As bad as it gets

The morning before I left for Washington, D.C. with my boys was the morning Christos and I were going to meet his teacher for the first time.

I was anxious, but prepared. I had spoken with his teacher over the phone previously, and she sounded incredibly nice.

My husband and I spoke with Christos about this day, about the fact that he'd be going to meet his teacher before officially starting school. He was ready.

However. My mom came over that morning to babysit Dimitry. And she said something she shouldn't have said.

"Can I come meet the teacher, too?"

Of course, in normal circumstances, this would have been okay. I mean, my son and I could have gone in, met with the teacher, looked at his classroom, and then my mom could have said hello to the teacher, too, as she will be Chrsitos's ride to and from school for most of the school year.

But, considering the fact that my son is extremely shy to begin with, as well as super sensitive, it just didn't work out. He acts different when he's with my mom. Of course he is spoiled, and there are no rules with her. My boys totally adore my mom, and she is madly in love with them, too. It's just that, for this very important day, I should have gone alone with Christos to school.

I knew it wouldn't go as expected. And it didn't. Christos would not leave the car. He was crying, saying he did not want to go in the school, saying he wanted to leave, to continue driving far away. It was heartbreaking. He wouldn't listen to a thing I said. He just wanted to leave. Another teacher heard him crying, and went to get the kindergarten teacher for us.

I convinced Christos to finally get out of the car, and to walk around the outside of the school. His teacher came outside to meet us, and that started the tears all over again. He clung to my legs as if it was the end of the world, screaming, yelling, crying. I was trying to calm him down, trying to pick him up, and trying to talk to his teacher at the same time. She was calm, relaxed and smiling. I started to cry, in disbelief that this was actually the situation I was in.

Things could not have gone any worse. It was as bad as it gets. Nothing would relax my son. I apologized to his teacher, and went to look at the classroom with her. Christos was watching from the window, but he would not come in.

"Have you seen this type of behaviour before?" I asked his teacher.

"Well, not on meet the teacher day, to be honest. But yes, I've seen children act like that on the first official day of school," she replied to me.

I wish that my son acted like the little boy I know at home - the amazingly smart little boy who knows way more than a 4 year old should know about life, about how things work, about letters, words, and about numbers. My smart little boy, who is protective of his younger brother, who can make a mean Greek salad, go the washroom alone, clean the house better than I can, take apart a computer, read a book, ask questions, and star-gaze through his telescope. My little construction worker, who loves to play with his giant excavator in the backyard sandbox, and who walks around the house with his binder and paper checking off the things that are working, and making note of what needs fixing. My happy, funny, smiling boy, who can tell great jokes and make us laugh all day long. This is who I wanted his teacher to meet that day.

Instead, she met the complete opposite.

We have another chance to meet his teacher again this week, alone, before he begins school next week. I'm actually hopeful that this time, he'll be better behaved. He feels bad for the way he acted. I hope and I pray that this time, things will go a lot smoother for us!

Who would have thought it would be this hard...
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Theta Mom said...

Don't stress over's probably just nerves, this is n whole new world for him. Maybe just talk about school with him and all of the fun things he's going to do...and don't worry about the teacher. She works with children; she must understand the process of starting school!

Lady Mama said...

Oh Loukia I'm sorry it didn't go well. As you've said, your son is an incredibly bright and sensitive little man, and going to school is such a huge step. I really do feel for you and can imagine how hard it must have been. But you're a wonderful mom and you're doing the best you can. And you know what, I think this reaction is common and he'll come through it. I bet in no time he'll be telling you how much he loves school.

MamaJoss said...

Oh gosh Mommy...that's a tough one. I'm sure he was just having a little moment and your next meeting will be perfect :) That had to be a hard one for you.

Tyne said...

No worries, mom. This will pass and he will grow in independence. In no time his teacher will be enjoying that same boy that you have enjoyed everyday.

I taught kinder and pre-k for years before I was a mom, and I saw that frequently. He will adjust, the cleaner and faster you break, the easier it will be on him and his teacher. On the way to school remind him that you will be back to pick him up after a short time, then kiss him, tell him you will see him soon and leave. Don't linger- it makes it so much harder!

MammaMania said...

So sorry to read about that. One day,of course, you will look back on it and laugh. It WILL get better. Take it from the mom of two "mamma's boys."

Be sure to remind him of that on his wedding day. He will love you for it.

Mom2Miles said...

Don't worry, he'll get used to it. Most of the kids in my son's class were in tears the first few WEEKS, so it's completely common. I'm sure once he gets in there & meets some of the other kids he'll start to feel more comfortable. It is so heartbreaking to watch your baby go through that, though, isn't it?

