Monday, September 24, 2007

Packin' A Piece

I got a slightly uncomfortable call this morning. From Nicholas' teacher. Asking me if everything was OK at home. "um, yes, thank you. Everything is just fine and normal here at home. Why do you ask?" Well, it seems she felt the need to call and ask because Nicholas has been "sad" a few times at school and she wanted to make sure. She asked if he's said anything about school that is making him sad or upset that she doesn't know about. "No, he leads me to believe everything is fine at school." We both think he's still getting adjusted.

But Friday was a complete disaster.

My FIL arrived for a visit on Thursday afternoon and was there when Nicholas got off the bus. Nicholas was so excited to see his Opa that he took a picture of Opa to school that day for Show & Tell. Opa went with us to his ballet class and then we all went out to dinner. It was fun and exciting for the kids. Opa spent the night and saw Nicholas off at the bus stop. Then, as a surprise, Lauren, Opa and I all went to school so we could join Nicholas for lunch. He didn't know we were coming and was happy to see us. We sat with Nicholas, met a few kids from his class, said hello to old friends from Kindergarten, and had a lovely visit. When lunch was over we all went out to the playground for recess. Opa sat on a bench and watched as I was led around by Lauren from one play structure to the other, and we both kept an eye on Nicholas, who was running all over the place having a grand time with his friends. Towards the end of recess Nicholas asked me to talk with him through this pipe thingy on one of the structures. We were talking when the bell rung, signaling the end of recess. Nicholas, being very rule-bound, immediately started running toward the place the kids line up to return to school. I gathered up Lauren and walked back to the bench and Opa. We then proceeded around the school to the front so we could check out at the office and head home. All was well, or so we thought....

5 minutes after we walked back in the house the phone rang. It was the school secretary. Nicholas was there in the office with her, crying, and she said she'd told him he could call me. He was upset and bawling, saying he missed me and was sad he didn't get to say good-bye to us - (?). So I talked with him, trying to keep it upbeat, and Opa talked with him, telling what a great time he had with him at lunch and recess, and then I got back on the phone. He was still miserable, poor kid. Poor dramatic kid. He wanted me to come get him that very second. I told him no - he needed to finish the school day and I would see him afterwards. We compromised and I agreed to pick up him up from school rather than have him take the bus home. That way he could see me sooner. Which I did, and he was all chipper and in good spirits. I took the kids for Slurpees as a treat because Nicholas had had such a rough day. By then you'd never know he'd been upset enough to have to go to the office and beg to call home.

So his teacher, who was out on Friday, heard about this from the notes left by the substitute. And she called, as she should. And I reassured her that everything was fine at home and at school, as far as I knew. 6 yr olds aren't always terribly forthcoming with details about school. She had a good suggestion for us to try: let him bring a small - very small - special toy or something to keep in his pocket. When she heard he had a VERY special blankie she suggested cutting a corner from the blankie so he could carry that to school. Her niece had to do this as a kidlet. When I asked Nicholas about this idea, he was horrified at the thought of cutting blankie. NO WAY! He vehemently declared. When I suggested he take a piece of Blue Blankie - his backup - he was more open to the idea. So out of his eyesight, I cut a small corner from Blue Blankie for him. I told him he could keep it in his pocket and if he ever felt sad at school he could simply hold a piece of Blue Blankie and that would help him feel better. I kissed the piece of blanket and gave it to him for his pocket. He liked this idea. We talked more about it all the way to the bus stop. About how he could keep the piece during the school day, but that maybe he could tuck it into his desk when it's time to come home so it'll always be at school and he won't forget it the next day. He's going to give it a try.

Nicholas has always been emotionally fragile. Thin-skinned. Prone to crying easily. This is not new for him. Sometimes the littlest things can set him off big. And sometimes, big stuff just rolls off him. He's hard to figure out that way. He's a mama's boy - very attached to me. Lauren is more into Daddy right now, so we have a balance. But Nicholas is also very quick to smile and laugh. His highs are high and his lows are low, and his emotions are right there on the surface. I want him to enjoy school, and so far, he seems to be. But it's a big adjustment for him still. He's not accustomed to being away from home for the majority of the day consistently. Today, we're having a friend come home with him after school to play a bit. A good friend from Kindergarten who also rides his bus. I'm hoping this helps him reconnect with pals from last year who aren't in his 1st grade class (his two best pals are in the same class together, but Nicholas is in a different class. They see each other at recess. These two aren't in his reading group, either, which just got assigned on Friday). I'm hoping that packing a piece of blankie in his pocket helps him, too. Reminds him that he's loved and is ok and will see me/us soon.

Poor guy! It's tough to be 6!

My N (5.5) is sort of doing some similiar things to me. She's never been my sensitive girl so it's throwing me for a loop.

This Mom-gig is hard!

Hoping Nicholas feels more secure soon.
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