Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to School 2013/2014

Where does the time go?
My baby, who it seems like just started crawling yesterday, is in grade 4.
Grade 4.
Back to school is notoriously hard for us in the M household. 
The week before starts with major anxiety (Q's yes, but I'm not going to too...), tummy troubles, mood swings and tear.
Oh, the tears....they kill me.  They break my heart.  I want to say, "Okay, okay, you do not have to go to school.  Ever.  Who needs to read and write?"  And then common sense gets the better of me and I remember that even if I want to keep him home, it's kind of well, isolating and uhhhh, illegal. 
Sooooooo, we try to deal with it in other ways.
We do some cognitive therapy (who knew that depression in my early 20's would come in handy when parenting!!!).  As in:  What is the absolute worst thing that could happen?  Like the most outrageous, ridiculous, impossible thing that you can think of?  And then let's work our way back from there.  Forgetting your homework isn't such a big deal when you stat by being kidnapped by aliens.  And then we can kind of laugh about all the ridiculous scenarios.  Not to make light of the situation, but to acknowledge that by talking about things, you immediately take some of their *scary* away. 
We went to the school early on the first day so that we could walk around before too many people were there.  We became familiar with the surroundings again.  We found his class.  We came prepared. 
He was super moody the night before, and I was beyond frustrated.  I received some really good advise though, from some moms with 8 kids combined.  And so I tried it.  Even though I was irritated and angry, I said...
"Q.  I love you so much.  I always have and always will.  Nothing you do will ever, ever change that." 
Slowly, his mood changed. 
He said..."Mommy.  Can we talk about school before I go to sleep?"
And so we did.  We talked about his friends, the teachers through the years, his classmates, his favourite class, recess, lunch, everything.  We talked about everything.  For a long time.  I told him I was so proud of him and he was so brave for tackling this fear head on.
There were minimal tears.  A few the night before, but he did not burst into tears while standing in line.  He did not cling to me.  Even other parents commented on how well he did. 
I think I'm getting the hang of this parenting thing...although every time I think I've reached a comfort zone in parenting, everything changes and I realize I have no idea what I'm doing. 
Here's to Grade 4.  May it be the least stressful year yet!!
Well....there were no tears but I guess a smile was too much to ask!!!  Cool kids don't smile, and I'm pretty sure I was lucky the two of them stayed still long enough to take a memory :) 

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