I mean is that one of the saddest faces you have ever seen?
You see, I tweeted about her first day in school and how she was so excited to be there. She was with a smile. She hugged one of the teachers and didn't even look back at mommy to say good-bye.
I left there feeling pretty good and so proud of her.
I also couldn't wait to get home and check online with the surveillance cameras to see how my little "big" girl was doing on her first day of school.
I opened it up and there she was...... CRYING!
My heart of course dropped and I had to continue watching the surveillance cameras to see how they handled it with her and if she were going to stop crying on her own.
They tried to hold her, but most of the time they walked right on by her, leaving her to cry walking around in circles. I felt like a bad mommy.
I continued to watch.
She continued to cry and walk around desperately wanting one of the care providers to attend to her.
I know they are busy with a room full of children, but this was after all her first day to be there.
When I arrived to pick her up her eyes were blood shot and swollen. She had dry and wet snot all over her face and she looked like she was pure exhausted. Probably because she was exhausted for crying and being terrified alone in this new place for that extended amount of time.
She was happy to see me. Held me as tight as she could and said "bye" several times as we were leaving. She was so relieved to be getting out of there and wrapped in mommies arms.
I of course started having thoughts such as "is she ready?" "am I being selfish by putting her in preschool right now?"
So, I snuggled her up at home, gave her a good lunch and got her down for a well needed nap.
She slept like a baby.
All that afternoon she was VERY cranky about EVERYTHING. She even started to slap at me. Could she already be coming home from her first day of school learning to hit others.
Or was she expressing how mad at me she was for being left there?
Well, to make a long story short (or at least I will try).
She went back Wednesday and again cried the entire time.
Went back Friday, and again screamed the entire time. This time I couldn't leave her there. Something was pulling at my mommy instinct and I felt the urge to go get her and just take her out of there.
I know my child. I know this is not her. She doesn't do this at the gym daycare. She doesn't do this at church nursery. So why here???
I arrive and enter the school building. I hear this LOUD LOUD screaming/cry coming down the hallway. It was MY BUTTERFLY. She was crying so hysterically. Not one of the 3 teachers where comforting her. All other kids where in their high chairs eating, and there was Morgan screaming so loud, like I have never heard her scream before with this look of pure terror on her face.
I walk in and she sees me and cried harder and runs into my arms. I look at the teachers as one tries to tell me, its going to take time. That she has had some kids cry every day until they leave her class to the next class. I think she could tell by the look on my face that I wasn't buying her rambling garbage.
First of all.... NO CHILD needs to cry that hard or for that long period of time during a day, yet for every day for many weeks or months period. I get the week or two weeks with some children, but something about this just wasn't feeling right.
Weekend came and Monday rolled around. I just couldn't get myself to take her to school that day. I was torn. I needed the break, but I just didn't feel right about taking her back to that school, so I didn't.
I was on a waiting list for this Christian Academy and hadn't heard from them. I just thought to myself, I'll give them one more call and see.
To my surprise they had a space come available and I wanted to drop the phone and run to the school that minute to enroll her and secure her spot.
Morgan was sleeping so I of course had to wait until she woke up, but I was so excited to hear this.
After Morgans nap we went up to the school and this was the second time I had been to this school to visit. Each time it was always peaceful. It was clean, organized and the kids were always sweet and cheerful. No screaming. No chaotic craziness.
Every day I went to the other school, it felt like pure chaotic stress. Kids running around everywhere in a square space. Always crying. About three kids all with black eyes. It was always high strung the moment you walked in.
Not this other school.
Morgan gave the teacher a hug again, but she is very careful to make sure I did not leave her sight. We met all her new classmates, sat and had a snack with them and just got familiar with the new place.
I held off on starting her right away and told them I wanted to take Thanksgiving week off with her to let her forget about the other school, so we could start new and fresh at this school. They agreed and thought it was a smart idea also.
I then left to go to her other school to gather her things. I have her in the stroller and we walk in and instantly she begins to look afraid and starts crying. I assured her she wasn't staying and "we" were going bye-bye. She kept reaching for me saying "bye-bye."
I didn't give the teachers my time. I simply asked for Morgans things and left. I was nice, but they could tell that I was not pleased with the outcome of Morgan's first week.
Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving I called the new school and asked if we could come up and show daddy and bubba her new school. We went up there and the whole family took the tour and again Morgan walked in with a smile and hugged the teacher. Not afraid. No tears. Nothing.
Thanksgiving came and gone.....
Monday rolls around and we are off to our second "first day" of school.
