Checking in on school

Every day I ask my son, “How was school today? What did you learn.”

The answer is almost always the same, “It was fun; we played with trucks.”

Granted, the kid just turned three (nine days before his first day of school) so I don’t expect him to be crafting complicated multi-part thoughts. But I just keep hoping there will be a little more then, “trucks.” And I’m certainly hoping that his school day consists more than trucks and the occasional Goldfish cracker snack. But talking to him I’d think that was it.

I’ve tried to get a little more out of his teacher when I drop him off most mornings but she’s busy getting things ready for the day and tending to the other kids in the class.

So I’ve been left to my imagination and own thoughts — something that can be dangerous for a gal who tries her darnedest to always be “Little Miss Sunshine” and the queen of thinking the best of people and situations but can also be dragged into those dark corners of “worst case scenario.”

And our sweet little Miles hasn’t been so sweet at home these days as since he started school he’s been boycotting naps and even fighting us to go to bed at night. Being tired for most kids — certainly my kid — often equals cranky, fuss-bucket, melty-tantrum machine.

Here’s a few scenes from our house over the past two weeks:

Miles is hysterically crying because his train tracks won’t go together the way he’d like. I try to help him get the pieces together and ask him to please calm down and take some deep breaths. In between the screaming and throwing of train pieces Miles yells back to me, “I don’t like to breathe.”

At nap time Michael will get him all snuggled in bed after reading a pile of books and leave the room so Miles can get to sleep. Before Michael even hits the door’s threshold Miles is out of bed screaming about not wanting to go to sleep. Michael closes the door and tells Miles he needs to at least rest quietly in his room for a bit. The sound track of screams are soon joined by the sound of toys bouncing off his wooden door and protests of, “Rescue me! Rescue me!”

So yep, things at home have been a little rough. So I was concerned this kind of behavior was the same thing that was happening at school. Well maybe I wasn’t worried about toys being thrown, but I was certainly concerned that maybe he was being cranky or mean to the other kids and teacher.

Announcement of an upcoming parent meeting and open house last week eased my mind quite a bit; if he was acting that way we’d soon find out. We sat through a general presentation with a gym full of antsy kids and then were released to our children’s classrooms. It was fun to get to see the other kids and meet their parents but a huge relief to get to ask the teacher, “So, what’s it been like? How’s he doing.”

Talk about relief — “He’s doing great,” his sweet teacher told me.

“Really, or do you just say that to all the parents?” I asked tentatively.

“Really,” she replied with a laugh. “He’s thriving.”

And then she went on to tell me that many of the other kids is his class were also a VERY young three but that he’d been doing well, listening and had surprised her with his stellar color recognition skills. Now his actual coloring skills, those could use some work, she said with a smile.

Shew! OK. So I guess we can live with a few more weeks (hopefully it’s just days) or adjusting to the new routine and extra brain stimulation. I’m hopeful that this not so nice phase is short-lived and I get my sweet boy back any day now.

Tell me how your first few days of school have gone? How about things at home? Any suggestions for help with transition?

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