Thursday, September 27, 2012

School is a No Go.

We enrolled Dylan in school this fall. Mommy's Day out to be specific, but the church called it Day School. We researched different churches, and after hearing several great things from friends and acquaintances about First Baptist BA, we decided it was the one.

We excitedly got him prepared in the weeks preceding. Ryan, Dylan, and I visited the school and met the teachers at the Open House. We were thrilled with the facilities, and very happy with the two teachers assigned for Dylan's room. The halls were decorated with awesome animal murals, and each room was dedicated to a creature. D was in the elephant room! We let him choose his own backpack, and how perfect - he chose the elephant.

His first day of school was an anxious rush, and I was nervous of how he would react. My Mom (Nana) joined us, and Ryan took the morning off to see him off on his first day. We all walked him to his class, pack, lunch, and nap mat in tow. I took him in and helped him to the potty. While we were in there, all we heard was a class full of crying kids. He asked me about them, his eyes starting to well up with his own tears. As we said our goodbyes, the bawling began. I swallowed a lump and kissed him goodbye. We listened to him crying "mama, dada" all the way out of the building.

The weeks following were no easier. Every day on the ride to school, he would plead "no, no." When I picked him up, it was the same each time. He was sitting in the teacher's lap, looking so sullen and miserable. He would see me and burst into tears as he ran to my arms. He would drag me to his stuff, then pull me down the hallway to leave. He hated it! The teacher said he was very kind to the other kids, and was great at following directions. She mentioned that he was glued to her side every moment, and did indeed seem sad.

I expected him to be slow to warm up. We've spent nearly every day of his life together! But it seemed to be more than that. Family that he was normally eager to see noticed that he was anxious and scared to leave Ryan and I. His personality was changing and he was sad every day of the week. Sunday's made my stomach churn, knowing I would have to see him so sad the next morning.

We talked about the pros and cons of school. Was it necessary? Would he be missing out by waiting another year? Ultimately, we knew it wasn't worth him being miserable. That is much of the beauty of being a stay at home Mom: school was merely a choice. I've gotten "the look" and a few remarks about us taking him out too soon, and we didn't let him adjust. But we know our decision was the right one.

Dylan's OPAT (Mommy & Me) school teacher hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me she was so proud of me for following my intuition. She said "you will never ever go wrong by choosing to listen to your child's needs versus the pressures of society." I knew that in my heart, and it was so reassuring to hear it.

His anxiety is slowly subsiding, and my happy kid is starting to come back around. We might try school again next year when he understands a little more. But for now we will fill our autumn days with new adventures at the library, Mommy & Me classes, our homeschool curriculum, family outings and the park, and that is just fine by us!

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