She again walks in and hugs the teacher. She is greeted by about 3 friends all smiling at her and welcoming her. She looks up to make sure I am still there. I smile and encourage her to go in the gate. She goes.... I watch for a minute....she begins to explore..... and I sneak out.
I go to the office to finish off some paper work and as I am walking out of the office her class in walking out to the playground. She is holding hands with a new friend. They go to the playground and she finds a ball to play with. I leave feeling really good about everything.
Actually, I take that back... I felt warm and fuzzy. Safe. In good hands.
All the things I really didn't feel at this other school. I don't know why.
I told them to not let her cry the entire time, that if she cried and doesn't stop... to call me.
Well, I never got a call. Also, I didn't have surveillance cameras at this new school to watch either, but I trusted that they would call me.
Besides, I knew once I arrived the truth would be there on Morgans face anyways.
I arrive at noon to pick her up and they had just finished their lunch. Morgan was rolling on the floor smiling and playing. She saw me.....
She saw MOMMY.....
She ran away!!!
She was having fun and was not ready to leave.
I get her and as we are walking to the car she says with a smile "bye" and starts to run and play outside. I get her in the car and as we drove home I saw in her eyes "safe" is what they said to me. I knew then in my heart we found OUR school.
God opened this door for her and for ME.
That moment took such a huge weight off my heart. I knew something wasn't right at the other school. I knew it.
I couldn't wait to tell daddy.
This brings us to today, Wednesday, her second day at her new new school.
I am out of town in Vermont for work. What a bad week to get booked out of town sort of, right?
Daddy said he dropped her off and she went right in and gave her teacher a hug. When he arrived to pick her up, she refused to go to daddy. He asked her "are you ready to leave?" Her response was a quick and matter of fact "no!"
She left in a good mood, went down for her nap and slept through the night for daddy.
Behaving like the happy trusting girl we know.
What a good girl. A big girl. Makes mommy being away much easier.
I haven't yet gotten to take pictures of her at the new school, but I will.
She will only attend on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for 3 hours 9-12. However, tomorrow is Thursday and she will actually attend school ALL day since daddy has to work and mommy is out of town. This means we are taking in her things for her to take a nap. They sleep on these cutest little cots.
Lets see how she handles nap time and a full day there.
I have a feeling nap time will be a little tricky, but since she seems so secure and happy there.... I have to be honest. I am not really all that nervous.
Thank you for that Jesus.
I am so thankful we got into this school and part of me wants to say something to the other school, but really, what would I actually say?
I want to express my concerns about there being no real structure and how chaotic it always appears to be in this class. I also want to tell her that when I walked in on Morgans second day of school there, I saw the teacher changing a diaper pretty much plop the little boy down on the changer to be changed as he was crying. She wasn't comforting him, or gentle laying him down. I wanted to speak up then.
I want to tell them I think they should put surveillance cameras on the other side of the room, because you can only see the half of the room with the two cameras in there. You can't see them changing your child or feeding your child on one side of the room.
I want to tell them I watched them on the cameras while Morgan cried, reaching her arms up to the teacher for comfort, the teacher walked right by her and even gave Morgan's head a little light push as to "move out of her way."
I want to tell them I also saw on the camera that at one point Morgan picked up someone else's sippy cup. Instead of getting down on her level and telling her that wasn't her sippy cup, and then exchanging that cup for her own, they instead yanked the sippy out of her hand and gave her own sippy cup. What is that teaching her? Teaching her its okay to just take things from others? I dislike any adults that feel they can or allowed to man handle or treat children with such authority, with no respect or sensitivity. Its wrong....and that's another post itself.
I want to say that I watched on surveillance camera that while tyring to put kids down for nap, one little boy got of hismat and the teacher instead of walking him over there and laying him down. She pretty much pulled him by his arm and by his arm pushed (not forceful, but not caring either) down onto his mat. What is that teaching a child? That physical force is allowed?
Or the one day walked in and they had all the lights out and every kid down for a nap as they left Morgan sitting by herself in the middle of the floor, in the dark, with no to comfort her until I picked her up, since she was the only one not napping. I walked in and she was sitting there scared with her hands in her lap not knowing what to think or do, by herself.
It makes me angry.
That's what I want to say....
But instead... I just walk away and give thanks we found this new school and so far Morgan fits right in. On Wednesdays they do chapel and they pray over lunch and snack time. They also talk about Jesus.
Everything about it is perfect!!!
At her new school she will actually have uniform shirts to wear. So cute.
Do yo think I should tell the other school my thoughts and concerns?
Part of me feels I should speak up and be the voice for those other little children.
Am I overreacting?