Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adjustment Issues

I've been fretting the past few weeks over Pierce's transition to Pre-K.  It's a full day program, including riding the bus, and I wasn't sure if he was ready for something like this.  I was scared to let him go.  I questioned the decision, wondering if we should've kept him in his preschool program that was only two mornings a week.  But at the same time sensing deep down that he needed this time to grow and thrive and learn.  To find his independence.

The morning before school, Pierce didn't say he was nervous, but when he had a meltdown over not being able to wear his Crocs (despite my preparing him for this) I knew something was amiss.  Luckily, I confided in him that I picked his red Converse high tops special, because the red was the color of love, and he'd look at them all day and know I loved him and was thinking about him.  It seemed to work, because he tolerated me putting his sneakers on (and in fact, later that evening, he refused to take the shoes off!).

Pierce waits for the bus at the end of our driveway on his first day...


My stomach was in knots the first day - I couldn't stop wondering how he was doing.  I wanted to park a lawn chair at the end of our driveway and wait, as though that could bring him home sooner.  It was with great relief that he got off the bus in high spirits, armed with a note from the teacher that read:
Pierce did a great job all day and seemed very happy.  He came off the bus all smiles and stayed that way all day!

I realize there will be many ups and downs along the way, but I was so relieved that he did well.  What I didn't anticipate, though, were adjustment issues from someone else.  Someone who has been watching a few too many Lassie reruns in his doghouse.
Someone who tries to jump on the bus with Pierce.  Who howls for an hour (and I do mean HOWLS - to the point that the twins keep asking why the doggie is sad, why the doggie is crying) after the bus departs.  Someone who waits, with wagging tail and whining, for the bus to arrive in the afternoon.  Who paces if it is just a few minutes behind.  And who - despite my best attempts at restraint - tries to jump on board as soon as the doors open to welcome his boy back home with a kiss.  Now that's devotion.

What am I going to do with him?

This post is linked with JDaniel4sMom -

45 comments:

A Quiet Corner said...

Separation anxiety just needs time. Scooter will adjust to the school "borrowing" Pierce (as will you & the twins!)...:)JP

Meredith said...

So adorable!!

Love that his shoes became his "safe" object. :)
SO glad he came off the bus all smiles.

My Stephens 1st day of Kindergarten is next Wednesday, and I am going to be IN THE BUILDING, trying to KEEP MYSELF in my own classroom and not hovering in the hallway outside his.

Oy.
And your poor doggie. :( Hopefully his adjustment and transition will be quick.

Marina said...

woow, the dog misses him, that's such a nice story.. but i really don't know what to do with him, i never had dog :(

Gone Country said...

Pierce is adorable and looks so excited for his first day!

It looks like there were several people and doggies dealing with adjustment issues! I'm glad everyone is getting used to the new routine!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I hadn't thought about how pets would be feeling about back to school. Do you think he will start following the twins around?

Your red shoes equals mom love is brilliant.

Thank you for linking this to the Back to School Traditions link up.

Crow said...

Maybe two pairs of red converse shoes? ;-) What a great dog.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, that is heart-bendingly precious! glad pierce is adjusting well to a whole new world out there for him to soak in!

Jill said...

Oh how I know you how you feel! Even though my "baby" is going to be a Senior, I still get that same pit in the depths of my tummy.

Pierce looks adorable in his red high tops and his smile is killer. I'm so glad he had a good day! A book you might want to check out is "The Kissing Hand." It's perfect for times like this...for you and him.

Not sure what to do with your dog. hehe! Maybe an old shirt or stuffed toy of Pierces while he's away would help him?

Melodie said...

I am so glad he is having a good time at school! What a loyal friend,there is nothing like the love of a boy and his dog!

Jeremi said...

what a nice note from his teacher : ) those little things can mean so much. glad the first day went well ... you're right about ups and downs along the way, but knowing there were positives at first is so helpful.

letting go is hard!!

