I cried every day for a solid 12 months when I was dropped off at kindergarten so the outlook isn’t pretty for my girls. My mother will remind you, me, and everyone who will listen of this fact as frequently as possible.
The girls just finished their respective “transition weeks” at school. This is the 4th school transition for Julianna and the 3rd for Chloe. I dread this time of year. Neither girl has shown great aptitude when it comes to transitions. In the context of school, this often means some period of time with a significant increase of tears (and the girls are generally worse too).
I do most of the school drop-offs and my wife does most of the pick-ups. I am not particularly “fast” when it comes to drop off. I like hanging around for a bit in each of the classrooms and I think the girls like it too. I think this because there was a time for both girls in this year past when they both acknowledged, in their own ways, that it was ok for me to leave [the class] now.
This school year we added a 4th day for Julianna and left Chloe at 3 days. Julianna asked for an additional day and for a few reasons, we obliged: She goes to kindergarten in 1 year and we figured moving her closer to a full week of school couldn’t hurt. We also figured we could give them both a taste (1 day) of what a weekday without each other is like. They will see each other when they wake up of course and then at the end of the day but during the day they won’t see each other. Next year, that “taste” will become a “meal”. Better get ready now. They don’t spend nearly the whole day together at school now but they do play on the same playground and I think they both take comfort in knowing that the other is nearby.
So I dread this week because historically its been very difficult for the girls and by association on us. I hate it. I haven’t gotten any better at walking away from my kids when they are upset. The teachers are great and I know the kids are in good hands. I also “know” the girls stop crying the moment I leave. Knowing that makes it exactly “this” (zero) much easier to leave them. So I braced myself for difficult.
But it wasn’t.
This time, it wasn’t difficult.
No tears. All smiles. “See you later daddy. I got toys and friends to play with.” Its difficult to quantify exactly what made this easier than previous years. The school changed the way they do transitions this year. They used to make us drop our kids off normally and then the teachers would bring the kids to their new classrooms in the morning. We would pick up our kids in their new classrooms at the end of the day. This time, we dropped off our kids in their new classrooms but with their “old” teachers. The teachers then go to their actual classrooms giving the kids their new teachers. So maybe that has something to do with it.
Maybe they’re just getting better at transitions. Maybe my little baby girls aren’t babies anymore.
Maybe transition week is for me.
Just wait until we have to transition them into college. Good lord.