Saturday, 02 June 2012
After our first trip to Pudding’s new school, we looked through the book her teacher had made, and talked about them a little. We were going to return on Monday, so this time I learned from my mistakes. I was more specific about what would happen. Instead of going to see the new school, teachers, playground and friends, I told her we would be going back to play on the playground at the new school with the new friends, and her teachers would be there too.
I don’t think it was just the choice of words, but at least she knew what was expected of her this time. While everything is still new, it wasn’t so overwhelming this time. Instead of parking in the huge car park and walking through the rest of the campus, I parked around the back, so we only had to walk around the elementary part of the school.
Pudding showed none of her reticence this time. She skipped up to her teacher when she saw her, and took her hand to accompany her to meet some of the children in the classroom. Cubby, recovering from illness, had come along too, so he and I busied ourselves on the playground.
It was some time before they returned. Pudding had been playing. She’d immediately taken up with another little girl in pink, and told her that they matched! She ran out with a few other children and they all piled on to the playground.
I caught her teacher’s eye, who smiled back. After the other children left, Pudding moved on to drawing, then we went for a look around her new classroom. Pudding discovered another place to draw, and in no time at all had made herself quite at home. I wasn’t sure she was going to want to leave.
“She’s going to be fine,” said her teacher, and I honestly think that she will.
I think we all will. She belongs here, with teachers who see a child’s strengths as well as weaknesses. And who know that calming a parent goes a long way to easing anxiety in children. We’ll be coming again next week for a final familiarization session. This time we’re both looking forward to it, and the start of the next chapter in Pudding’s education.