CUTE first day pic with his red high-tops : )

Texan said...

Just keep him from running into the moving bus, he will adjust. Kota despite almost 12 yrs of life to this day will get so excited when DH comes home I have to hold onto him or he will run right into the truck. Like its not moving. He totally is lost in the fact Dh is home. Doggies do get so attached to their humans.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Awww, I remember those days. So glad Pierce is adjusting so well, and I feel for you pooch. He's got love Pierce so very much, just like you, it'll take you both a while to adjust to this, I'm sure!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Positive reinforcement when your son gets on the bus--boy leaves, TREATS!
I'm glad that first day went well. I bet it wasn't the crocs that made him cry, probably just apprehension about all of it. My middle had a similar meltdown AFTER the first day over CRAYONS, but it was just his way of letting all the anxiety out. They almost always thrive in PreK and Kindergarten;)

The Daze of Whine and Roses said...

Awww. So sweet. The red converse were a stroke of pure genius. Well done Mom!
Hmmm. Maybe give the pup something of Pierce's and a job to do with it? My Roxy would be given a stick to carry when the grandsons went home and she would fetch it for them when she returned. . . .

Valerie said...

I love dogs. Their devotion to their families is something very special. He'll learn to adjust in time-I guess it's a pretty big transition for him too:)

Dawn said...

Oh! Another memory-banking day!
And those shoes are AWESOMENESS!!!!
:))

Samantha said...

*sniffle* What a good, good dog :)

Jen said...

Aww, I'm so glad everything went well for his first day. Those first days are WAY harder on us moms.
Cute picture!

Trisha said...

I know just how you feel! I still feel that "tug" at my heart when sending my girls off to school each day & mine are 6 & 9!! It does get better though :) That first day pic is just too cute :D

Sonya Heilmann said...

I'm smiling because "Diego" took Baby Jaguar with him!

I hope poor Scooter adjusts soon!

camp and cottage living said...

Lisa
It's always so.. hard with your first going to school.
I'm so glad it went well. What a sweet doggy that is to sit and wait for the little master to get back home safely.
Pierc looks adorable in those red "love" tennies!

Ginny said...

Awww, Pierce looks so small to be getting on a bus and be gone all day. But he did get prepared by going half days first, I think that is so important. Both the girls started kindergarten last week, and we were all more of a wreck then they were!! After Anne's first day, dad took mom to Starbucks where she drank coffee and cried and cried! How lucky Pierce is to have a dog like that to watch over him! What will you do with him? Just love him! And I'm thinking you don't have nay neighbors close by to hear all this!

Sally said...

That little Pierce is too cute for words. I'm so glad he likes pre-school!

Our Hunter started kindergarten today, and nervously asked "I'm not gonna be the only there am I?"

Have a great day, Lisa.

Sharon said...

I love this post! Especially the part about the shoes! Thanks for sharing!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Your poor dog! That's so sweet he's having such a hard time. Pierce is so cute--I'm glad things are going so well!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I don't know why, but your post today just tugged at my heart, Lisa.

Looking at Pierce, so happy and enthusiastic -- he has his whole life ahead of him. And then when you said your dog missed him so much, that did it! I started to get teary. But in a good way. I think I need to go buy those crayons now. :)

Michaele said...

Oh gosh! I remember those days like yesterday. It was always so much harder for me than for them. But that dog took it harder than I ever did.

Tiggeriffic said...

Ben went off to Pre-School Tues. and I was on pins and needles to hear how his day went.. and I'm just GranAnnie..It was like when my first child went off to school 33 years ago. I cried.. The dog sat at the end of the driveway until the bus came back to drop off his favorite boy.
I love the red shoes and the love you part.. cute..
It is hard when your children go off to school for the first time.

Have a tiggeriffic day~! ta ta for now from Iowa:)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh those adjustments in life... It's hard... I'm sure all three of you (Pierce, the doggie, and YOU) will be fine... Just keep each day as 'normal' as possible...

