My Reluctant Scholar

Three weeks ago, we enrolled Jonah into a two-mornings-a-week preschool program. It gives me several much-needed one-on-one hours with Eli and his schoolwork, plus, I think the peer interactions are good for him, especially since there’s such a big age gap between him and his siblings.

He wasn’t particularly thrilled about this decision, however.

The first day, he screamed bloody murder when I left him. And when I picked him up, he was mad at me. “Don’t ever go away from me again!”

The second day, I got there early and stayed in the classroom with him for about ten minutes before leaving to loud cries of “NO! NO! NO!” But when I picked him up, he was all smiles and said he loved his teacher.

On what should’ve been the third day, he stayed home, due to an urgent situation involving Miralax and a glycerin suppository. We’ll just leave it at that.

On the fourth day, or third, however you’re counting it, he was all happy until I asked him to get out of the car. Then he turned into a leaden noodle and didn’t want to move.

“No….you have to STAY with me…”

I wrangled him out of his car seat and we lumbered to the door. I tried to finally capture the iconic “first” day of school picture complete with backpack, but he refused to put on his backpack — the same one he’d insisted on wearing everywhere since he first laid eyes on it. I guess putting it on felt like giving in to my ridiculous demand that he spend the morning playing, painting, singing and learning with 8 other kids.

I did manage to capture his nervous smile….

reluctant scholar

And him looking wistfully back at the car….poor baby.

reluctant scholar2

When I picked him up that day, he was rather quiet, though his teacher assured me he’d had a great day and fully participated in all the activities.

I think he might’ve been hungry, though, because I stopped at Walmart on the way home, where he proceeded to have the Mother of All Meltdowns. I think it was from holding himself together all morning at school, then being hungry, then being told “no” when he wanted to steer the cart around and crash into things. I made him sit in the cart and he screamed, thrashed and cried from the middle of the store, through the checkout, through the parking lot, back to the car.

SO embarrassing.

I kind of dreaded telling him the following Tuesday night that he had school the next morning. But he said, “I get to go to school?” and was all happy about it. He woke up in a great mood, ate breakfast, slipped on his backpack.

I tried once more for the iconic school picture complete with backpack, but once again, he was having nothing to do with that kind of nonsense.

reluctant scholar3a

“Don’t take my picture, Mom!”

Miracle of miracles — when we pulled up to the school, he simply said, “Bye, Mom!”

No begging me to stay. No limp noodle routine. His face clouded with the slightest wave of apprehension as I leaned over to kiss him goodbye. But I just said, cheerily, “Bye, buddy! Have a great day! I’ll see you in a little bit!”

Picking him up was uneventful, and last night, he kept saying “I get to go to school tomorrow!”

But, alas — he didn’t. He caught a cold and fever from Eli and couldn’t go. And he seemed very disappointed about missing it.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve turned the corner, and I’m glad. Jonah was also released from speech therapy today. His private therapist can’t see him any longer because insurance won’t pay for any more visits this year, so she suggested having him tested by the school system. I met with the school therapists today to get the results of his testing and they say he’s doing great — they see no need for him to receive services.

My little buddy is almost four and growing up so fast. It’s always bittersweet when these kids have to go and do that!