It wasn’t that long ago I was freaking out about the start of school. And now we’re a few weeks into the term I thought a little update was in order. (That and today’s Blogtober prompt was education!)
The first few days were great. G barely looked back as he ran ahead of everyone. He loved it and was really excited to wear his uniform (I need to get a video of him saying ‘uniform’ it’s super cute) and was just excited to go.
Me? I had to be taken out to brunch and for a walk around the shops to distract myself from sobbing! I did actually cry the first day, but I just about held it together until I got home so as not to terrify all the kids!
But then I think reality set in and G realised this was not a one off event. And he was not amused. There was one morning of tears as we left. We’d stopped to talk to his teacher and he was fine but when we left he started crying. His teacher assured us he was fine five minutes after we left but I felt awful all day.
The next day however it was like taking a screaming banshee to school. He was wild. I struggled to get him into his uniform, half carried him down the street and his teacher had to take him into the classroom as he screamed and fought me every step of the way.
I could not have felt worse.
And the next day it was worse. The headteacher (who’s fab by the way! Visits each class every morning and asks how everyone is etc, knows every child’s name, he really is great) had to peel him off me as he clung to my leg and bit my shin. Talk about rock bottom. I sobbed all the way back to the house. And for about an hour after I got in.
I felt so awful. How can I make him do this if he’s this upset and distressed? How long is it ok to “ride this out” for? How damaging could this be for him? The guilt was immense. I was already uncertain about the whole school decision, especially with him being so young. Was this just confirming my fears? I’ve heard stories about parents going through this sort of thing for weeks. Months even. I don’t think I’m cut out for that!
The only good thing was how happy he was when we picked him up, because he’d had such a fab day! He was adamant he was having a great time at school. He’d learnt how to count to 5 in Welsh and most of his colours in no time at all. He was talking about friends and talking about them at home. And the teachers were really reassuring and sure that he was settling down barely five minutes after he’d been dropped off.
It was just the leaving in the morning.
And then we were away for a weekend and my parents had to do the Monday morning school run. This was, of course, all arranged when things were going perfectly. Way before the nightmare school runs began. Safe to say he didn’t make it in that Monday!
But then on the Tuesday we had a break through. We’d talked about it loads. Reminding him what days he goes to school, what would happen and how etc.
Talking things through with him and the main cause of the upset was leaving us and worrying about missing out on what we were doing. So we talked about all the fun stuff that happens in school that we don’t get to do a lot of at home. We certainly don’t get the arts and crafts out as often as I’d like and it’s pretty much guaranteed in school.
In the morning we put the radio on instead of the telly. And each task had an incentive (sounds much better than bribery right?!) so put your uniform on, look at pj mask photos (whatever works ok?!), get to the school gate without screaming and look at photos of the Grinch (random yes, worked? Yes!).
I stressed that crying and being upset was ok. But the screaming and lashing out was not. And we’d stop and talk about it if he was getting too upset. We took our time but we got there. With zero tears! After the disaster it was, this was an absolute miracle!!
And after doing all his days he got to choose a fun treat. So we had a film night, after B had gone to bed G was allowed to stay up and we made popcorn, had burgers (Mr H made bloody lovely turkey burgers! Will see if he can remember what he did and share the recipe) and watched the Grinch.
He loved it and it was actually a bonus for us too because we got to spend some quality time with him that we might not have made the time for in the same way.
And now? We haven’t had a single tear or tantrum since! He’s genuinely happy going and having a great time and I’m so so pleased. If it had continued we would have probably taken him out and tried again next year. But I’m so glad he does enjoy it, he needs far more stimulation than I’m able to give right now so I really think this is the best option for him.
I’m still a bit sad thinking about the stuff I’m missing out seeing. Especially when his review of the day tends to trickle out rather than give a full report. But overall I’m happy with how it’s going.
I’m still second guessing everything and feeling guilty, but on a much lower level. So I’ll take that for now.
Mrs H xxx