Good Luck..
Hugs,
Betsy

blueviolet said...

OH my gosh, I never would have thought he would be so upset!!! Poor pup!

Sarah said...

Pierce looks so cute!!! I love the red Converse!!! As for the dog, that's so sad...poor guy!!! I figure he'll adjust but that's just too cute!!!!

Chatty Crone said...

I remember those days - the first school the first bus ride - the first knowing he is going to learn things outside the home. How precious he is and I am so glad he liked it.

The Princess said...

Isn't it amazing how doggies know these things.

Daisy said...

Oh, my, that's doggie love!

Doris Sturm said...

Awww...what a sweet post, Lisa. I enjoyed it. It reminded me when I was sick with worry when my daughter was young. It's so hard to let them go and not be there to watch over them...so scary, but necessary. Your dog is so sweet for worrying about "his" boy and welcoming him home. Animals are so smart and they love their human families like their own. I'm glad you all made it through the first day- hopefully it'll get easier as time goes by, but I know a mother always worries. God bless you all.
With Love,
Doris (and Gizzy)

Angela said...

Oh, that's so sweet! When my son went to preschool 2 years ago it was just a half a day program and I had to take him and bring him home. I can't imagine the everyday all day preschool. I hope they get to take a nap! They did away with naps in kindergarten where we live.

Your pup is so sweet! You've got one of the best dogs in the world there even though it drives you nuts with the howling. When I was a kid I walked to school and my dog Brandy would walk me to school. Sometimes he would get in the school and come right to the door of the class I was in. He would come back to walk me home. Brandy was the bestest dog in the world too! I sure miss him. He passed away when I was 18.

GardenofDaisies said...

Awww, look at that big boy going to school! It would seem scary sending them off on a bus at such a young age, but I'm sure he will do fine. Your dog is so sweet!!
Your story reminds me of the time when my (then)1st grade daughter tried to get off the bus in front of our house, but our neighbors sweet and lovable (but big) ol hunting dog had gotten out of his backyard and was waiting for her. He started giving her so many doggie slurps and kisses that she kinda fell back into the bus. I had to run out there and get Buddy to come with me, so she could come down the steps and get into the house, and the poor bus driver (who didn't know what to do) could go on with his route. I miss ol Buddy. He was a good dog. (We have always had cats, but have been blessed with neighbors with wonderful, friendly dogs.)

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

really diggin the red Converse! he is a cutie pie- brilliant move mama!

Tracie said...

I LOVE the shoe idea! So cute! Glad to here he is loving school. Lydia had her Kindergarten testing today and told me she preferred if I waited in the hall. They get big to fast!

Chris said...

There's a LOT of love in your home Lisa.

That boys got a really good loyal friend, and so cool that his teacher took the time to write you a note.

I'm sure it'll get a bit easier for you, but understand about the anxiety. He'll be fine.

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

Awww, this is so sweet! I can just imagine how hard it must have been for you to let him get on the bus and be gone all day long. I'm already dreading the day when Joe goes off to school :-(

We had a dog that was very similar to yours. Heidi would walk to the end of our gravel driveway and at one point actually GOT ON the bus (it was the first day of school). She poked her head down the aisle, looked at the kids, looked at the bus driver, then walked back off. It was as if she just wanted to check and make sure we were OK! Any dog who waits for the school bus is a wonderful dog in my book :-)

Luisa Rodríguez said...

That must be really hard... and it is also so sweet! God, I can't wait to have kids!!



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Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

The story about your dog got to me!
I'm so glad Pierce had a good day. He looks adorable in that picture!

Nicole said...

So glad he is doing alright. I love what you told him about the sneakers. What a great idea!

Mad's not doing so well. Today was the first day of no tears since last Wed. Hoping she will get better...

Sandy said...

I knew I would find first day of school pictures! He looks adorable and I am glad he had a good first day. How sweet for your dog to act like that. I thought that kind of devotion only happened in movies.