I shared on my IG page that Kaiden started back at school (PRESCHOOL!) this past Monday, and I just have to say that I love my little community…so much support and love for that little announcement.
I thought I would share a little more detail behind our thinking for sending him back, what his school is doing to minimize risk, how K is doing, how I’m doing etc. because while not everyone is in our same boat, I think reading/hearing other people’s perspective, especially in a situation like this, is helpful.
Our thinking behind sending K back
So the plan was always to send Kaiden back when Vishnu started fellowship, if school was open and if we were comfortable with the situation here in Chicago. This would’ve been on July 6th had we stuck to our original plan.
We opted to send him back two weeks sooner for a few different reasons. One, you guys, Kaiden was so bored at home and getting super restless. Vishnu spent one morning with him and was like, “Par, he has to go back sooner than later.” So we talked and decided this past Monday was a good time to start back.
Two, my work day can be VERY call heavy. Some days, I have up to 6 hours of calls. Juggling that, with work that needs to get down after my calls, plus Kaiden is A LOT. I’ve been able to manage the past few months because Vishnu’s been home more. But once he starts fellowship on July 1st, I’m on my own for the entire day plus some.
Three, our school has been very proactive with everything and ensuring proper protocol was in place before they opened. That gave us a lot of comfort in our decision (for now).
And four, Kaiden thrives when he has some structure, and as much as I want to provide him that at home, it’s impossible given how much my work schedule varies. And the opportunities he gets to socialize, learn and develop at school just aren’t possible at home right now.
New protocols at school
As happy as I am that our school is super strict about their operations now, it also makes me sad that things won’t go back to the way they were any time soon.
Anyways, in terms of new protocols, let’s start with drop off. No more stroller storage. Only one parents (with mask) allowed in the school lobby for drop off. Only two families in the lobby at a time (6 ft. apart of course). Temperature checks for child and parent. Hand sanitizer for child and parent. Teacher takes child to classroom (I haven’t even seen Kaiden’s new room yet!).
In terms of the day to day – trying to get kids to wear masks when possible. Kids are kept apart as much as possible (for example, when sitting for story time, they are spread out on the rug versus right next to each other). Lots of handwashing. Lots of outside time. No mixing of teachers and kids between classrooms. All teachers and administrators wear masks 100% of the time. No outside teachers/class – so music, Spanish, and yoga is virtually done. Reduced hours (used to be 7a-6:30p, now 8a-5p)
Then for pickup – only one parent again (with mask). And a quick departure!
How Kaiden is doing
Ok, so Monday was ok until I gave him a hug goodbye. That’s when he started screaming, “I just want to go home.” His teacher was right there and whisked him away very quickly. I called later in the day to see how he was doing and was told he only cried for 5 minutes. At pickup that day, he was all smiles and a chatty Cathy!
On Tuesday, he started crying the minute we stepped out of our apartment and didn’t really stop. Again, they told me he calmed down pretty quickly. And like clockwork, Mr. K was super happy at pickup. We went to the park after school and looked for helicopters and sticks. He didn’t stop talking the whole time;
That brings me to day 3 (yesterday). He cried a little at home an hour before we had to leave, but I told him we weren’t going anywhere yet, so he calmed down quickly. And then, like I had been since last Friday, I talked about how brave and strong he is. And how it’s ok to miss mama and dada, but just like every other day, I would be there to pick him up in a few hours. I then talked the whole way to daycare and played little games to distract him. We let him bring Mr. Elephant given I would have to bring him back home. HE DIDN’T SHED A SINGLE TEAR! Something I said must’ve stuck because he was so strong and brave! So very proud of my little guy! And pickup was again a cinch.
So while Kaiden is super happy when I pick him up and very chatty, he still has random meltdowns once we’re home. He is almost 3 after all!
Overall, I think it was a good decision to send him back because, like I said, he’s like me and thrives with a bit structure like me!
How mama is doing
When Vishnu fist mentioned sending K back 2 weeks early, I broke down and cried. I wasn’t against the idea…it just caught me off guard. I had July 6 in my mind and was planning towards that.
I was honestly fine with everything (day before, morning of, drop off) until we came home that first morning to a Kaiden-less apartment. I sobbed for 5 minutes before getting to work. I definitely watched videos of Kaiden whenever I could and eagerly waited for updates from the school. I did my best to keep my mind off the fact that he wasn’t home with us. But I couldn’t help but look back at the couch imagining him sitting there talking to me or asking me for more milk! Overall, I did better than I thought I would!
The next two days were honestly fine. I still miss him obviously, but my main focus is to help him transition and bringing my emotion into it won’t help…it’ll only make him more nervous.
With that, I will say that I have this voice in my head telling me to not get comfortable with our new routine. Things could change at any time. So per my mama mantra, I’m taking things one day at a time and hoping for the best – for the teachers, for the parents, and especially for the students!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comment box or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to share more!