We brought J to Kindergarten orientation yesterday. What a day!
We started off with a walk with S and our friend A, to the bus stop. J was already feeling a little anxious, and he fussed a bit on the walk, and then gazed mournfully at the bus for several minutes after everyone got on, and the his had driven away. Two moms were chatting at the stop, and they asked him if he was excited about Kindergarten, to which he replied “No!”.
He spent the morning at preschool, and then we picked him up to go to the orientation. He was happy until we entered the building, and then he immediately got very clingy. He resisted going with the teachers to read stories and spend the 45 minutes getting used to being in kindergarten while the principal gave us parents a tour of the school, and answered any questions. But, he did detach from us, and walked with the teacher to the next room. Another little boy was even more clingy, and started crying, so I thought “Whew, J did OK!”.
And, when we got back to the kids after our tour, J ran to us, but he had clearly been engaged with the activities they did. He’s still nervous, but I’m so proud of him that he did it, and didn’t melt down. At dinner last night, he was able to talk about going to kindergarten next fall without rejecting the idea out of hand.
It’s so funny for me to manage this boy who resists moving forward, when his older brother charges forward into new experiences and never looks back. S really has such a fearless approach to every new experience, while J wants to retreat (he’s always talking about how he wishes he could go back to being a baby).
But, I think this orientation did for J what it needed to do. He’ll be fine.