Monday, July 13, 2009

Separation Anxiety Revisited

Today was Monkey's first day in the Two's room at day care. And, alas, it involved many tears, his AND mine... :-(

He'd been transitioning for the past week, and it went well. Each day, I would drop him off in his old room, and his teacher would take him over to the new room to visit for increasing periods of time - By Friday, he spent pretty much the whole day in his new room. So, in the one sense, I was expecting today to go pretty smoothly - after all, if he didn't mind his teacher leaving him with new people, why would he mind it when I did it?

That said, he fussed during drop-offs for 1-2 weeks when we made this transition last year. At one year old, still not walking, and very dependent on familiar caregivers, he was a bit traumatized by all the new faces and all the kids up on two legs moving about the room. One year later, he is NOT happy to be leaving behind the teachers that he was at first so wary of. This year, it's still a bit of separation anxiety, the need to be around trusted adults, but I also feel like he's saying "hey, Mommy, THIS isn't my room!" Made more difficult by the fact that his old room is RIGHT across the hall. And it figures, as we walked into the building today, we were right behind one of his friends from the Ones room, and the two kids were smiling and waving at each other, making it that much more difficult for me to explain why were going to the OTHER room today, and not into HIS room with his friend. His "former" teacher was in the doorway as we came up the hall, and when she saw the fuss that was already setting in, she gave me a sad, sympathetic smile, and ducked behind the door so as not to make things any more difficult for Monkey.

So, in typical "how not to handle this" fashion, I started tearing up as soon as Monkey started crying and telling me he didn't want to go in the new room - nice job, hormones or whatever. I then spent 20 minutes trying to get him comfortable and entertained in his room, only to have him crying pitifully when I left anyway. His teacher tells me he only cried for 2-3 minutes, and I know I should just drop him off and make a quick exit.... sigh. So, we'll see how things go Wednesday. I hope it will be better, but I suspect it won't. History suggests that he'll be happily waving goodbye to me by sometime next week, but my heart will be breaking a little bit until then.


Ann said...

It's hard, isn't it. And it's hard not to get emotional even when you know it makes it worse. I hope it's not as bad next time. : )

Angie said...

Ugh, we're going to be starting this at the end of August. What sucks is that it is only for 2 hours each day (unless I change my schedule which I think I may have to - different story). I know she'll love it, but at first, I'm going to be traumatizing both of us for a measly 2 hours.

I hope Wednesday is better than you think!

Danielle said...

Awww I am soooo sorry! I totally understand... Julian does this STILL sometimes to his nanny who he completely loves! Makes it so difficult to run out the door. But he knows you love him.. and it will get easier...