One of the hardest parts of being a work-outside-the-home mom is that you miss pretty much everything that happens with your kids between 8-5:30: from the pride of reading a new word or trying a new food to playground giggles or tears. We hear it about it after the fact — either from our kids or from their teachers. And that can be hard.
I know my kids are in excellent hands, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss them or sometimes regret not being home with them more. One of the reasons I love my kids’ school so much is they have a webcam parents can peek at during the day- something I blogged about at HuffPo a few years back. Though the older my kids get, the less frequently I use the webcam … I still love knowing it’s there if/when I want it.
Like today. Ben started a new classroom — new teachers, new friends, new routine. He is very close to his Green Room teachers and though I know he’ll be fine eventually, all weekend he said he — voice quivering — that he wanted to stay in Green Room. We told him he’d have so much fun in Red — that his best friend was going, too, and that his old teachers would visit.
Luis said he cried at drop off — which was to be expected — and so I took a peek at the webcam and immediately regretted it.
There was my baby on the freeze-frame, getting ready to go outside in a borrowed Hello Kitty hat ;)– his face scrunched up in tears, looking completely lost. Turns out his BFF got to school late today so he really was probably sad and lonely in a new class with new friends.
I couldn’t watch any longer without crying, seeing his lil pout.
But a little while later, anxiety got the best of me and I logged back on. I saw him at circle time listening to his teacher reading a story and then playing with blocks with some friends. Maybe his day was turning around? I hoped so.
Then at lunch time, I peeked one last time and he was sitting at the table, waiting to be served — visibly crying. I had to turn it off at that point and stayed off for the duration of the day.
I know his teachers comforted him and loved on him, and I know his day improved after nap … but my heart was completely broken seeing my happy boy so very sad. I know as parents we can’t fix every hurt (and will probably miss a lot of them!) but man, did today sting!
At pick-up, Maya was in his classroom with him and they were playing together. When he saw me, he ran and jumped into my arms. His new teacher confirmed that he did have a tough day — but that it got better with a visit from Ms. B (his Green Room teacher) and will continue to do so; transitions are just hard.
[This is the pre-preschool room, for 2.5-3 year olds. There’s more structure, more focus on potty-training, Zoophonics, etc.]
In the car, he told me he was sad because he missed Ms. B and that his BFF had come late and that made him sad, too. It broke my heart to hear these words out of such a little guy. But I need to remember that he does have feelings and validating them is important.
Today was a hard day for him, but tomorrow is a new day. Here’s hoping each day gets a little easier. I remember this transition being hard for Maya too, but she flourished. And he will, too.
This is how my smiley boy normally is … and I know his teachers will be seeing this happy, side of him soon enough!
You can do it, Benny Boo!