Friday, July 25, 2014

School Prep & Nerves

In a month Gianna will be starting her second week of Kindergarten. Which is just NUTS to me.

But ready or not, here we go, right?

We found out that she will be able to ride the bus and have all the details on that squared away - and it turns out there are something like 4 or 5 other kids from our neighborhood who will go to her same school! The only downside is that we have to walk her about 1/2 a block to the bus stop (and to pick her up, of course) but it is what it is so we will work with it.

We are getting the rest of her uniform attire tomorrow, she is getting her before school hair cut (trim!) and hopefully we will be able to do the rest of her school supply shopping this weekend. She doesn't have a lot on her list, which is nice. Probably the oddest thing is the headphones she has to have for computer class! Oh and we of course need to pick out a backpack and lunchbox. And shoes. Okay, so maybe we will need to stretch this into next weekend....

But either way, we HAVE to be done and ready to go next weekend because we are going to be out of town prior to school starting and the last thing anyone wants to do the day they get home from vacation is go school shopping!

So that is the prep part, we know what to get, we have our lists made, etc.

On to the nerves part.

Gianna is NERVOUS and dare I say maybe even a little scared about starting school. Which, how can we blame her? She's never been there save for one time for an hour during screening. She doesn't know anyone (yet). She's never been gone all day before. It's literally going to be 100% new to her. And as history has proven, she doesn't always like new routines or change. I think she is excited, at least she will tell you she is excited even if her face says otherwise, despite her nerves. But we have been seeing a lot of behavior from her that says otherwise - and she has said on more than a handful of occasions that she is a little nervous. She's afraid school will be hard because "sometimes learning is hard for me, mama." (breaks my heart that she feels that way, but that's a whole different post).

Mike and I (and everyone she's around regularly, I think) always try to be really positive about school - it's going to be so much fun! A new adventure! I tell her every time that she expresses nervousness about it that yes, it might feel hard at first but that's because it is NEW! Anything new feels hard (remember how swimming felt hard the first day.. etc.) even for grown ups. But it is all still such an abstract concept to her that I think she has a hard time believing what I am saying! She really thinks that we can just pick her up after lunch if she's not having a good day or if she's tired.

In order to help with some of the nerves we are going to start back up with a morning routine so that she knows exactly what to do and in what order. This has always helped her feel in control, and it cuts down on us reminding her (which pisses her off, quite frankly!) of what to do next. We have started waking her up a little earlier in preparation for getting up for school - her bus comes at 8, so we are going to start with an hour of wake-up/get ready time since she is NOT the kind of kid who can just get up and go! It's a process. I think I am going to make her a little count-down calendar too, she is having a hard time with when school will start and we can put other fun things on there for her - safety city, vacation, etc.

It's strange for me, as her mom, to think about her being in the hands of strangers (who we trust!) for 7 hours of every day, even if I am not home with her during the week. I'm not nervous about the school, we picked this school because we think it is the best fit for her, but I am nervous about her being nervous! I am confident that after the first few days things will be better and more comfortable for her, but we are also basically preparing for the worst/hoping for the best for those first few days.

But it is still impossible for this sleepy little cutie to be a Kindergartner, I don't care what you say!