Thursday, September 3, 2009

My "Baby" Started Kindergarten

It has been a World of Crazy here at the Enola House. I was glad to see Perfect's blog post today. She verbalized exactly what I'm going through and feeling. I hadn't been able to connect the dots though between my emotions and my past issues. She did a great job of that.

Munchkin did good the first day of school. Husband and I took her to the bus stop and let her get on the bus. She has a youngish male bus driver. He is new. I turned her over to him. Major panic. My husband and I followed the bus to school. We went in and brought her huge bag of supplies in. We turned around to go walk her off the bus into school. She was already there. Full of smiles. She had a great day. Friday was good too. We had a nice weekend.

Monday was the first day my newly-laid-off husband was home. Good timing since Bugaboo got sent home sick (ear infection). Munchkin decided staying home with Daddy on Tuesday sounded better. She cried for an hour Monday night not wanting to go to school. She said she was bored and the day was too long. Turns out she was placed in the wrong bus line the afternoon before - the driver caught it. But it upset her. So, Husband drove her on Tuesday. She bawled and had to be pried off him. He thought it would help to have her call me at work. So I get a call from her sobbing. I can't even understand her. I hung up and just cried. We emailed the teacher who has been great. We had a friend who teaches a grade higher check on her. Today was a bit better, by all reports.

So those are the facts. What are the feelings? I hear my mom's voice when, after an hour, I have to extricate myself from my daughter's bed where she has been crying, so I can shower, pack lunches, nurse the baby and get to bed. I hear my mom saying, "I don't have time for this. I have stuff to do." In the morning, I talked to her on the phone for 15 minutes. Then she needed to go into class and I needed to get to a meeting. I hear my Mom's voice again "I'm at work - I can't be bothered." Munchkin begged me to come to school to eat lunch. Parents were asked to wait a week. So, I did schedule that for next Wednesday. She wanted me to drop her off and pick her up. But I can't - because I need to save all my sick/vacation time - when Husband starts a new job, he likely won't have sick/vacation time for awhile and I'll be the one staying home with sick kids. But I hear mom's voice, "Work comes first."

Rationally I know my mom took things beyond the extreme - beyond the legitimate needing to go to work and do legitimate things. In kindergarten I was expected to get up to an alarm clock and get myself ready and downstairs for breakfast, by myself. My daughter sets an alarm clock because she thinks it is fun. But the time between the alarm and snooze is designated as snuggle time. We brush our teeth, wash our faces and do our hair together. We eat breakfast together and talk about our days.

At fourth grade, I was expected to wake up in an empty house - parents already gone to work. I got myself and my first grade sister up, dressed and walked around the neighborhood (1/4 mile) to a friend's house to wait until it was time to get on the bus. Mom wouldn't drive us. Then I walked back to get the bus - alone. My daughter is walked to the bus stop and someone meets her at the bus in the afternoons. Even though the stop is 5 houses up and we can see it from our driveway. Lately someone has driven her to school and picked her up.

My mom ranted and raved about the forms that were sent home at the start of school. She yelled about school supplies and the costs. She never took us to school the first day or was much interested in meeting the teachers. We took Munchkin to orientation and open house. She and I made a "date day" over supply shopping. And I must be crazy, because I secretly love filling out forms.

So intellectually I know I am not my mother. But I also know that my life was decently normal up to when I started school. It was all downhill after that. School was such a huge part of my young life, that many of my issues and bad memories relate to school. School was both a torture (being different and odd) and a blessing (escape from home). I had a huge peacemaker role to play between school and my mother who hated being told what to do (even to fill out a form).

Sending my daughter to school is scary. The fact that she cries and doesn't want to go makes it worse. Mix in my memories and it has been a rough week. I've cried every day.

We are off to the beach for Labor Day and keeping Munchkin out of school. Then she is off for the holiday Monday. I am hoping we can both re-group. I also have a T-session next week so maybe I can get some "expert" help.


Ethereal Highway said...

I can so relate to this, but on a different level. When my first child started school, I was not consciously aware of my own trauma. I decided to home school him and realized very shortly that he was being socially deprived by my decision. I sent him to school, but the only way I could do it was to volunteer as a bus monitor and as the assistant to the school nurse (and I used this to spy on his classroom). I was a certified Red Cross volunteer at the time (and I unconsciously did that in anticipation of having to 'shadow' my baby at school). Then, when I needed after school daycare so I could work for atual pay, I ended up working... yup, at his daycare. I quit when the daycare director's little daughter was molested under the stairs by an older boy and the her mother tried to keep it quiet and not "make too much of it". I said the nastiest, most horrible things to that woman before I stomped out of there (yes, Rambo attacked 'my mother'). Being a mother with these kinds of issues is an incredible challenge. I think you're handling it well.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Ethereal Highway.

Enola, it sounds like you're doing a great job, feeling your feelings AND recognizing the falsehood of what some of your feelings are saying.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I can see why you'd be triggered by this time of year and your oldest starting school for the first time. Good Lord! The stuff we were expected to do at such a young age. It still startles me when I read it from another's perspective/words.

But, YOU are a good mother. YOU are a compassionate and caring mother. You are doing the right things. It sounds hectic and overwhelming though. I understand. Lots of hugs ((((((((((((Enola))))))))))))

lawyerchik said...

What prochaskas said - it does sound like you are doing a great job of feeling your feelings and recognizing that some of what your feelings are telling you isn't true. I think it is so cool, too, that you and Munchkin brush teeth, wash faces and do hair together in the morning!! :)

My mom wasn't that kind of mom - she wasn't as (maybe) extreme as yours was, but she also was very much "business" about getting us off to school in the morning. She used to work afternoons or midnights as a nurse, so some of that was, I'm sure, just that she was still tired.

Anyway, it sounds like you are doing a good job of making mornings something to look forward to for your children. I hope that it gets easier for you and for Munchkin.

jumpinginpuddles said...

its fummy when we started school we were so excited we couldnt sleep, here was our chance to get away from our mother our tyrant we thought school would stop everything, in fact school made it all much much worse.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "house husband"; speaking from experience it helps if there is a weekly menue so meals are more easily prepared while everyone else is at school/work. It's a real tough adjustment.

Kahless said...

I dont know what this is like so I dont really know what to say.