The ups and downs of the first week of preschool



You're looking at this face, and you're thinking: "This little girl is just an eternal ball of sunshine!" And most of the time, you'd be right. However, there are times when this little girl is exactly the opposite of a ball of sunshine -- she can scream, cry, and/or wail with the best of them.

Like, for instance, most of her first week of preschool. Let's rewind a second. For the better part of Carolyn's first 2 years, she had a nanny who came over to our house every day with her own daughter who is 9 months older than Carolyn. This worked out amazingly for all of us until about 2 months ago when our nanny informed us that she would be moving away. We decided that instead of getting another nanny, we would try Carolyn out in a preschool/daycare situation.

Fast forward to last week. First day of school, no problems. While walking back to the car after picking her up, I said, "What did you do today?" Carolyn replied, "I did so well!" We were off to a good start. But then things went a little downhill. By the next night, she was telling us "I don't want to go to school anymore." And then, when talking about what she was going to do at school the next day, "I'm going to sit down and wait for Mommy and Daddy to pick me up." Tears streaming down her face. We've never seen her so sad.

The teachers reported back that she had been whining and crying nearly all day for a few days. She chose to sit by herself and eat her lunch instead of sitting with the other kids. One day the teacher could only get her to calm down by taking her into one of the younger classrooms where the kids were sleeping and telling her she had to be quiet so she wouldn't wake them up. She couldn't wait to get out of there as soon as she saw me in the afternoons.

But I was firm and insisted we continue to send her and that she would get used to it. She made gradual progress each day, and now, a full one week and a day in, I believe we've reached a point where she's comfortable. Apart from a little bit of whining when I dropped her off this morning, she was clear all day. She ate lunch at a table with the other kids. She took a decent nap. She didn't even notice when I came to pick her up until I called her name 3 or 4 times.

And then after we got home, she started whining a little bit. She wanted to go back to school with her friends. I think she'll be just fine after all.

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