At the end of last week, Patrick and I enrolled Eli in a new preschool. Friday afternoon, I took him to meet his new teachers and classmates, see his classroom, and learn about his new routines. Later that evening, we talked about going to his new school on Monday, and how he would have new teachers and new friends. He was really excited and happy...at first. An hour or so later, Patrick and I were discussing going to get Eli's supplies from his old school, including his chair bag (which he is very much attached to, since he picked out the fabric and watched me make it for him). He began to fuss and to tell us that we couldn't bring his chair bag home, because he "would need to use it at his school." We re-explained that he wouldn't be going back to that school, and he finally realized what was happening. After a few minutes of tears (because he really will miss the routines and his friends), he was happy again about the change. Saturday, he was even happier because he shares a craft class with one of his friends (Luke) from his old class, and he realized that he could still see Luke outside of school. This weekend, though, I still had some doubts about the move; although I really liked the new school on our tour, I wondered if Eli would be upset or confused about leaving behind his friends and the only school he's been to. I absolutely believe that the change is in Eli's best interests...but I was afraid that the first day(s) would be hard on him.
This morning is the first time, in a VERY long time that I've seen Eli so happy to be in school.
We do have to get up a bit earlier, and I was braced for the whining and complaining that we have become used to. It never happened. As I was waking him up, I told him that he needed to get up to go to school. He perked up, "My new school? Yay!". He went to eat his first breakfast (he eats breakfast at home and at school), then got himself dressed and ready. He reminded me to get his lunchbox multiple times (he is very excited to take his lunch to school; we weren't allowed to at his previous school). On the drive over, he reminded me multiple times not to "go down the old road" towards his old school. He got really, really excited when I drove right past the "old road" and made the next turn off for his new school. At the stop sign in front of his new school, he started bouncing in excitement, exclaiming, "My new school! There it is!! Yay!" He couldn't get out of the car and into the building fast enough : )...though he did stop to ask about playing on the playground and/or riding the bus for a field trip. He bounded in, handed his lunchbox off to the nearest teacher, and ran for the classroom. I did corral him long enough to show him where to put "pack pack" and his jacket, then the teacher and I walked him over to where the other students were gathered and eating breakfast. One of the teachers in the room greeted him very warmly, and he went over to give her a hug. I actually had to say goodbye from across the room when I left, because he was already interacting with the other kids. It was wonderful to see him so relaxed...and quite frankly, I am thrilled (and shocked) to see such a 180 degree difference. Here's to hoping that he is just as happy when I pick him up from school today!