried right thru his cheerios and getting dressed, whimpered thru the rest of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then ramped up to screaming as I carried him downstairs and buckled him in.
He cried thru the ride to the school, begging to "just please go home." He cried thru the long walk down the driveway to the school, and refused to let me put him down (this is a kid who has refused to be carried since he was younger than Julianna). I held him thru the introductions to the other parents, and tried to get him excited about all the fun toys and books and other kids in class. All the parents and all the kids were all crowded into this classroom, and it was nine thousand degrees. The worst part was that I have a sneaky suspicion that Sam was actually feverish. He was so congested last night, and if it was November, I would have kept him home sick today. But he had to go to the first day. So I gave him some tylenol - and Mary Poppin-ed him with a spoonful of chocolate syrup to bribe him (just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...).
When the time came - when his teacher had called all the other kids to go take a seat on the rug, and Sam remained glued - koala style - to me, his teacher came over. She looked me in the eyes, asked quietly if I was ready, and when I nodded, she pried his little body off me and I slipped thru the throngs of other parents, wiping tears off my cheeks. I didn't actually start crying until I got the hall, and many other moms came over to hug me. As he screamed and howled in the classroom. My friend Sara came out (her daughter Jordyn was sitting happily on the rug with all the other well adjusted kids) and said if it made me feel any better, Sam did almost manage to knock the teacher off her feet, because he was screaming and kicking and howling so much. "Seriously - he almost took her down."
It got better after that - he stayed in the classroom, and after a bit, the school adjustment guy went in to sit with him. Within an hour, he had moved from hysterical screaming, to resigned moaning, to actually sitting quietly, to playing by himself next to the class, and then just before we left, he was actually sitting at a table, interacting with another kid.
Tomorrow can't possibly be as bad, right?