If you’ve been following my blog lately, you’ll know that life has been less than sweet because my son Rishi has been having a rough time as a fledgling kindergartener. His first week in fact was nothing short of terrible, horrible and miserable.
Week two was a better, no question. Still not where we want to be but better is good for now. The week started out with tears; I knew Monday would be a little hard. Over the weekend, my husband and I bickered over the school bus. I was in favor of driving my little man but my husband thought Rishi needed to tough it out on the bus. Deep down I agreed with him but frankly driving a mile to school just does not seem like a big deal to me.
It turns out that Rishi is fine with the bus ride to school; we have yet to drop him off in the morning. It helps that we are one of the last stops, but coming home, we always pick him up. It's well worth the almost extra hour he gets to spend at home with us. I love the time between pick-up and the ride home where he tells me all about his day or before his bedtime story when he does the same. Sometimes it's not what I want to hear but it's nice to know what he thinks about right when he sees us or when he's mulling over the events of the day.
We have learned that he loves the computer lab and the library. The playground is rough. Boys are wrestling one another and apparently one boy lashed out physically at a couple of the others so Rishi responded by biting him on the ear...no teeth, just gums. Not acceptable either way, I told him that. But my innocent boy responded by saying he has to work on his snake and dinosaur powers because the playground gets very rough and tumble. I had a glimpse of that at the ice-cream social on Friday evening where we watched kids running all over the place in the cafeteria. If this is what happens at an elementary school referred to as a “country club” elementary school, I don’t even want to think about what must go on elsewhere.
For the first week, my husband has advised me against having lunch with Rishi because thought the lunchtime chaos in the cafeteria would completely freak me out. Apparently I've instilled some kind of confidence in him now because he finally said I should try it this week so tomorrow is Mommy’s big lunch date in the elementary school cafeteria.
And while I may not be there in person on the other days, I try to 'sweeten' his lunch box. This week it was a cupcake with "I love you" and another day a cupcake with a heart on it. Of course, I was making cupcakes for a customer who was debating between edible arrangements or flower arrangements and he decided to go with cupcake bouquets. It worked out great for the kids, my husband and the customer!
We still have not had a tear-free day so that's a goal we are working towards. He asks every day if tomorrow is a school day and he dreads going. I spent many nights this week researching private schools and looking up alternative options. I learned a lot about hybrid models, large privates, small privates, individual instruction, Montessori education, varying tuitions, different instructional models, the list is endless. As an educator in my pre-kids life, you might think homeschooling would hold some appeal for me but I’m not cut out for that and more importantly, I want my son to have the social connections afforded by going to school.
We have communicated via email and in person with his teacher, the principal, friends, anyone and everyone I can...to the point where I know I'm getting annoying and I'm trying to stop myself before I start asking about everyone's experience in elementary school.
I know he wants to have a "friend" in class and I wish I had known how important that was before the school year started so that I could have made a request of the school. All of his other 'Frog' friends from preschool last year are in class with at least one familiar 'Frog' friend except Rishi. The boy who wanted to break out of school (http://bit.ly/184ah4r) will no longer speak to him because Rishi shared his plan with other students not knowing it was supposed to be a secret.
So week two was one of those weeks...not horrible enough to worry about but not happy enough to go about business as usual without some concern. We really would love to see this boy happy about school. He loved preschool so much, I know it's possible. I guess it's just a longer road to trek....