I’ve heard it takes between four to six weeks to adjust to something new, in which case, today is a really big hump day — 2.5 weeks into my semester and 2 weeks into G’s school year (cue Bon Jovi, “Ooooh, we’re halfway theeeere . . . “).
G’s transition from half-day Montessori preschool (with grandma as one of his teachers) to full-on, conventional kindergarten has been a little rough, made rougher by the fact that we found out the day before school started that his supposed teacher resigned (two days before school started), which left his class without a dedicated classroom teacher for the first four days of school. The school principal, teachers, and other staff did their best to fill the void, but it definitely made things extra rocky.
Overall, I think G is settling in and will be fine, but goodbyes in the morning are always a sad time. He tears up pretty much every single day, rubbing his eyes and fighting back the tears while blowing me sad-faced kisses as his class walks into the building. I held it together until the fifth day of school, when I also broke down.
I think he might actually be better off if I just dropped him off and left, except that he refuses to engage with any of the other kids on the playground, which makes me feel like he’s not ready for this step.
Instead, I stand there with him clinging to me in the hot, hot sun (his school starts on the later side and we are on the east side of the building — SO. MUCH. SUN.), staring at my phone and hoping that NOW is the time they will blow the whistle for the kids to line up and go inside.
No matter how late I push our morning departure time, or how many errands we run ahead of time, we have yet to achieve my goal of arriving exactly as the kids are lining up. Always early!
Anyhow, I changed things up yesterday, and instead of just blowing a kiss to G as his class walked by my post near the door, I made a funny face: tongue out, fingers waggling at ears, eyes crossed — going all out and making a complete fool of myself (in front of the few parents who were actually still there) to get a smile out of that kid. And it worked!
Don’t be fooled by the fact that we are arriving early — time is NOT on my side these days. For the past two years, I was spoiled by G’s school schedule and our transportation arrangements. Matthew took G to school most days, and in order for the timing to work, they usually left the house by eight o’clock. That meant my day — the chunk of time I had to do school work, paid work, and house stuff — effectively started at 8.
These days, by the time I get home from G’s school drop-off, it’s almost 9:30 a.m. It’s like I’ve lost an hour-and-a-half every. single. weekday. Add another 30-40 minutes to that on the days I’m also picking him up in the afternoons, and, it’s two hours a day, poof! Gone!
Anyway, I’m slowly adjusting, figuring out ways I can at least squeeze in some housework and/or errands in the mornings before school, which helps a bit.
On the bike
Between G’s school transportation and getting to my own classes, I’m racking up quite the mileage, despite the heat. Did I mention it is hot? So hot? (Actually, it could be hotter, but I don’t want to think about that.)
One of my classes meets in the afternoon, which means I am biking both to and from class during the sunniest and hottest times of the day — not super fun for this heat-phobic vampire!
Biking with G has been good overall, though as he continues getting heavier (and the difference between his weight and my weight gets smaller), using the tag-a-long bike is becoming more challenging, both from a general balance perspective and for getting up the hills. I’ve taken to using a longer route to/from school to avoid one particular hill, at least when he is in tow.
So, there you have it! A couple more weeks, and we should all be pros at this new normal. Moving toward cooler weather (if slowly in StL), doesn’t hurt, either!
Good luck with all your transitions. Just a tip from a fellow mom (my son is 16 now) – your instincts about needing to leave sooner when dropping your son off are probably spot-on. Kids act differently when their parents aren’t there. He might have a tough morning or two, but he’ll probably do better if you don’t linger. My son was the king of shyness and he did so much better without me there. I made him self-conscious. Good luck!
I’m using a Burley Kazoo trailer to drop off my 5.5 year old son to school fairly regularly. It ends up being 12 miles for the round trip. However, my bike has BionX e-assist. That really makes a huge difference and makes this possible on a regular basis. I am wondering though if a proper tandem bike (with e-assist) would be better in the long-term.
I can see e-assist being helpful, especially for any kind of hills. I’ve actually started taking a slightly longer route to G’s school just to avoid a hill (a hill that doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal, but with him in tow, it is!). As Gabriel’s weight comes closer to my own (still quite a gap, but he weighs over 1/3 of what I do now), I do think a tandem would be nicer than a trail-a-bike. Maybe if we hadn’t just bought a house . . . 😦