A little less than a month ago, Anders began kindergarten. I anticipated the anxiety he would feel. I felt it, too. I put thought into how I could help him adjust. We had several conversations before his first day about what being a kindergartener would be like. We talked about leaving behind pre-school and the sadness he felt about attending a different school from some of the children with whom he had become good buddies. I took care to involve him in the process of buying school supplies, allowing him to pick out a new lunchbox and book bag.
That first week he was ready, more so than I was, and it was a comfort to learn that he walked confidently into his classroom. As I wrote in an earlier post, I was out of town for Anders’ first day. He was on his fourth day of kindergarten by the time I was able to experience what it was like to usher my baby-turned-big-boy onto a school bus. Considering he was an old pro at it, I expected the morning to be uneventful. Turns out there was one detail about our new morning routine of which my husband had neglected to inform me.
While Anders practically leaped from our car and onto the school bus, our 3-year-old sobbed uncontrollably.
“Anders, come back! Come back! Don’t leave me!”
It was heartbreaking and completely unanticipated. I spent so much time fretting over Anders’ adjustment to a new routine, I completely forgot that attending pre-school alone would be disruptive for our toddler. They are in separate classes, but the fact that her big brother was now boarding a school bus instead of entering a room down the hall from hers was upsetting and obviously confusing.
I tried explaining the situation, but toddlers aren’t known for their skills in logic. This was one of those things, like taking away the pacifier or moving from a crib to a bed, that Danica would have to adjust to. After two weeks of drop-offs, the tears have finally subsided, but the experience was a lesson for me to consider how a shake-up in our routine can affect all members of the family.
Did your younger children have any trouble adjusting to their older siblings new school routine? How did you handle it?