The Boy is starting a new school today and I am a complete wreck.
He's fine, mind you. Totally excited and doesn't seem to be traumatized at all (of course I am writing this before I take him and drop him off and actually leave him there), but I am freaking out. I haven't slept well in the last week. Every time I wake up I think about how nervous I was when I started a new school and how whenever I start at a new job or client how I have that unsettled feeling and I don't know where the potty is, and I don't know any of the people, or who to go to if I have any issue and...well...I am completely projecting all of that onto my poor child. Fortunately for him, he is three and hasn't experienced the real, scary world yet and is just excited because they have a kick ass play ground.
I should point out that I am silently freaking out and on the outside, and what The Boy sees, I am the picture of confidence. I have talked to him about going to a new school and about how he won't know any of the kids initially but that he should walk up to someone who looks nice and tell them his name and that it is his first day and see if they want to play. I told him he might find some other little boy (or girl) who loves Spiderman as much as he does and that they might even want to pretend to shoot webs at bad guys like he does. I told him that he gets to bring A LUNCHBOX and, OMG, how cool is that? He has two different cubby's and a place to hang his jacket and a special nap room where he can sleep on a cot with his special blanket and pillow. He knows he is in a new classroom with 12 other kids and he met a couple of them at our walk through. He knows there is a whole little section of his room dedicated to science and, holyshit, they have A FISH TANK, and they have TURTLES there, and they have little mini potty's that are just his size. He thinks the whole place is just the bees knees.
And really, it is. The school is awesome. There are three or four different classes and they follow the same Montessori learning practices that he is used to. And it is all very structured, which is good for The Boy (some of my anal retentive virgo-ness has rubbed off on the poor child). There is about three hours of classroom time broken up by snack break and one half hour "recess" and then an hour lunch, a two hour period of time for nap and clean up and then the final hour before I pick him up will be outside in the "coolest playground he has ever seen." There are scheduled potty breaks and before every meal and after potty time and nap time there are scheduled hand washes. All of the people I met are fabulous and loving and kind. It is so organized that it sorta gives me a chubby. In addition to his regular classroom time, he can sign up for a science class, a karate class, a "little movers" class or a Spanish class. There are Christmas plays and toy drives and pizza Friday's and Santa visits and it all just seems so...grown up.
And to prepare him for his first day I feel like I am the one getting ready for a big test or final. The amount of paperwork I needed to fill out was insane. Then of course there is the physicians report that has to be filled out by his doctor. I also had to prepare all of his bedding for his nap time. I had to send a spare pair of clothes that needed to be labeled with his name, put into a ziplock bag and sealed with his name on the outside. I needed to find two small pictures (can't be as big as a 4 x 6 photo) of him for each of his cubby's. And finding a picture that was the right size and that he actually looked good in was no small feat. He is at that annoying "fake smile" phase and each picture looked like he just wasn't quite right. So I had to search high and low for the proper representation of my perfect boy so that the other kids that see his cubby don't make fun of him.
Then I had to prepare the "Emergency kit," which is mandatory for each child. I should add that I think this is perhaps the most fabulous idea, but man, it is a pain to prepare. I have to have a non-perishable food item (which I suppose is a granola bar, but it is going to have to be a serious emergency for The Boy to consume that...). A bottle of water; that one I can handle. Then he needs "a small comfort item such as a stuffed animal, book, or note." What do I do for that? Do I send away one of the coveted "Lambie's" for the cause? Cause that is really the only thing that will bring him comfort, but we only have so many of those and do we really want to send one away just in the event of an emergency? But there is no stuffed animal, and I suppose I could send a Spiderman book and have him shooting webs at everyone during a time of crisis but that just seems wrong. And a note? That's really not going to help him out until he can read. So a Lambie it is. Let's just hope we don't have a Lambie crisis in the house since one is missing because that could be considered an emergency on its own. Then we needed an "emergency poncho or plastic bag for protection from rain" and a "thermal foil blanket." So apparently in all my copious amounts of spare time this weekend...I will need to be going to a camping store. And finally...a family picture or a picture of your child. So in addition to having to comb through my many, many photos to find just the perfect picture of him in the perfect size for his cubby, I also have to find a family photo. Which isn't as easy as it sounds. See, I am a single mom, so all of the pictures that are taken do NOT have me in them. So finding one that has me and his Gigi (because I don't fool myself as to where The Boy really gets his comfort) in it as well as The Boy and his sister was NOT easy. But I found one.
Again, let me reiterate: I think the fact that each child has their own "emergency kit," is a BRILLIANT idea. And now that it is done, I couldn't be happier. But damn...
So I sat in my office last night, late, after the kids had gone to bed and tried to sort out all the stuff to bring to school for him. All the paperwork filled out properly. The bedding all clean and organized, the spare set of clothes, the emergency kit, the lunch box packed with food that (cross fingers) he will eat, and I had a small panic attack. I want to make sure it is all done just perfectly. I want him to start off on the right foot. I want his teachers and directors to think, "Man that [Boy] was sure prepared. His mom was totally organized and had all her shit together. What a lucky little boy that is." Because what would make it all SO much worse is if he gets there and they say, "You can't have that...your Mommy didn't send the right form." Or something of that sort. I just want them to love him. I want them to love him so that he loves them. I want him to come home on Monday afternoon and tell me, "Mommy, that was so great. I LOVE my new school." I have to do everything in my power to make sure that is the outcome.
And I am so nervous about it all that I could just curl up in a little ball and die.
Please think good thoughts for my boy in his new school today. Send him thoughts of confidence and joy and send me thoughts of strength so that by some small miracle, we can all get through the first day jitters.