Joey is going through his back-to-school transition.
First, he has had to wrap his head around the concept that he will not have Mrs. Brennan, his teacher from last year, for the rest of his academic career. This year he has the wonderful Mrs. Morgan. All the kids love Mrs. Morgan, all the parents love Mrs. Morgan. And even though we love Mrs. Brennan just as much, this is a new year. So anyway, every morning, I'd prep him by talking about the toys in MRS. MORGAN's room, and the kids, and the snacks. He would calmly tell me about what he was going to do in his old class. That went on for days, until yesterday when Mrs. Brennan was holding his hand at the curb when it was time to be picked up.
She ducked her head in the car and I told her in semi-code about his determination to stay in her room. She said that they had been talking about that when I drove up. She reminded him that the two year olds in his class still wore diapers. He yelled out, "Ooooh, Poopie!" and hasn't brought that up again.
Then there were the shoes. Last year, I learned the hard way, that for Joey, new shoes + first day of school was a recipe for disaster. Too much to scream about at one time. So this year we waited a day or two to go shoe shopping. At the store we looked at several pairs and he chose a cool pair of Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. Old school, black, with flames licking the sides. He put them on and became Dash from The Incredibles. That lasted until the next school day. Now he only wants to wear the old ones and he assured me that "they grew" and they fit him better now. Nut.
The day we got impatient and forced him to wear the shoes to school was another fine moment. All the way over to Good Shepherd, he told me he didn't like the new shoes and he wasn't going to school. I said it would be fine. Mrs. Morgan opened the door and I told her in code that shoes were a problem ... she said, "I have on new shoes too, and they are working out well". But Joey wouldn't budge. I was holding up the drop off line, so I had to pull the car up a little further. A different teacher opened the door the second time, and to make a long story short, she had to pull him out of the car while he held onto the door frame, screaming.
Good Shepherd is all about "honoring the child's emotions", but I know Joey, and it may not be pretty, but the faster they get him out of the car and I drive away, the better. His stubborness does not improve with time. So yesterday I pulled up and there were three staff members rushing to my car when it was our turn to unload. One was the Head of the School. With a curt, "time to get out of the car" he was extracted peacefully. He was wearing his old tennis shoes.
When I picked him up, I asked Mary how the day went.
"Fine", she said, "But there was this one thing to talk about....."
"In circle time, Joey and Christiane won't settle down." (That's nothing, I think thankfullly) She continued, "I had to separate them because they were touching their tongues together." (oh?)
"Thanks for telling me, I'll get right on that."
On the way home, I started the gentle lecture. "Joey, what happened with Christiane at circle time today?"
Joey said, "They took her away from me."
I almost wish it was the shoes again.