Thursday, July 7, 2011

Transitions

Have I mentioned that Jacob is desperately missing his old classroom?  He moved up to the three-year-old room last week, and ever since it's been a constant struggle to convince him he needs to stay there.  He asks for his old teachers and misses his friends.  He talks about how he doesn't want to go on the yellow playground (the bigger one outside at daycare--must only be for the threes and up).

In general, every morning we have the same batch of struggles.  He doesn't want to go to daycare.  And no, it's not a panicked "I hate it there" sort of thing.  I think he genuinely just wants more time at home to play with his toys and go outside to play sports.  I can't blame him one bit.  We don't want to go to work either, obviously, but we have to, which we explain to him nearly every day. 

Next up is that he wants to wear big boy underwear.  Other than his two major accidents and one little one over the weekend, he's been pretty good at staying dry.  I do try to remind him to go, but he does volunteer sometimes.  He does well in the evenings, and we've been using the plastic pants as a backup just in case.  However, those two accidents were biggies, and I can imagine that daycare wouldn't be too thrilled to have to clean up that mess on their carpet.  They have scheduled potty runs there, so perhaps he'd be fine, but it still worries me.  I have no major need to get Jacob night-and-nap trained right away--he'll get there eventually--but daytime trained would be outstanding.  And for the record--and yes, this may jinx us--he's never pooped in his underwear.  We did have a slightly awkward incident over the weekend where he pooped and tried to wipe himself, though.  Even I'm not that good at wiping him, so you can imagine how he did.  Oy.  But he wants the big boy underwear every day and puts up a fight if we try to put a pull-up on him.  I chalk it up to daycare's rules and try to convince him that he has to keep practicing and he'll get there eventually.  One of these days I may just send him with big boy undies, the plastic pants, one backup pair (he's already got pants there) and hope for the best.  I'd imagine being with the big kids is good motivation, so I don't really want to push him off for too much longer--gotta strike while the iron is hot! 

Our third battle is the classroom one.  He's constantly begging for "Miss Pammy's room", and who can blame him?  He visited the threes a few times, and suddenly he left behind all but one of his classmates (the girl he shares a birthday with came too) to go to a new room.  He'd already spent time in that room in the evenings, and it's a really cool room--new toys, a couple turtles, cool cubbies--and there's even a couple kids in there that were in his class a while back, before they moved up.  But he really misses his old room, his old teachers, and his friends.  It's a big switch.  We don't seem to get as much info about him on a daily basis (frustrating given the potty training situation, as the old daily sheets did provide potty use info), but we haven't gotten any negative reports so perhaps this has thrown him off enough that he is listening better and behaving better.  Perhaps shoe throwing is a thing of the past.  We can only hope. 

Being in a class with older kids is definitely a bit of a double-edged sword.  He's younger than the youngest kids by three months, and there are kids a full year older than him still in the room.  That's a BIG gap when you're three.  Jacob's a good talker, but I'd have to imagine his skills will be refined considerably in the next year.  In general, I'd have to think the kids are far more advanced cognitively and even physically.  And while it's good for him to see things like that so he knows what he should aim for, I do worry that the big kids won't want to hang with the little kid or that it'll all be a little above him for a bit.  And, of course, there's always the chance he'll learn some less-than-charming behavior from those older kids, too.  Being one of only a few kids in pull-ups can't be ideal either, but I still don't know if his accidents are mental (too busy playing, for example) or physical (bladder isn't ready).  He can do it at times, which makes me think it's mental, but it's hard to know for sure because he definitely knows he shouldn't do it. 

I guess it's sort of like the quandary when kids are born near the cutoff for school--hold your kid back so they're among the oldest, or send them young and hope they catch up quickly.  We don't have that choice in this scenario, of course, so we just have to make it work.  It's just hard when your kid struggles and they have every right to, but there's still not much that can be done.  He's seen his old teachers the last two mornings, and I told them both how much he misses them.  I also told him to ask his new teachers if he could visit his old friends.  I don't know if they'd say yes, but it's worth a shot.  I'm all for using this as a personal growth experience (notice I'm not demanding they send him back until his friends are ready), but still, the kid is three.  In his mind, his last classroom is probably all he remembers ever being in, so it's no wonder it's a big change for him.  But I still think he deserves a chance to ease in a bit, and anything that helps him transition sounds good to me. 

It's funny, but probably the biggest difference between this transition and previous ones is that this is probably the first one where he can really talk to us about it.  Before he could cry and act out, but this time we know what's bothering him and can do what can do help him through it.  Our little boy is definitely growing up, one step at a time.

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