Friday, March 04, 2005

Rainbows and Tears

Today is the end of the girls' first week at their new pre-school. Otherwise known as the Rainbow school. They went for a trial day about 2 weeks ago. All last week the girls were very excited about beginning the new school. The prospect of meeting other children was a big deal. Leah is especially interested in school. She has reached the age where it is important and enjoyable for her to be learning with peers. The first day both girls charged right into the school. After that they both reacted differently.

Leah went straight to her classroom and was welcomed with cheers. She sat down just like she was always a part of the class. All her classmates were very happy to see her and remembered her name! She has been so happy playing with children her age this week. She constantly talks about a little boy in her class. She seems to have found a new friend already. This morning before school she asked me if her new friend could come over to play. She indicated that he would have to bring some of his own toys because all she has are girl toys and that maybe he would prefer boy things. How sweet of her to think about that. She instructed me to contact his parents to set up a time for her friend to visit. I'm not sure I'm ready to do that, it's too soon, I'll wait a few weeks before inviting her friends over. I'd like her to establish herself in class before jumping into the social activities outside of school.

Olivia on the other hand has been less happy than expected. When Olivia and I went to her classroom all the children were in a circle exercising. Olivia greeted them all with a cheerful "Hey guys! Look I brought my teddy bear!" So I thought 'Ok, this may go very well. She's talking and happy. Good, good.' Then as I began to remove her coat she began to become upset. She began to cry and became frightened to know that Mommy was leaving her there all alone. I wanted to grab her and hug her and make her feel better but I know that would only make matters worse. From my experience as a Pre-school teacher the longer you linger the worse the child reacts. I hate to leave my child crying for her "Momma". I wish this wasn't so hard for her. This is the first time in her life that she is actually doing something on her own. She has always been with Leah, her pal. They have formed this incredible sister bond that is absolutely beautiful.

Every morning this week Olivia has told me "I don't want to go to the rainbow school. I want to stay home with you and play. Where's Daddy? I want my Daddy." It breaks my heart to know that she is trying her best to find a way not to go to the new school. I ask her why she doesn't like the school and she says it's "scary". She is having a hard time feeling comfortable there and only time can make her realize the new school is a good place to be.

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