Pumpkin started preschool for the first time this month.
I had no idea how I would react on that first day.
On one hand, I was almost certain she would adjust easily since she is naturally a very social person. On the other hand, she had never attended school before, and had only stayed alone with her grandparents, and we didn’t know how much she would miss us.
When the first day finally arrived, I became more and more tense as the time to take her to school neared. We dropped her off at her classroom, and she immediately began playing with small plastic bears, placing them one by one on a scale. She seemed oblivious to our presence as we marked this momentous occasion with quick snapshots with our phones.
When it was time to start class, the teacher asked the parents to take their leave; most of the other kids were busy exploring the room, while one was in tears. My heart went out to that mom and child, as thankfully we didn’t have that problem. We reached the parking lot and saw that many cars were pulling away, and the last few parents were getting into their cars to leave.
We slowly got into our car. My husband suggested that we leave and come back; in just less than 3 hours she would be ready to come home, but that was an eternity to me.
I COULDN’T BEAR THE THOUGHT OF LEAVING OUR SWEET BABY ALL ALONE, SO WE SAT IN THE CAR AND WAITED THE TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS UNTIL HER CLASS ENDED. WE WERE THE ONLY PARENTS LEFT IN THE PARKING LOT.
I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving our sweet baby all alone, so we sat in the car and waited the two-and-a-half hours until her class ended. We were the only parents left in the parking lot.
I wondered: Is there peer pressure to leave your kids on the first day without making a scene or acting too clingy? Nobody wants to be that parent, right? But weren’t we all missing our kids terribly?
When we went to collect her, she was all smiles and seemed to have forgotten about us until she saw us waiting for her outside her room. My heart melted when I saw her, and I was so relieved to see she had a good day. In the car on the way home, we asked her all kinds of questions: What did you do? Did you make any friends? Did you have fun?
In between feigned coyness (she does this when we question her too eagerly about anything) and the still lingering baby grammar of a three-year-old, we don’t quite get what she did all day. Part of me yearns to know something she herself will not remember to tell me when she’s older; part of me is a bit envious that she is sharing such a large milestone with others—the other kids and her teachers—and not with us.
I also never realized how much I would miss her nonstop chattering at home.
At times it can seem annoying, but I really do miss her cute rantings. It is so quiet at home while she’s in school and I’m beginning to truly value our mother-daughter friendship.
AT TIMES IT CAN SEEM ANNOYING, BUT I REALLY DO MISS HER CUTE RANTINGS. IT IS SO QUIET AT HOME WHILE SHE’S IN SCHOOL AND I’M BEGINNING TO TRULY VALUE OUR MOTHER-DAUGHTER FRIENDSHIP.
I entered Peanut’s room today to put some things away and sneezed. As I wiped my nose, the thought occurred to me that Pumpkin would always “bless” me afterwards. Feeling a rush of loneliness and wishing that time would move faster, I heard a tiny voice behind me from the crib:
“Mama! Bless you!” It was Peanut. She’s only 18 months old. She’s never said that to me before.
It looks like the First Day of School is a milestone for all of us.
How did you get through your child’s first day of school?