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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update on Miss M's school bus woes

Just a quick note to give an update from my last post about Miss M's anxiety of getting off the bus at school alone in the mornings.

There was no school on Monday, so we drove her to the school daycare.  No issues.  Tuesday was the big day.  Hubby and I walked her to the end of the driveway.  She was quiet, but seemed okay.  But then the bus turned the corner and headed our way and she freaked out.  She cried, she grabbed her daddy and begged that he drive her to school.  She was crying too hard by the time the bus stopped, so he agreed to drive her to school again.  When they arrived, he went through everything with her again.  He showed her that there is nothing to worry about.  He showed her where her friends would be playing when she got off the bus. 

When Miss M got home from school on Tuesday, I asked her if she felt better after Daddy showed her the routine at school (again), and if she thought she could do it on her own.  She said, Yes, I think so.  Progress!  But Hubby and I wanted to be sure.  He sent an email to Miss M's teacher, explaining the trouble she's been having each morning.  We hoped that the next morning would go a little more smoothly.

The next morning (Wednesday, which was yesterday) when Miss M got up, she told me that she thought she could do it.  That she would be a brave girl.  I encouraged her and told her I was proud of her.  She got ready and we went to wait for the bus.  The bus turned the corner and was headed our way.  She gave me a look.  A look that said, I-don't-think-I-can-do-this!  But I squeezed her hand, gave her a kiss and said I knew she could do it.  She was a brave girl.  A big girl.  She nodded and got on the bus.  I waved to her as they drove away.  No tears.  Yay!

During the day, the teacher replied to Hubby's email and told him that she found a "helper" for Miss M.  A girl in sixth grade that takes the same bus as Miss M will guide her from the bus and bring her to her play area each morning.  She had already introduced her to Miss M, and she was really happy about it. 

I am so happy and so relieved that the teacher did this for us.  Miss M was excited to get on the bus today.  She felt so much more comfortable and confident, knowing that her helper, Kim, would be there this morning to show her the way.  I'm sure things will go much more smoothly now.  I can't wait to hear how it went this morning when I pick her up this afternoon!

Thanks for your concern and well-wishes, everyone!  :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I wasn't expecting this

Miss M started kindergarten only two short weeks ago.  I wasn't worried about her starting school.  Not at all, actually.  She is sociable, and she went to a large daycare centre for four years, so she is used to a structured environment with lots of other kids around.  I figured school would be a piece of cake for her.

But my sweet little girl is having a hard time.  For the first two days of school, she and the other kindergarteners wore a special name tag around their necks and the teachers would wait for them to arrive and direct them to their their designated area.  But after those two days, they were on their own.  Now my brave, outgoing, little supergirl feels lost.  And scared.  She gets off the bus at school and feels alone, unsure where to go. 

Earlier this week she told me that she doesn't like taking the bus to school because she gets lost.  I couldn't really understand what she meant.  I asked her what the other kids do, and she explained that they go around to the back of the school and play until the bell rings and then they go in.  I asked what she does.  She told me that she gets off the bus and gets lost, and then a bigger kid (sometimes the big brother of her best friend) takes her hand and brings her to where she's supposed to go.  We talked about it and I explained that she just needs to do that on her own.  If she can't find her friend, she can just play on the structure and wait for the bell, since it rings only minutes after she arrives anyway.  I thought she was okay.

I was wrong.  On Fridays, I have to leave the house earlier than usual because I have a French course that I must get to, so my husband stays with Miss M until the bus comes.  I was almost to my class this morning when my husband called.  He had to drive her to school.  Oh, did you miss the bus?  I asked.  No, it wasn't that.  Miss M just wouldn't get on the bus.  She had a crying fit, pleading not to go on the bus.  Hubby told the bus driver that he would bring her to school himself, and that's when the driver told him that almost every morning, Miss M cries when they get to school until an older boy comes and brings her to her area.  I feel so badly!  I had no idea that she was this upset about it!  Her dad brought her to school this morning and they went through the steps she needs to take when she gets off the bus.  She has to go to the back of the school, cross where the bigger kids are playing, and over to where the younger children are playing.  He walked with her when the bell rang and showed her exactly where to go when it was time to go in, too. 

I don't know what else we can do for her.  I assume that she feels intimidated and maybe like a little fish lost in a sea of older students when she steps off the bus and turns the corner.  But she needs to learn that if she just keeps walking, she'll be in her own area and can play with other children her age.  I don't think it's just the bus.  She is fine on the bus until they arrive at school.  And I don't know if it would even help if we drove her to school because we aren't even supposed to get out of the car when we drop off our children.  There is a drop-off area where the child can exit the car and walk up a path to the school.  It would probably be even more difficult because she would want us to walk her up every day.  Plus, we need to get to work.  If I drove her to school first, I wouldn't get to work on time.  Oh, the stress! 

We are going to talk about it with her more over the weekend.  Maybe we'll go to the school and go over everything again with her.  I'm not sure what else to do, but I certainly don't want her to feel lost or scared or sad when she gets to school every day.  Advice is welcome!