Jennifer said...

Good luck at your next meet and greet! I know it's disappointing when our kids don't show the world the wonderful little kids we know. I'm sure your son will adjust in no time, though!

Capital Mom said...

That is hard.
It took about 2 months for my daughter to be comfortable with preschool. It wasn't that she didn't like it, she just had trouble transitioning at drop off and pick ups. One things that helped was that she was allowed to take one of her stuffed animals with her. As a transitional item. It really seemed to help her to have something from home.
He will adjust to it. It will just take some time.

Rosana V. said...

oh my...i have a sensitive one too. she is four and i am already mentally, emotionally, and physically prepping myself for next year (kindergarten). good luck with the second meet-the-teacher day!!! said...

It can be heart wrenching. Just be prepared that he may freak out again.

Good luck next week.

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Oh, Bless your Heart! I am so sorry change is such a hard thing for all of us!
He is gonna love school and make you so proud!!
Oh, wish me luck for Cash's 1st real day tomorrow.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Oh man I feel for you. I have been there, well almost there and I know exactly what you mean about wanting the teacher to know the boy that you know. I have come to accept that while others will get to know a little bit of them, my boys are like me, they keep the best for those the love the most. It's taken me years to get here and yes I still get frustated when they act shy.

But I also know that my boys have grown out of it. Hang in there and I hope the next meeting goes much better. Once he gets into school he will LOVE it, I promise.

Mom on the Go said...

I'm a reader and seek books out at times like this. Your local library will have a selection of "starting school" books set aside. My favourites are "I'll always come back" and "The kissing hand". It helps, I think, to read a book and talk about the characters in the story and how they are doing - it puts a bit of distance between the stressful situation and the child and also helps the child to see that they're not alone.

I'd also try and set up a playdate with another little guy so that Christos will have an ally to seek out when he does get to class each day. Then, kiss him and leave. It's worse to prolong the parting.

Chantal said...

Oh Loukia, that sound so hard. Even though it was hard for you it was probably a good thing your mom was there. She will be the one doing drop off and pick up, so he needs to get used to her being there with him.

I have to admit that I totally thought my son would do amazing at meet the teacher, and he didn't. He didn't cry but he wouldn't talk to her, look at her or respond to anything she said. He is such a funny, outgoing kid. I was very surprised. You just never know how a child will react. I am sure Christos will LOVE school. He sounds like he loves learning already. School will be a natural fit for him. Eventually. You'll see.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

It will be fine! It takes some longer to adjust than others, but they all do! I taught preschool for a year and it was such a fun age! They are all so adorable!

Kell said...

don't worry! after my first day of pre-school, i was so scared to go back that i told my mom that my teacher poisoned the kool aide & gave us stale cookies. i also told her i wished the school was somewhere far away like virginia. surprisingly enough, my mom wasn't buyin' it & sent me back.

he'll adjust, no worries :)

Elaine A. said...

I'll pray the next meeting goes better. At least the teacher is very understanding. He's gonna be fine. It's a hard transition for all kids. Hugs friend!!

ModernMom said...

Oh Sweetie! Hugs to you. It will get easier:)

Shana said...

He will be fine. I just know it! Hoping the next meeting goes better!!!

Lorraine said...

First of all *BIG HUG* to you and your little guy:(

I know everyone has said this but it's true...It will get better and your teacher will see just how special your little boy is.

There was a little girl in my daughter's JK/SK class who cried every morning for the whole year! But as soon as she was in the classroom she was having a blast (I know because I'm a volunteer at my daughter's school).

But I'll still be thinking of you next Monday.

Scattered Mom said...

Don't worry Lou, as someone who has worked in elem. school, I'm sure the teacher has seen it ALL and nothing will phase her. School staff all know that the first few days of ANY grade, kids are always a bit off. They're adjusting! :)

When Jake was in K, he had a complete screaming meltdown at the welcome back to school corn roast at his school and I literally had to carry him home. Sometimes, stuff just happens.

Hang in there. :)

Nap Warden said...

Oh no...I really hope next time goes better. They bounce back, he'll get the hang of it:)

Musings of a Housewife said...

Awww, poor little guy. It sounds like he was nervous. My daughter did a similar thing yesterday on Meet the Teacher day. She is usually so outgoing and sweet, and she acted all shy and hid her head in my skirt. So embarrassing! But I'm sure her teacher's seen it all, lol.

Anna-b-bonkers said...

Aww, I feel for you guys!
We had our met the teacher and kids and other parents day last week and my kids left the room and found a corner with books to sit in away from other kids.
we started homeschooling instead. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jessica said...

Goodness... well, at least it can only get better, right??

Big hugs to you and Big C.