Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Prepping for Preschool

So if you read this earlier September post, you know that our preschool situation blew up in our faces.  Long story short, the place we selected ultimately was not able to handle Zaxxon's food allergy needs because the program itself was not licensed or certified--even though they'd promised me months earlier that the could handle everything.  We'd thought that they would be able to get things sorted out, but they're not going to be able to do that until they get licensed, which could take months or a year.  Hubby and I were extremely pissed off about all this, but we pulled together, looked at other programs, and thanks to the flux of children that usually occurs at the beginning of the school year, we were able to find Zaxxon another position and he started this week.  (The new school IS properly licensed and certified, by the way.  Not making that mistake twice.)

The diaper really hit the fan regarding preschool back on September 10th, which was the day before Zaxxon was supposed to start school.  If you're at all familiar with this age group, you know that you can't just spring a big change on a little kid and expect them to be okay with it.  Zaxxon knew he was about to start preschool--I wasn't going to just drop him off on the first day, say "you're going to stay here for the morning, I'll see you in a few hours," and then leave.  That would be absurd.  Kids need help with transitions.  To that end, we did this craft to help him count down to the big event.

The countdown chain we made to prepare for our trip to Disney worked really well, so Zaxxon and I made another one for school.  The idea is we were making a visual calendar.  Zaxxon would tear off a link of the chain every day, and he could see the chain getting shorter, telling him how much time was left before school started.

Zaxxon is getting exceptionally talented at crafts.  He did a LOT of this one by himself.  He cut about two-thirds of the links by himself before he got tired of using the scissors

He even used my scissors for some of them--and did it so fast that he made me nervous, but he performed fine

He decorated a school bus to hang at the top of the chain.  He won't be riding a bus this year, but it's still a major symbol.

Lastly, we glued the chain together.  Zaxxon did not want to use a glue stick this time, but he tends to go overboard on white glue and I don't like letting him use it.  I found a good compromise online--I put white glue in a shot glass and gave him some q-tips.  He dipped the q-tips in the glue and used that to apply--and it kept the mess much more contained.  We'll definitely be using this tactic again!  He probably made about half of the chain by himself before he wanted me to take over.

I forgot to take a picture of this until the chain was nearly gone (we started almost a month before school was supposed to start.)

After all this, I was very unhappy about the prospect of telling my child that, after all his prep, he wasn't going to school after all.  Hubby and I eventually ended up babysitting the preschool for a week.  We took turns sitting in the hall outside the preschool room with Zaxxon's medication handy just in case so Zaxxon could go to school.  It wasn't a long-term solution, and as such only lasted that week before we learned that they wouldn't be able to get it together, but at least Zaxxon wasn't deprived of his carefully-planned first day.

The following week he simply didn't attend (and he was sick for half the week anyway) and by week three we had found our new program, so things worked out in the end.  He took to the transition to the new place better than I had expected.  We simply told him the old place didn't have a safe place to keep his allergy medicine, so we had to find a school that did have a safe place.  He wanted to see that safe place (and we showed him where they keep it) and he hasn't been at all concerned about the change otherwise.

Zaxxon's been doing really great at the new place, and we're happy with where we ended up.  It's one more day per week than we'd planned on (three instead of two) but he likes going there.  They have lots of TOYS for him to play with.  In fact, it's less structured than the other place--he's allowed to do whichever activity he wants and comes and goes as he pleases for a good portion of the day, whereas the other place told him "you need to be at this activity center now."  While he often needs direction, he'll probably flourish better when he gets to call more of the shots.  He acted up a bit more at home this week, but that's to be expected with a big transition.
Through all of this, I didn't even really get the chance to feel nostalgic about my baby starting school--I've been too preoccupied and distracted.  Hubby felt it a bit though.  On the first day at Zaxxon's old school, Hubby kept saying "He's not old enough for this, is he?"  And this is a big transition.  He's moving away from us.  But he's having a lot of fun doing it!
From his real first day of school
Tot School

1 comment:

Brittany LearninginGrace said...

He is so CRAFTY!!! How awesome :) Hope you dont mind but I nominated you for a liebster award. http://learningingrace.blogspot.com/2012/10/liebster-blog-award.html