Danny's First Full Day

Today was Daniel's first full day in Kindergarten.Since he had such a rough time going last week we decided not to even mention it over the weekend, hoping that by not bringing attention to it he wouldn't get himself worked up into a frenzy. Not a word was uttered about school, not a mention was made when we packed his lunch and set out his school bag.

This morning Jack helped him get ready and I could hear his fear building up but I ignored it. He asked if I would go with him, then told me he wanted to walk behind my legs. By the time we got to the playground his nerve had completely gone and he crouched around the corner, huddled up and looking terrified. My heart just aches to see him like that & no amount of cajoling from me or Jack would get him in that playground.

He didn't cry when we all walked to his classroom but as soon as we entered he looked terrified and the tears came. All the kids sat down but he wouldn't. The teacher told me to leave, so I did. I don't know why I listened to her because I shouldn't have. I had promised him I'd stay with him until he was comfortable and I didn't even say goodbye. Daniel is very perceptive and very precise about these things. If I promise him something I better keep my word and I know that after a short while he would have been okay so why didn't I just hang out with him for half an hour?

After a short span listening to a new parent meeting I went back to his classroom and found him crouched in the corner, crying inconsolably. The Principal was with him and again told me to leave. I said no. I crouched down and whispered to him "I'm really sorry I left you without saying goodbye, but this is something you have to do on your own. Be brave. I promise that you will love your school once you get over this fear. Try and have some fun (in hindsight that what a dumbass thing to say to someone crippled with fear but hey I'm trying) and remember that I love you".  Or something like that. I don't think he even heard me he was so wrapped up in anxiety. Again I left and a friend who had seen this all happen took me in her arms and let me have a little cry.

As I was leaving the building I saw him walking the halls with the Principal. An hour later she called me on my cell phone and told me that she had bribed him with toys, and was that ok? She plans to do that each morning. She gave him a personal tour of the school and has taken him under her wing. I cried again, both out of sadness for him, and because she was so kind, so lovely with how she handled it.

He called me when he got home at 3.30pm. He said he loved it. He played tag with some friends, he saw his brother (he was very excited about that), and he said the orange I put in his lunch box tasted yucky and it was disgusting. I asked if he was okay when I left and he said Oh yeah, A-Okay!  What a relief.

I know I'm not the first parent to be upset the first day or kindergarten and I know some might say I'm being silly or over protective. But if just one teeny-tiny thing I can do makes him feel better about school then it's worth it.


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