So we've made it through Days 1 and 2 of preschool. Day 1 was fine. Max cried for a whole like... 10 seconds when I dropped him off. And by the time I left the building he was sitting on top of the inside jungle gym thing, holding court with the other kids. Seeing that he is the oldest in his classroom I imagine he spends most of his time walking around all toothy and growly, putting the little kids in their places since finally, for the first time in his whole life, HE is in CHARGE! RAWR!
Norah didn't cry at all. Her eyes got a little teary and she told me not to go but I put on my Brave Face and told her it would be ok, that I would see her in the afternoon and she was going to have lots of fun. Then I stood up, walked out, and neither suffered a debilitating panic attack nor vomited and then took them home to cuddle under the blankies, pretending the rest of the world didn't exist. Nope. I drove to work and did my thing and didn't even cry until randomly at like noon or something.
That afternoon Norah said she'd had a good time. She liked lunch, mostly, and that there was a kid who farted. Then she declared that she didn't want to go to school again. So obviously, this morning she was still adamant that she didn't want to go back to school, despite all my talking up the school. She just didn't want to go. She figured out what school meant, that she was going to be there all day without blankie or TV or Mama at her disposal and she was not interested.
This morning's drop off was considerably harder. Max freaked out and screamed when I took him to his room and Norah...basically attached herself to the back of my skirt and wouldn't let go until the teacher promised her that she could have her blankie AND watch for my car out the window. She was screaming when I left.
People. It was rough. But I still didn't panic. I reminded myself that hard feelings and uncomfortable feelings are not always something we need to run away from. I have to teach Norah (as I teach myself) that hard and scary feelings are OK and that they won't kill us. I have to teach her (and myself) that she is strong and she is OK. I pep talked myself most of the day, reciting the truths that I am bolstering myself with: Norah is ok. She needs to have her own little life. She can learn how to deal with her own scary feelings. I don't always have to rescue her from them. I can learn how to deal with my own scary feelings too.
And by the time I picked them up, everyone was fine. Max was playing and happy. Norah was marching and smiling. And when we drove home she told me about how she was putting rocks on the sidewalk and running over the rocks with a scooter and it made a funny sound and inexplicably I started crying. She is having fun, she is having adventures and causing mischeif and being her looney little self. Without me. And that's hard, but it is so great for her.
I'm so proud of my little looney bird and her caveman brother.