Theo finally started school last week!
Alas, do not be fooled by this look of joyous delight because poor baby was not pleased about it at all. I suppose it’s to be expected considering that he spent his entire life not being apart from his favourite person in the world (uh huh, me). It’s a big change for him, having to spend half a day with strange new people at a strange new place.
I tried preparing him weeks in advance.
Me: Theo, you’ll be going to school soon! It’ll be super fun, you can play with toys, go to the playground, do crafts, eat snacks! Maybe there will be cake!!
Theo: No need, I’m full of cake already. I just want to stay with you.
1. I should have known, this boy is sharp and he will not be bamboozled by my feeble distraction techniques. I’m going to have to do a lot better at selling this whole going to school nonsense and 2. This was unprecedented. Theo has never refused cake in his life and while I’m secretly pleased that my presence is clearly more important than cake, I knew this transition was going to be a rough one.
I had another go at it.
Me: You’re a big boy now right? And big boys go to school. Kor kor Finn goes to school and kor kor Truett goes to school…
Theo: But I’m still a baby. Remember, you said I will be your baby forever?
Me: Well, yeah, but I didn’t mean that literally. You’ll always be a baby in my heart like kor kor is my baby, but you’re 3 now!!
Theo: 3 years old means small tiny tiny baby. And babies means must stay with mommy.
This wasn’t working either.
Me: Hey baby, school is not scary. I know it’s new and it seems scary but the teachers are very nice and you’re going to be ok. You’ll have so much fun there, just ask kor kor Finn.
Theo: I cannot have fun because I’ll be so very sad.
Me: The teachers will cheer you up ok? And there will be so many friends to play with!
Theo: Only you can cheer me up, mom. If I stay with you then I’ll be super happy. If I don’t have you, I’ll just be sad and sad and sad.
It’s been a whole week of school and also a whole week of big, sad tears. Just getting him into his uniform is an ordeal. He’ll be like “but my favourite colour is not yellow and blue. My favourite colour is green and this uniform got no green so I cannot go to school right?”
“Oh, but do you know what colour you get when you mix yellow and blue? GREEN!! Seriously, it’s like this school is made for you, except it’s in a secret code, isn’t that cool?” I try telling him.
Mmmkay, so he didn’t buy that either.
All my boys had separation anxiety when they started school, and you’d think that I have some experience with this by now but it still breaks my heart when my baby is all “please mommy please please please can I follow you? I just want to go wherever you go…” with so much tears in his eyes while he tries to be brave and hold it all in.
To make up for all the extra sadness around here, we’re trying a new routine of leaving the house before the sun is up together with Tru and Kirsten. After dropping the big kids off, we get to have a leisurely morning breakfast picnic at the park for an hour before the boys head to school
Then when it’s time to go…
“Please just 5 more minutes??”
“Okay fine. But we really have to go after that.”
“YAYYYY you’re the best, mom!!!”
“Okay boys, time’s really up, let’s go!!”
Behold the face of tremendous sadness.