It wasn't that I was actually stupid enough to think that Mister would do the miraculous and enter into something new all enthused and willing, afterall it was the first day of big kid school, so some anxiety and tears were expected, but it is Mister we are talking about. Whatever drama was going to unfold was always going to be extreme. Having said that, the school itself effed up all our preparation for us. NOT happy!!!!
Late last year we went to the school of choice to take a tour. While on the tour, the principal mentioned that the kindergarteners (pre-schoolers) were currently undertaking transition visits with the school and had their final visit the following week. Mister was invited to come along and spend the morning, where we were assured that he would be visiting the classroom and teacher he would get next year. We, as parents, thought this would greatly help Mister, and remove some of the mystique surrounding this looming building and the people who contain it.
On the day, he wasn't too happy for us to leave him, kicked and screamed, but when I came to pick him up, he was fine, and was seen talking to other kids; had made a craft and the teacher gushed that he had settled quite quickly once I had left. Needless to say, it was encouraging for me to hear that, but I felt even more assured when Mister told me about the fun things they had done and the "buddy" he made, who just so happened to be called Mister too (fancy that!!!). So banking entirely on all these positives and totally downplaying the separation thing, we drilled it into him that his first day was going to be "just like the last time", just a little longer.
He had been worried about the lengthy day, and had been having nightmares about being left somewhere and never being picked up (total separation anxiety dream), but over all we were encouraged to find him quite excited about school and looking foward to seeing Mrs Fibberty-Jibbert again. It seemed the initial taste had given him enough confidence to feel that he could suck it up for the cause....in our dreams!
So on Tuesday, we arrived at the school on time. Unaware of where to go, so we asked at the front desk:
"This is Mister. He is starting new today. Can you please tell us where Mrs Fibberty-Jibbert's classroom is?"
"Oh! Mrs Fibberty-Jibbert doesn't start until tomorrow. She takes the new kids who have had no school experience. I have Mister down for Mrs Oozie-Kaphoops' class."
Upon hearing this information Mister's thin veil of containment goes up in smoke like a kleenex next to a naked flame. He screams that he is NOT GOING as he proceeds to high tail it out of the head office.
I am left to argue the point and wrap my head around the confusion to the front desk person, who assures me that Mrs Oozie-Kaphoops is lovely and how much Mister will really love her; and then I realise that Mrs Flibberty Jibbert just isn't going to happen and our months of careful reassurance amounted, in Misters trusting mind, to a conspiracy of EPIC proportions and a pack of dubious lies - at best...."so what ELSE have they lied about, I could imagine him thinking. It was just awful, but was about to get worse.
I tried to take in the location of the classroom from the map explanation given by the front desk person, all the while glimpsing flashes of Mister running for dear life outside the administration office with Ashley hot on his heels - if it was someone else, it would have been downright comical and Benny Hill music would have been playing in the background.
When I finally emerged from the office, Ashley had cornered Mister and we proceeded to lead (read: drag) him over to his designated classroom. Once there, we were greeted by the teacher, who was quite lovely and gentle. Mister wanted nothing to do with her, and given the time wasted chasing him around, all the kids were now seated, cross legged, on the carpet, heads turned and staring in Misters direction -just the thing he HATES, consequently Mister decided to do another bolt. This time I chased after him, and managed to get him back to the class room. The teacher suggested Ashley stay with him for a bit and then leave without too much fuss. It didn't happen.
Once the suggested time arrived, Mrs Oozie-Kaphoops approached and said "say goodbye to Dad". to which Mister protested loudly. Mrs Oozie-Kaphoops then took his hand and told us to leave - kicks and punches were thrown and we left the class room with our hearts breaking and the sound of his tortured screams ringing in our ears all the way to the carpark.
The secretary rang us later, to tell us that the principal had to be called to subdue him and he was now "sitting quietly and looking around" (made it sound like he had been straight jacketted and tranquilised). Mister later admitted that they had to lock the doors because he kept trying to flee. To his detriment NO ONE was game to befriend the wild man, and although he is now resigned to the reality that school is here to stay, he has struggled to find a friend. It is tough being the new kid at school. I do wish he had started in the other class with all the other fresh stock, but he is considered to have had "previous experience" and so he doesn't qualify for the newbie class. As it is, he is in a mixed R-1 class, which I am also not too happy about (internal GGRRRR!).
As it stands, he seems excited about the learning aspects and experiences that school offer, it is the long lunch time play that is bringing him the most anxiety. I am sure it will take him a couple of weeks to find his feet yet, but I do feel bad for him, and rather helpless. I just hope he clicks with a nice kid and is able to enjoy his play time. Today he begged me to persuade the family of his Canadian best friend to move to Australia (sob).
Is this in any way, an even remotely familiar new kid in school story, or are we just odd?