Preschool Stinks…

Ok. It’s been awhile since Ace started preschool and things were going good. I was dealing with it and he was loving it, which equals good-not great, for me at least. 🙂

But last week we had a meltdown! All of a sudden I get a phone call from his teacher saying that he wanted to sit by himself during playtime because he had a tummy ache. Now, I know that pretty much the only time Ace gets a “tummy ache” is when he’s nervous. So I told this to his teacher and told her to give him some time and if he’s persistent about not feeling well to call and I’d come pick him up. As much as I wanted to go get him I knew if I did that I would be opening a can of worms I knew I couldn’t deal with.

I didn’t get a phone call so I didn’t pick him up early. After school I asked him how he felt and he said he was tired and all day he kept wishing he was at home with me.

So I figured maybe he didn’t sleep well the night before and just had a rough day. The next morning however, DH calls me freaking out because he was going to be late for work because Ace refused to get out of the car. So he put him on the phone and he was hysterical. So I calmed him down and told him that if he wanted, I’d pick him up after lunch. So he agreed and went in.
I called his teacher an hour later and she said he was doing great and I told her what I told him about picking him up early but that I’d only come if she called me.

No call.

Next day: same thing in the morning and DH had to leave him there screaming with his teacher. That night he kept telling us he hated school and didn’t want to go anymore. I made it very clear that we were not entertaining that thought for a minute and that missing school was not an option.

So on Friday as I drove him to school I kept trying to get to the root of the problem, which ultimately I think was just a case of separation anxiety. I told him that along with the prayers that I say for him (this akathist) with our morning prayers, I would do komboskini for him all day. He also made me promise to call his Nono-Papa (his Godfather is the Geronda at our men’s monastery) and tell him to say extra prayers for him too. He kept telling me that he wanted to have a good day but he didn’t know how. I told him he had to just keep telling himself how much fun he was going to have and that I’d be there to pick him up before he knew it. He said he kept trying to close his eyes and not cry but the tears just kept slipping out. I wanted to cry!! I told him that I was certain that today (Friday) would be a better day.

When I dropped him off he said, “Mom, I think I am going to have a good day today. Just write yourself a note so you don’t forget to pray for me.” I told him that for Mama’s and Baba’s praying for their children is like breathing, you can’t forget.

He kissed me and I walked him in. I got in the car. And cried the whole way home. Again.

Oh my goodness this stinks!!!!

It’s been almost a week now and he’s been doing fine again, but whew! I thought I was going to break. I feel like a kid again, I dread Monday coming!

Is this normal? Seriously, I am thinking it’s an unhealthy attachment. I have to be able to let him go. What am I going to do when he leaves home? Oh, my tummy aches now…

14 thoughts on “Preschool Stinks…

  1. when i dropped mine off they would cry…but the preschool had a two way mirror…when i would go in there…i saw for myself it didn’t take but five minutes for them to feel better. Is he making friends? Maybe he just misses you. Hang in there, i will pray for you.juliek

  2. Looks like a tough time you are getting through… Keep praying for him. Talking to God about your kids helps so much more, than just talking to your kids about God :), as some wise elders-gerondoi advise. Has he mentioned WHY he doesnt like his preschool anymore? There could be some much more pragmatic explanation than you think – maybe some kid offended him or didnt want to play with him, etc. I will try to remember to pray for you both on Monday.Everything will be just fine, dont you worry.

  3. Thank you so much for your support! This is so hard! I feel like I’m a crazy woman, lol. I feel so blessed to have the friendship of such amazing women. Honestly, I don’t know how I ever lived without all of you! 🙂

  4. It is normal- it would not be normal if we dropped our children off and then were happy to have them out of the house I would think!!! Hang in there, it does get easier. That Akathist is wonderful.

  5. I have three small children (2,4,&5). My daughter had one year of preschool at a parent-participation preschool (ie. I worked 1 day every other week) and now is in kindergarten doing great. i put my second child, Matthew, in preschool a year younger than I did my daughter. he did not like going to prechool even on days I was there and told me he would rather be at home with me. After 4 months of this I finally had an novel thought "Why make him go when kids dont even have to go to prechool?" I took him out that day and Im so happy about my decision. It has given him and his younger brother more time to bond and a chance for me to do boy stuff with them. I plan on sending him back to preschool in the fall. I feel that he has already been growing in confidence being home with me and know for certain that he will be ready in the fall. I feel that the best place for kids is where they feel safe, loved, and can learn about God. What better place then home?? Also, if the fall doesnt work out like planned, I dont think it is a crime not to send kids to preschool as long as they are learning things at home. This, of course has just been my experience:-)Best of luck!

  6. Awww… your post made me tear up! But the mere fact that you’re worried about him proves what a wonderful (and absolutely “normal”, if there’s such a thing) mother you are.What struck me is that he asked you and his Godfather to pray for him. How amazing that request and knowledge is for a boy his age!

  7. Yes I know, I’m very thankful that he realizes how important prayer is. He literally asks me every morning now to remember to pray all day for him. 🙂 And when I pick him up he asks if I did. He really loves his Godfather, we’re very blessed with that. Wait until you read what happened last night. 🙂 I’ll probably post it later on or tomorrow morning.

  8. My grandparents never went to preschool. My parents never went to preschool. I never went to preschool. My own children never went to preschool. Why do you believe you must send your child to preschool? Is this an Orthodox tradition?

  9. Nell,Unfortunately it is a necessity where I live that your child attend preschool. Ace is 5 1/2 and I held off as long as it was possible before sending him. Good elementary schools are scarce in our area and the one we are praying he gets accepted into will not even consider the application without preschool experience. Crazy? Yes. I sent him for only half a year for this reason. Preparing a child for Kindergarten has somehow become as complicated and stressful as preparing a student for college. Trust me I would be much happier to have him home with me but if I want him to get into a good school for his elementary education this is protocol.

  10. Thanks for your reply. Please inform me: in the Orthodox tradition, who owns the responsibility for the upbringing (including education) of children: the parents, the church, or the civil government?You are a good mother. Have you ever considered other–perhaps better–alternatives to acceptance in a “good” school?

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