*sniffle* Hank looks exactly how I feel: sort of shell shocked.
Emotions were running high in our house this morning. We were all up early. Mike went to grab a shower, and I went into Hank's room to get him started on the getting dressed process ("I'll do it *myself*" is a phrase we are hearing a lot these days). Hank was very particular about what he wanted to wear today, and was near to tears when it was suggested that maybe he'd be too warm in a long sleeved shirt. I could tell that he was a bit fragile this morning, so I let him wear his new Scooby Doo shirt. I made the beds while Mike took Hank downstairs to get breakfast going.
Hank was quietly eating Coco Puffs when I got downstairs, and he looked moody. Everything went fine as I finished getting ready and ate my cereal. When it was time to pack everything up to go, emotions clicked into high gear. I showed Hank his lunch box inside his new Toy Story backpack, and the note about his bus to our daycare that he needed to give to his teacher.
"I *know*, Mommy." *scowl*
I wanted a picture of him, seen above, for which he refused to smile. This made *me* emotional, which is not a good way to start off the day. By time we set off for daycare and Hank's before/after school program (since I need to be at work prior to when school starts here, and finish slightly later) we were running a few minutes behind, and I was feeling anxious. It was already after 8 am, and the bus leaves the daycare by 8:30 on an average day; with it being the first day of school, I knew they would leave even earlier.
I arrive at the daycare, and went through what I go through every first day of school every.single.year. Parking lot chaos. Our daycare shares a building with an educational program for children with special needs, and I *always* forget that they run a major staff meeting and training session on the first day of school. I really wish they could plan this differently. The parking lot was stuffed, without a single spot to be had. I wrangle a spot on the street, and hustle Hank inside.
Chaos reigned there as well. Teachers were spilling out into the hallway everywhere, and the cafeteria, the usual site of the before/after school program, had an official looking meeting taking place inside it. Feeling anxious, I hurried Hank to the office, where I paid, and inquired into the school-aged program location. Due to the teacher training thing, the kids had to go upstairs to wait in the pre-k room. We hurried upstairs to find children and parents nestled into every corner. We made our way into the pre-k room, and that's when the clinging began. I'm trying to walk deeper into the room so that we're not in the way of the cubbies while Hank clings to my leg like a baby koala. He does this on most days, mind you, and I know that he's always fine after I leave, he's just a bit shy, but due to my own degree of emotional vulnerability this morning, I could feel myself slipping.
I get Hank in, kiss him lots, and whisper encouraging things about his first day of school. There are some familiar faces in the school-aged crowd, some kids he's gone to daycare with since he started in this center back when he was 2. I get him settled into a chair, and that's when it starts. The tears. I can feel my eyes welling up as I say goodbye to Hank. I kept giving him one last kiss, and then I made myself miserable by looking back at him several times before I left the room. I made it out to my crappy parking spot on the street, got in, and burst into tears. The only other time I have *ever* been this emotional dropping Hank off was the very first day I went back to work after my maternity leave and brought him to daycare. I cried then too. Hard.
I think the Kindergarten drop-off is a common tear jerker for all non-homeschooling moms, whether they work outside the home or not. I took it pretty hard.
I can't wait to see him after school and hear how his day went. I hope that he likes it. I just always want my baby to feel happy and secure. That's what we always want for our kids.