Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday: Frownie Face Edition

Hank on New Year's Day

Little Buddy is still not loving school. With Christmas vacation and then snow days last week, until today he hadn't been to school in over three weeks. As far as he was concerned, that was all in the past. Over the holidays, when family members would ask him, "Do you go to school now?" He would say, "No I don't." Then he would act like he had no idea what they were talking about. This morning, though, he climbed into my bed for a few minutes, like he always does, and something schoolish seemed to be in the air, I guess. He said, "Mom, am I staying home today?" I said, "You're going to go to school and see all your friends!" And then he cried. It was only for a minute, and he didn't really pull out all the stops, but I heard them as tears of disappointment and frustration at not getting to be in control of what he does and where he goes. I felt terrible.

What is really heartbreaking is that, after his brief period of being upset, and of telling me he doesn't want to go, he is so brave. He goes about the rest of the morning, playing a little and getting dressed, then riding to school, without complaining or whining. It's like he's resigned to his fate. When we pull up in the car drop-off line and a teacher opens his door, his routine is to squinch his eyes shut and turn his head away from her, like he's sleeping or hiding. She inevitably says something like, "I see you!" He smiles as he does it, and it has become a joke, but I think it expresses a kind of wish.

The thing is, I don't think that he has a bad experience there. In fact, the teachers tell me that he's happy the whole morning, and when I pick him up he always says he had a good time. Or maybe he is just so happy to be going home that it casts the whole experience in a rosier light. And I'm thinking, why am I doing this again? I mean, yes, the time without him is really helpful to me, but I could get by with him home all the time. Also, it's not like that place is a beacon of groundbreaking early childhood education. And he will be going to school for so many years. I just don't know.

So I dropped him off and drove away, fretful. Then I realized that I'd forgotten, again, that Fabienne was coming to clean the house, so I sped toward home to pick up our undies and socks from the bathroom floor. She was already there, and the place was a wreck, honestly. We got home from the mountains last night, and stuff was strewn everywhere. Right now Fabienne is casually trying to sell me some kind of vitamins that she hawks as part of her multilevel marketing thing. This is what I get for hiring a protegé of Frenemy Neighbor's as my housecleaner. Fabienne is one of Frenemy's downlines, I think the term is. I know, the plot totally thickens.

Speaking of first world problems: I realized that my long down coat insulates my behind so well that I can't feel the seat heaters in my car. Wah!

I was going to post some fun sledding pictures, and I will, but this Hank thing distracted me. I hope you're having a good Monday and that you're less grumbly.

15 comments:

Michele said...

Poor Hank. I'd be tempted to pull in out of school also. I guess you have to ask yourself why you are sending him to school in the first place.

What? You have someone coming in to clean and you pick up first? Stop that.

Kelly said...

I know exactly how Hank feels...every single morning...

He'll get used to it and probably enjoys himself a lot more than you realize. It's just hard to get out of the routine. Don't fret!

Jenni said...

That's a tough one, Momma. When we visited a nursery school for Oscar on Friday, it was nice enough and the teachers were nice enough, but I thought, "Isn't this a little play-ish? I mean, all he does is play there and do crafts?" Because we do that at home, so why send him? Is the socialization that important? I just don't know.

Mad Woman said...

Is this a school school or a preschool? I'd be tempted to pull him too but I think you need to consider the good stuff that he's gaining from this.

As for the cleaner lady? Tell her that you'll buy something from her if she's willing to clean for free for the next year. That should shut her up.

Becky said...

It's just a preschool, Mad Woman, like a nursery school. He's in the 3 year-old class, so it's only a few hours three days a week. It's a tough one, like you say Jenni. I do think socialization and having a little routine is important. Also, I'm not the most crafty mom. I love interacting with my kids and being with them, but I'm not making homemade playdough, you know?

Funny 'cause just this afternoon, at pick up, one of the other moms asked me if I was signing Hank up for the state Pre-K program for next year. He won't be 4 until June, and the pre-k is five days a week for a full school day. I was like, I don't think so, not yet.

remarkablydomestic said...

I have this same struggle. Sometimes I think I'm lazy for sending him, and sometimes I think I need to send him more. The guilt of a mother never ends, no?

Becky said...

That's it exactly! Is it lazy to send him or lazy to keep him home?!? Sheesh.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Sweet little Hank. I know how you feel, totally. To assuage my guilt, we do a "fun day" once, sometimes twice a year and it's always a spur-of-the-moment surprise.

We play hooky and do whatever we want. I think I like it even more than Mr. M does. And it makes me feel better.

Veronica said...

Aw, poor little buddy! Sounds like he actually enjoys it while he's there, though. And I dunno, does it make the transition to five-days-a-week school easier in a couple years?

gretchen said...

Fabienne will TOTALLY be a character in our screenplay! Only...I think her character will have to have an affair with Matt. That's okay with you, right?

Sweet, sweet Hank.

A Day That is Dessert said...

Poor Hank! Kids can be so stoic, it kind of breaks your heart.

The Dental Maven said...

You describe my feelings to at tee. My hubby helps by telling me my son enjoys his autonomy and being able to control his environment and activities and thats why he doesn't want to go back to school after a long break. I think he's right, at least for my little guy.

mbaumbick said...

Poor little buddy! I had this same issue with Sam and it is HARD! When you said, "he'll be in school for so many years...", if I said that once, I said it a hundred times. I'm with you on the five day thing, we worked our way up - three days, then four, etc... I've also come to the conclusion that some kids just like to be home. I think Sam and Hank are those kids!!

Keely said...

Aw, poor kid. I had a hard time dropping X off (even though it's necessary, not a choice) to daycare when there were tears. Now that he's more positive about it, I find it easier to convince myself he needs the socialization.

I do honestly believe kids at that age need the socialization and to be able to spread their wings a little, but it's hard when your time with them is so short.

Sara said...

That's a toughy! Lily is still making me guilty and she's in the
2nd grade. :( Especially because I know exactly how she feels.
But, it's been a good opportunity to share with her how I feel and how I deal with days it's super tough to go to work. Like last night when she said, I've been crying a lot today, and listed 3 things that made her cry. We had a good little chat about that. With 2 girls' puberties in my future, I've got a long row to hoe.
So, ya, I'm not much help!
Hank is a dynamic fellow. He will do great either way. Hecks, maybe he just worries about you being without him while he's away ;)