Nuclear MeltdownPosted: Updated:
Today was Macy's eighth day of school and as I've shared in other entries the past week has been increasingly tough. After the new-ness wore of, she came to realize this is IT, this is her new routine-she's not going to see the couple who cared for her before and her friend who was there with her. We've been talking about that with her over the summer but hey when you're five it's just a lot of talk, right. Well now she gets it and seems to have hit her like a ton of bricks.
She woke up this morning and didn't want to get out of bed. She was so sad. She said she didn't want to go to school. I got her downstairs for breakfast but she wouldn't eat. She just sat there and oh those tears were right there brimming in her eyes. Her body language alone brought tears to my eyes. I was doing a pretty good job staying positive, encouraging her and talking about the things she had said she likes about school but nothing was working.
One minute she was sad and quite and just like that she burst out crying and was sobbing uncontrollably-and I do mean snot flowing from the nose type of cry. She just lost it. I picked her up and hugged her and told her everything was going to be OK and she said "No it's not! Not if you make me go to school." She cried more and then began begging me to please not make her go to school. It was a meltdown of nuclear proportions. I got her to stop crying several times but before we could make much progress dressing, brushing her hair, etc. she would burst out crying again. I had never seen this from her before so I was struggling to find the right words. I knew she needed to get it out and at five years old she just cannot rationalize all the emotions she was feeling inside with the fact that there's lots of things she is enjoying at school.
Then Mike called to tell us good morning (he's traveling today) and I lost it. Poor guy, he got a crying woman on the phone and it wasn't even 8 a.m! I talked to him upstairs so Macy wouldn't hear me crying but I needed a quick pity party because I was out of ideas and so sad to see her hurting. I felt bad dumping all of that on him but hey, sometimes that's what spouses do for one-another, right? He helped me gather my courage to find away to get back on track today.
I sucked it up and managed to get her to stop crying and we were only 30 minutes late. OK so I made a deal with her that probably wasn't very wise but I was desperate. The majority of her focus was on the bus ride from school to daycare so I agreed to pick her up today-and only today-from kindergarten. I explained it would only be today and that I could not do it again tomorrow. It was enough to halt the waterworks and give her the bravado to get into the car. I called work while driving to her daycare to tell them I was going to be VERY late. Have I ever said how lucky I feel to work for a company that lets me choose my family first? It makes a huge difference.
When we walked inside the daycare she was still sniffing and clinging to my leg. I gave the director a look over Macy's head and she instantly knew what was up. They got Macy involved with a project right away and I was able to talk privately with the director. She was very sympathetic-I bet she's seen it many times in her 20+ years-and I was thankful to have the reassurance that it's going to take some time for Macy to get acclimated. We talked about what we could do in partnership to ease this transition for her and I left rattled but hopeful-and thankful Macy enjoys her time there and we know she was happy when she's there. That's something to be thankful for.
I had a few more "mommy moments" on my drive to work (crying) out of pure exasperation for the past hour and because I'm not sure what to do to help our little girl.
When I picked her up today she was about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. After what happened this morning, I'll take a 6! Tonight she asked me again if we would please not send her to school. We've been talking with her the past few days to understand the source of her increasing distress...is it school, daycare, the bus, someone in particular, her teacher? It seems to be a combination of things-isn't that generally how it goes? She's still struggling with riding the bus, and missing her friend who she use to spend every day with, but the biggest thing for her seems to be simply starting over. I can relate to that feeling. I've felt it myself when I started new jobs, new schools--it's intimidating to know no one-and this is the first time Macy is experiencing it. Its one of those rights-of-passage but that doesn't make it easier.
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