Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Two Week Countdown

Yeah, yeah, it's been over a month again since I posted.  I've been busy.  Mostly busy having fun, but also busy trying to figure out this whole "get a new job" thing that's been sucking most of my life away.  Really, it feels like it's been sucking the soul right out of me.

Hopefully, I'll have something more interesting to say about things like that in the future, but that's not what this post is about.

Tonight, this post is about my boy-o.  And the fact that two weeks from yesterday is the day he starts kindergarten.

And before today, I was all ready and gung-ho about it.  I mean, I know he's smart enough.  I know he's socially developed enough.  I know he's ready, in all ways.

Yes, I was panicking back at the beginning of the year and earlier.  And I had lost of reasons to.  He did not participate much at all at day care.  He wouldn't engage with other kids at the playground.  He didn't play with the other kids, but next to them.  And yes, in some ways it was age appropriate, but in other ways, I just knew it pointed to a hard time adjusting to kindergarten, and it was 6 months to a year away.  (Ask Gak or half the people I was working with... they all knew I was panicking over this...)

Then, Miss Loretta at daycare said he was participating and instigating play with the other kids.  And he wasn't being clingy when I dropped him off on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Gak would have to vouch for Wednesdays and Fridays...).  He even instigated play with kids he'd never met before at the playground.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  A switch had flipped and my boy-o might take a bit of time to get used to the idea of kindergarten, but it wasn't going to be as bad as I feared.

Still, if you asked him if he was ready or excited about kindergarten, you'd get a shake of the head "no", or maybe even a verbal no.  If we were out in public and standing talking to someone, he'd try and disappear into my leg.

But... he was excited and interested in buying his new school supplies.  He was thrilled even to some degree.
He likes to go over to the playground at his new school and will even ask to go there.

But, the last few weeks have me nervous again.  And after today, I'm really nervous and full of panic and back to my "oh this is so not going to be fun until November" mode.

You see, our boy is panicking and terrified.  The closer we get to the start of school, the more quiet terror I see is lurking behind his quiet ways.

There are lots of little things pointing towards this.
He's getting more scared again of dogs, cats and other animals.  He used to be OK with looking at animals at the zoo, or if they were on leashes.  Now, he panics and tries to run away, all but throwing me into "danger".
He's not participating as freely at daycare as he was.
Tonight, when I told him I had to rinse the soap he left in his hair out, he was on the verge of terror tears and almost howling.  We haven't had a howling incident in the tub in ages.
He's not going to bed easily or willingly, saying he's scared or "I want you" without any other explanation.  Tonight I tried to get out of him what was wrong and all I got was "I'm scared" and all but in tears.  He finally came up with that he wanted more light in his room, so I gave him his flashlight.  I know that's not the root of the problem.
He's becoming more timid and withdrawn in all ways.
He's gotten very, very clingy when I drop him off at day care and not wanting to let go.
Today, we went to a "concert" at the library (which was supposed to be a "getting ready for kindergarten" theme, but wasn't int he slightest, but that's a different story...).  I couldn't get him to go sit with Joey, one of his bestest friends.  I could barely get him to engage at all.  He didn't complain that it was too loud or cover his ears like he does when it really is too noisy/busy for him.  He just didn't want anything to do with it for the most part.
Sunday the three of us walked over to the school playground and he was having a good time.  Until Gak asked him what he thought it was like inside the school.  Then, suddenly and out of the blue he gets all kinds of sulky and whiny and "my tummy hurts".  He was that scared.  We went home after that, and almost instantly he was fine.

I'm back to worrying about how much of a struggle it's going to be to walk him to school every day.  I'm back to hoping his teacher is as awesome and patient as my friends who's kids have had her before say she is. I'm back to both dreading and looking forward to the first day of school in equal measure.

Yes, yes, I know it'll be OK.  He may even surprise me.
But.... I just can't shake this feeling of dread.  I know my boy-o.  Change scares the ever living snot out of him.  And it doesn't have to be big change.  He's stubborn (hence the "fun" (totally sarcastic here) arguments at dinner times...).  He doesn't want to be engaged with others, even though he can and he has friends.  If anyone doesn't believe that someone can actually inherently be an introvert just needs to see my son.  He's about as much of an introvert as I've ever seen.  Once he figures a situation out, identifies the one or two people he wants to be involved with/ can trust, he's off like a rocket.  Point in fact, he's constantly asking if Dominick can come over.  It breaks my heart that Dom won't go to kindergarten until next year, and probably not the same school.  (Joey will be at his school, but will be in the afternoon class, not the morning class...)
So, we've got just under two weeks of summer left and hopefully I won't get an ulcer from worry before the big day.  Who knows, my boy-o may just surprise the socks off me.  (If I'm wearing socks that day that is....)  A week from tomorrow we have the kindergarten orientation and then he'll start on the next Tuesday.  We'll see how it goes.  I may need to have a boy surgically removed from my leg.  (I know he won't be the only one, but he's the only one I have to worry about...)  I just want to make it through the first two weeks with as few tears on his part as possible.  I know they're coming... I just hope they're few.

And for the record, I've stopped asking him about it and tried to stop mentioning it as much as possible.  Not so that he can live in denial, but to try and reduce the general stress about it.  I'm trying to treat it like it's "no big deal", and hopefully he'll relax a smidge about it too.

So, peace to you all and may your new beginnings be met with open arms, happy hearts and as little fear and dread as possible.

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