Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Day of Junior Kindergarten

Today The Bean started Junior Kindergarten.

I'm still a little bit in shock that our baby has started school. We've been saying for a while now that he is ready. And really, he is. Still, we were all a little bit nervous about his first day. 

The Bean is very social; for that reason alone I think he will enjoy JK. He's ready to interact with people outside of our family and close friends. He is also so ready to have the educational experiences he will receive at school. He is curious and learns so much naturally. The student-directed, play-based experiences he will have this year will fulfill a lot of his natural curiosity. He is also ready for some independence. 

Except that's hard too. Our kid is a homebody. He's likes getting hugs and snuggles. He loves his sister fiercely. He knows his boundaries here. He knows even if he pushes those boundaries that he is loved without exception. Being away from this space, his home and family, for 6.5 hours a day will be a big transition. 

I think that's just a bit of what we saw today. Excited yes, but also not so sure. He put on a brave face this morning and marched into the playground with hardly a backwards glance. As we waved goodbye he shouted to us, "I already made a new best friend!"  Oh sweet child.  

At pick up, he reported that he had a "great" day. He made a new best friend. He was the only kid in the class who called his teacher by her full name, and not just "Miss". But someone pulled on his shirt on the playground. Fortunately a neighbour a grade ahead comforted him and told the teacher what had happened, which made him feel better. He fell asleep on the carpet during quiet time when there was quiet music playing. Tomorrow he wants us to send a blanket so he can be cozier. The family photo we tucked in his backpack "helped a lot," but he missed us when he went out for recess and forgot the photo inside. (My heart broke a little when he told me that.) They had an assembly, but he wasn't sure what it was about. The only classroom activity he reported was listening to music on headphones ("for a very long time"). He barely ate any of the lunch I packed, didn't see the note I had tucked in there, and was pretty much sobbing from exhaustion at 4:45pm. He fell asleep before 6:30pm, approximately 3 minutes after his head hit the pillow.   

We talked about changes being hard. About how being away from your family is hard, but how things would get easier as he made new friends and got used to being at school. I know he will be fine. Better than that, even. (At least I hope he will.) Still, I'm going to feel a bit guilty sending him back tomorrow knowing that it's not going to be that much easier for him right away. My baby. Growing up.

Not so sure.

Putting on a brave face.


  1. Awww. It is such a big transition. I remember Ian falling asleep after school one day and he didn't wake up until the next morning. The exhaustion is no joke. I'm sure you know this, but it's normal for them not to eat much the first few weeks. We even got a letter home about that when Erik first went, just so we were prepared for that. Sounds like he's being so brave. Hope the second day is just fantastic.

  2. Aw. He did better than Quinn and Quinn was used to all day daycare. Quinn cried and clung to me today. The first day he was just clingy. It is hard because it's new and they are definitely so exhausted for the first bit, as Shannon said. Expect early bedtimes most nights. He will love it as he makes friends and gets to know his teachers.

  3. It's not easy for anyone. Honestly it is one of the biggest transitions that little ones. (and mamas) go through. He looks so handsome, and grown up, and very ready for it! I know the Bean is going to do amazing! Hang in there Mommies! Kris says we need to save the water works and lamenting for when our baby girls head off...in two years!!!!

  4. I love how Sprout is looking up at him so proudly! How exciting for you all.