First Day of School

Outside of the Park District

Ben started school last week, and as much as we tried preparing him, by reading books, watching movies and talking about it, he still wasn’t enthusiastic. Dave would even play a little game, something along the lines of:

Dave: Who’s 3 years old?
Ben: Me!
Dave: Who loves Wipeout?
Ben: Me!
Dave: Who’s a big boy?
Ben: Me!
Dave: Who’s going to school?
Ben: You are!

Whenever I would mention school, he would always ask if I was coming with him and when I would tell him that I would just be dropping him off but that I would come back and pick him up. He wasn’t too happy about that.

We’d enrolled him in a 2 hour a day, 2 day a week preschool at the local park district, just to get him used to being around other kids and being away from home. Previously, Dave’s parents and my dad would switch off days during the week to take care of Ben, so he’s not around kids much. During the summer we got him into a t-ball league and a sports class, but I’ve come to realize that he’s just naturally shy around other kids. That, and his favorite hobby seems to be clinging to me.

I was dreading the first day of school, because he cries when I drop him off at his grandparents’. How would he act if I dropped him off in an unfamiliar place? We were on vacation on the days they had the open house for his class, where he would be able to see the classrooms and meet the teachers. So his first day of school would be trial by fire - I was NOT going to stay there and hold his hand throughout the day. He had to do it on his own.

So the first day of school came, and as I drove him there he mentioned in the car that he didn’t want to go. I ignored it and since I was so paranoid, we actually got there several minutes early. So Ben got to hang out outside the classroom and see the other kids, and hang up his backpack on the hook. Once the teacher opened up the room, I led Ben inside, readying myself for the leg hugging that was sure to come.

Lo and behold, Ben saw a toolbench in the corner and immediately left me to go and play with it. I was surprised, but happy. His teacher told him he had to go and wait in line to wash his hands before he played with the toys, and he stepped in line and waited his turn. I talked to the teacher for a second about some paperwork I had to fill out, and stood in a corner to work on it. I watched Ben go back to the workbench and work on a project. He then moved on to the play dough table.

I hovered a bit, and so did many other parents. I wasn’t the only one taking pictures and holding my breath, waiting for some sort of meltdown to happen. There were a couple kids who were already hanging on to their parents, bawling their eyes out. There was a signup sheet outside the classroom to bring in snacks, so I stood there, strategizing the best dates for me to bring in something tasty. Ben walked out of the classroom and pulled me back in, asking “Where are you going?” I was caught! I explained to him that I would looking at stuff out there. I hovered a bit more, this time with Ben checking on my whereabouts every now and then.

Finally, the teacher was calling for class to begin. I didn’t want to make a scene, but I did want to give my little boy a kiss goodbye. I knew it was risky, but I wasn’t going to just sneak out. So I bent down and asked him for a kiss goodbye, and he gave me a kiss and went back to his playing, but he didn’t seem too happy about it.

A couple hours later, I came back to pick him up. The teacher opened the door and told the kids to stay in their seats until their name was called. I saw Ben sitting quietly at a table, waiting. Some kids didn’t listen and ran out of the door as soon as they saw their parents (I wasn’t the only one craning my next to see inside the doorway). When Ben’s name was called, he walked out of the room and grabbed his backpack, and was looking for me in the crowd of expected parents. I did this idiotic wave to him, and he had a smile as he ran into my waiting arms.

I asked him what he did in class, and his answer was “I don’t know” and stuck to that answer for most of the day. Even now, after 3 classes, he still doesn’t talk about class much. I told him that were going back a couple days later, and he replied, “No, I don’t want to go. I already went.” He doesn’t cry when I drop him off, but it’s obvious he’s not feelin’ the school thing. He’s made some art and things, and seems pretty proud of the stuff that he’s done. I guess it’ll take a bit of time to adjust from being the center of attention to having to spend time with a classroom of other small people.

Well, at least he didn’t cry!

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2009-09-24 13:24:21

joy says

Awww… don’t worry about it too much. My son is 3 too though he went to a preschool all last year. This year we have him in a new one, and for the first couple of weeks, he kept telling me he was bored and he had no friends. Of course I was worried, but I decided it was because at his last school there wasn’t too much structure. Well not as much structure as his school this year so he had to get used to the new system. I think he’s finally gotten used to the school and learned all the other kid’s names. Now he seems excited and tells me who all his friends are, etc. Ben will get used to it too! Good luck!

2009-09-29 16:23:49

The Other Tara says

sounds like my kids with the “I don’t know’s” Even at 18 and 16, they still seem to say it, lol. I used to get frustrated, wanting to know what they did during the day at preschool, I mean, come on, they had to do something right? it took a long few months of me having to prompt them to find out what they did - did you play with blocks, sing songs, color in books, etc, till they finally started telling me stuff on their own. I even had to make up kids names to find out if they ever made friends - did you talk to Carlos, Emily, Ashley or Brianna? they’d always know that there were no kids with those names, but never remember the names of the kids they did meet. He’s at a great age! good luck!

2009-09-30 16:49:06

thaihoney says

lol…oh honey, i feel you…….i really do. i cried for ayden’s first day at daycare, and actually sobbed and wailed on the phone to melanie the first day i pulled out of thecla’s parking lot.

the good thing is, this is good for you AND him. you’ll be amazed over the next few weeks..then the next few months.


2009-10-01 13:41:26

used tires says

Awww, I know those first days can be scary and intimidating, hopefully the teacher is making the experience better for him, and hopefully he will start to enjoy it!

Till then,


2009-10-01 16:20:01

Metal Laptop Cases says

Adorable pictures. This brings back fond memories of my first days of school. Of course I don’t remember my first day of preschool, but I do have random memories of finger painting and making crafts. I’m sure your son will learn to love school in time. It may just be a matter of making some friends and getting used to a new environment.

2009-10-01 18:00:29

Trisha says

Very cute. He’s probably going to be okay - he’s just messin’ w/ya!

2009-10-04 08:40:12

super bright led says

cute boy,just be patient,he will grow up soon.

2009-10-06 01:28:53

Title Insurance Agent says

First day of school is hectic for any kid sure your kid become used too very soon, very sweet and cute kid….

2009-10-07 11:30:16

1080i vs p says

this first pic is very funny,lol

2009-10-13 17:01:09

ATV for Sale says

Your little boy is very expressive. In all these photos he seems to be making one silly face or another. With an attitude like that, it should be just a matter of time before he makes friends.


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