*Excuse my ramblings, this has turned into an epic post with a lot more words than it probably needs but I just need a release, after a rubbish, rubbish week I need to get it off my chest*
The trouble with school holidays, whilst they’re enjoyable in the moment, is that you have to face the night before going back to school. The night before going back to pre-school in our house has been horrendous. We’ve had two half terms since Olly has started pre-school and every time we have to get back into the pre-school routine there’s trouble.
Olly goes to pre-school five mornings a week and will be going to full time in September when he’ll be starting in Reception. It didn’t start well with him being upset most mornings for a couple of weeks. He began to settle in and we loved walking him to school and leaving him in the playground waving us off as he went into school with his friends. Then October half term came around and he loved having time off with his Mummy and Daddy at home.
The Sunday night before the Monday going back to school was met with tears, fears and tantrums with a stroppy three year old refusing to go to bed and using pretty good delay tactics to avoid going to sleep. Cue an overtired child come Monday morning who cried all the way to school and in the playground.
In the latter part of the term, Olly’s teachers would hold his hand and take him into school for us from the playground. It was awful leaving him in floods of tears. I hated it. I hardened to it as the weeks passed but those first few weeks really were heart breaking. His teachers reassured me that he settles quickly once in school and the mornings tears are forgotten. I’ve seen video evidence of him playing happily and I’m happy that he’s not upset in school once he’s there.
Dreading the nativity
In December, the tears became an every day occurrence as we battled to get Olly into school with the fear of the school nativity. He had been chosen to play the part of an angel and he hated the idea. He refused to take part and said he didn’t want to wear the wings. He told me he was scared of the stage and he really didn’t want to do it. I spoke to his Teachers and they assured me that he was fine in school during rehearsals, albeit a little upset and clingy and even did the actions along with his friends.
Every morning before school he was terrified of it being ‘nativity day’ and we spent ages trying to reassure him that it wasn’t that bad and he was safe but alas it didn’t really help. There were two performances and we got tickets to go and support him and see the show. He didn’t want us there and unfortunately for my husband and my Father in law, Olly refused to take part and sat at the front sobbing. The next day, my Mother in law and I went to see the performance and I was so nervous. Nervous that he wasn’t going to take part again and that he would spend the whole hour in tears. He refused to stand on the stage but sat to the side of it and did join in some of the songs and did some actions. His little face beamed when it was over and we were so relieved that this would hopefully be the end of his tears. How wrong we were!
The last week of pre-school before Christmas was met with tears from Olly again although he would happily get dressed and eat his breakfast before walking the few minutes to school and then bursting into tears as the door to school opened.
And it starts over again!
We had a lovely Christmas break but tears began again on the night before pre-school with refusals to go to sleep and ending up sleeping in our bed at 11pm resulting in me having to spend the night in Olly’s bed. We’ve asked him what he’s scared of and he just says he’s scared and he doesn’t like his school. He will then go on to say he doesn’t like his friends and he doesn’t want to see his Teachers. All of which he says when he’s upset. When he’s not upset, his response is ‘school is fine’ and he had a good day when asked at lunchtime.
The first day of term was eventful; tears, sickness and tantrums. Olly refused to get dressed; we had to dress him. He refused to put his coat on; we had to put his coat on for him. We got to the front door running late and my mobile rings. It was school. The school was closed because there was no heating. No word of a lie, I burst into tears. What a completely crap morning, and then when I started my car to go to work, I had no petrol!
It is so upsetting. This week, he has made himself sick every morning before school. He won’t eat his breakfast and he refuses to cooperate when putting on his school uniform. He uses every delaying tactic going and it’s so hard to see him like this. We have to literally carry him into school and the teachers peel him off us at the door. Ridiculously, when we pick him up just three hours later, he’s all smiles, has settled down within ten minutes and has had a great time playing with his friends and enjoying school. It’s almost as if he forgets what school is like and gets himself all worked up again. It’s exhausting. We’ve tried a couple of techniques to encourage him to co-operate in the morning (hands up – they’re complete bribes) but they don’t seem to work either. When he’s in the moment of being irrational you can’t reason with him at all.
I won’t lie, I’m so glad it’s the weekend and we don’t have to worry about the trauma of going to pre-school for a day or two. I know we’ll very probably have tears on Sunday night but for now, I need to forget it about it. I’m so stressed about it all. I just want to see my smiley, cheeky little boy. I don’t recognise the tearful, upset and angry little boy. This parenting business is tough. I wonder if this is why most parents seem to drink wine?
If you got to the end of this post, thank you. I don’t think I’m asking for words of encouragement or any words of support, I just need to get it off my chest without thinking I’m losing the plot. In actual fact, I’m completely winging it!