Friday, January 12, 2007

This post is totally not about crafting.

And there are no pretty pictures either. (Both literally and figuratively.)

Something happens when Jack goes to school. (It happened with the last school too.) Going to school seems to trigger some sort insecurity, and Jack will spend the entirety of the week in between school days clinging to both Dandy and I like a passenger on the Titantic. He will not allow me out of his sight for even a brief moment, and he spends the better part of the week screaming and crying and writhing on the floor because, well, Mama has to go to the bathroom at some point in the day.

Yesterday Jack started crying at about 11 am. He didn't stop until sometime after 6 pm, except for a small respite when he had cried so much he simply fell asleep in the firetruck bed.

Today, Jack started crying sometime after 6 am.

At the suggestion of a friend, I made a train with 7 boxcars for his room. Each boxcar is one day of the week, and there is a little felt Jack riding in the cars. We moved the little felt Jack along, reciting the days of the week, and talking about which day would be the school day. (I made that boxcar a different color.) We started this morning with "Today is Friday, a gray boxcar day, no school today." Jack repeated "Friday, no other children today."

But, still he cries. This might be a very long week for us both. And, if there are 11 more hours of crying today, this Mama will also be crying very, very soon.


  1. you know, my son goes to preschool because he's special needs - otherwise i don't think i'd have sent him. i know i wouldn't have sent him so early. i think there's a push these days that everyone has to go to preschool - and they have to have 2 years. i totally disagree with that. my daughter only went to a small once a week co-op i started. and only for one year when she was 4.
    not liking preschool doesn't mean he won't like school, he may be ready by that time. you just have to look at if his distress is worth sending him to preschool.
    in the meantime, give that kid lots of hugs! :)

  2. Poor bug :( Hugs to both of you. I wish I had words of wisdom for you.

  3. I really wish that there was a different option out there for Jack - going from being with you everyday to spending an entire "workday" at the preschool is a huge shake-up to his routine. I agree that there is a benefit to kids his age spending some time with other kids and being exposed to the sort of structure that school offers, but I can also understand how it's a big deal to kids so little. I felt disoriented the first time I spent a full day at work, and I was 15!

    I wonder if you can bring Jack home after lunchtime for a few weeks, and see if that makes a difference? Small steps worked the best for making Madeline comfortable in situations where I'm not around.

  4. Thank you for checking out my blog and I am so glad to have found yours. I love you v'tines day wreath below, but had to comment on this post. As another mama, my heart goes out to you and Jack. These situations are so hard. Im hoping for you that this is just another kid phase of adjustment and that he will be enjoying school soon. And until then, Im with Kirsten. Give him all of the hugs and cuddles you can to reassure him. Oh, and maybe set up something fun for the two of you to do on the days after you pick him up. Like getting ice cream or something to add a positive spin on it?

  5. I wish I had something helpful to say. Just keep talking to him and explaining it to him. If nothing else, it will make you feel better. Most likely its just a phase and will pass soon.

  6. Oh, bless your heart! Bless both your poor hearts! I don't have any good suggestions, as I haven't had to face this yet but please know I'll be thinking of you both. Would you be allowed to stay with him for a little while at the preschool? Or maybe it's just not quite time for him. Either way, I hope you find a solution for his sake and for yours!

  7. So sorry hon! I think it is interesting that he said "no children." Has he interacted with other kids his age outside of school? If not, is there a playgroup you could join and be with him on the day that he is not in daycare? I think that the train idea may still work - he just needs some time maybe to internalize what it means? Instead of saying "you are going to school today," can you say "today after I pick you up from school we are going to do "x", where that is something that he really likes to do and something you don't do very often?

  8. Oh gosh, Sarah, I am so sorry! I'm old school, I say keep him home- he's not ready. He's what, 3? A baby! Playgroups could be great- especially ones at a park or playground. My babies are 16, 13 and 10. They are all very different. Some kids seriously cannot handle that much interaction at that age. My heart just goes out to both of you. Follow your gut on this.

  9. Oh Sarah! I completely understand what you're going through. I put my son in preschool when he was 2 1/2 and it was heartbreaking. He screamed, cried and clung every morning for 6 weeks. He's shy and very sensitive and just wasn't ready at that age. He started in a pre-K class last August, at age 4 and he's doing very well. If Jack's not ready, he's not ready. You have to look at what's best for both of you and the reasons to have him in school versus the reasons to keep him home. Maybe he'd do better in a home based program rather than a school. Or maybe you could get together with another mom and watch each others kids once a week. There's a cute book called "The Kissing Hand" that you could read to him too. It might be a bit old for him, but may be worth a try.Just keep your chin up!

  10. :( Hopefully this too shall pass. Maybe it will take a while for the train system to sink in. The train is a great way to show time. Hang in there! Trust your instincts.

  11. Anonymous6:22 AM

    I was ready for my son to go to preschool when he turned 3, so I totally understand the needing a few hours of kid-free time every week. When my son went through a clingy phase (it was a combo of him turning 4 and dad going away for 2 weeks), I started picking him up a litttle earlier, and then we steadily got back to the regular schedule. I think if he's happy at school, then the crying times at home probably just signal an adustment period. Maybe getting out of the house to break that cycle would help? I also think finding a playgroup where you can be with him while he plays with friends would be great. I had good luck finding groups through's "finding your tribe" board and in yahoo groups.

    Leah at

  12. Oh sweetie pies! I too noticed the "no other children" comment. Maybe there are some kids who are being aggressive towards Jack. Plus, not all kids are social butterflies. It just might be really really overwhelming for Jack to have so many other kids around.

    A playgroup might be great, like some of the others suggested. Hang in there, sweetie! Remind yourself that this stage, like many many others is temporary!


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