Monday, September 13, 2010

No time for blogging but sharing a few photos from our weekend

Life has been busy.  Hectic, crazy, breathless busy.  I haven't had time to think about this blog or what to write about.  I've barely had time to read any blogs.  But please know that I am still reading most of my favourites but just haven't had time to comment.  I'm hoping that I will get into a comfortable routine soon, and will have more time to converse with everyone but until then I will just leave you with a bit of fun news that my family enjoyed over the weekend.

Miss M, through her T-ball league, won a trip to Toronto!  Her coach submitted her name for Player of the Week and her name was drawn for the national grand prize!  Toronto  is only a four-hour drive from where we live, but we got a paid flight, one night accommodations, and tickets to see two Blue Jays games!  It was a whirlwind adventure.  Miss M and I were up early on Saturday morning to catch our flight, Hubby and J took the train and met us there.  We stayed at an amazing hotel that is attached to the stadium and we could see the entire field from our hotel room window!  We saw both games, did a little sight-seeing, and returned on Sunday night.  Everyone had a blast, but we were exhausted!  Here are a few pics!

She loved the plane! Even on the way home when there was a lot of turbulence she said, "Whee! I like the bumps, Mommy!" Oh, to be an innocent child again!

She enjoyed the games. They were a bit long for her, but we played "Spot the Mascot" and bought some treats and souvenirs to keep busy!

The weekend was a lot of fun for everyone, but we couldn't wait to get home to our beds by Sunday night!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Six Word Friday: Still My Babies

From a baby to a boy
A little boy to a tween
It all happened much too fast.
When did I become the mom
of a teen?  It doesn't compute.
But it is now our reality
He's not mama's little boy anymore
But he'll always be my baby.

She's my sweet little baby girl
I remember looking down at her
Her tiny fingers, her innocent eyes
Looking back up at her mommy
So tiny, so fragile, so sweet
It seems like it was yesterday
And she's changed and grown overnight
A total transformation from a baby
To an amazing, vibrant little girl.
And she'll always be my baby.

This week's Six Word Friday topic was TRANSFORM. Be sure to visit Making Things Up for more Six Word Friday fun!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My kids are growing but I'm not sad

It doesn't bother me that my kids are growing up.  Seriously, I don't get weepy about it at all.  I don't wish they would stay babies all of their lives or stop getting older.  I enjoy watching them grow and learn every day.  Yes, it happens quickly.  Sometimes we don't even notice it.  But I don't feel sad.

Monday was J's first day of junior high school.  There was a lot of "newness" for him.  It's a school outside of our local school board, so we have to take him to a common drop-off area where a chartered bus takes him to school.  He is in a special sports program (in the baseball discipline) that we are all very excited about.  Also, the school is French.  All French.  J did take French Immersion all through elementary school and his dad (and that whole side of the family) is French.  But J is definitely more English.  He was nervous about it.  I was nervous for him!  But he knows quite a few kids through school and baseball that are also enrolled in this program so it helped to know that he would have friends there.  We also knew that this would really improve his French skills, which is so important in the area where we live.  Anyway, he started on Monday and he really enjoyed it.  I wasn't sad on Monday morning before he left.  I was anxious, I couldn't (and still can't) believe that my little boy was already starting grade seven, but I was happy and excited.  I feel proud of what he's accomplished and what Hubby and I have accomplished in raising him.  Am I worried about the teen years and what is in store for us?  Yes.  Do I wish I could go back to him being an innocent little boy?  Not so much.

Miss M started kindergarten today!  She was so excited.  She was ready 30 minutes before the bus was due to come, but demanded that we wait for the bus right away.  She didn't want to miss it.  We waited (forever) and we took lots of pictures.  The bus came and she looked a little nervous but she climbed those big stairs and took her seat.  I smiled.  No tears, just pride.  My big girl was going to school and she was ready.  I know that she will do just fine and I can't wait to hear all about it when I pick her up after work.

I actually felt much more sad and weepy two days ago on her last day of daycare.  She had been at that daycare since it opened when she was only 18 months old!  I felt very emotional when I picked her up, and couldn't even speak to the educators besides a quick "Bye! Thanks!" because I would have broken down.  I didn't want Miss M to see me upset because she was happy and excited, knowing she was only two short days away from going to real school!  Everyone there just loved Miss M and they took really great care of her.  It was sad knowing that we'll probably never be back again.

Sometimes when I'm reading other blogs or status updates on Facebook, I think maybe I don't care enough.  Maybe I should be crying, feeling sad that my babies aren't babies anymore.  But I think (hope) that it is just because I know they are ready for the challenges that lie ahead and so it doesn't make me worry (as much).  Also if they were sad or didn't want to go, it would probably make things harder but they were both very excited and looking forward to their new respective schools. 

Am I weird?  Am I the only one who felt happy instead of sad as I saw my kids off to school this week?  Because really, I feel like an oddball.  Maybe even like a bad parent.  But I know that's not true, so what is it?