New Kid On the Block

While I get used to my new schedule of living in three hour chunks of “bottle-feed, diaper change, get some sleep, repeat,” I have another Sluiter Nation Recruit to introduce you to.

Today I bring you one of my favorite Canadians…Robin of Farewell, Stranger.

Robin has long been a special blogger to me.  She and I bonded over our shared struggle with PPD, and this past August I was so blessed to be able to hug her in person.  She is one whom I did not get enough time with when I met her.  I wanted so badly to sit across from her and have a quiet cup of coffee and just chat.  Unfortunately, with all the loud, busyness of the conference…and my weird anti-social-ness due to being sick pregnant and on the verge of antenatal depression, I just didn’t get to properly connect with all the people I wanted to.

Some day I hope to get a second chance at that.

But today she is here.  In my little corner of the internet.  And she is sharing a worry I understand too well…the one about whether or not our child(ren) will belong.

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be.long [bih-lawng, –long]

verb (used without object)

To have the proper qualifications, especially social qualifications, to be a member of a group. You don’t belong in this club.

 

As I write, my son is at his first day at his new preschool. In March. He didn’t seem nervous as he left with his dad to go the few blocks to the school, but I certainly was.

We moved to a new city in November, so he’s been out of school for three months. He was only in preschool for three months in our old city, but one of the boys in his class was one of his best buds so for some reason that seemed less like sending him out into the great unknown. Here, he knows no one. Doesn’t know any of the other kids and of course doesn’t know the teachers.

And you know what? He seems totally unfazed by this.

We went to visit the school a few weeks ago in an attempt to get him a spot in the four-year-old class this fall. (While there, we talked to one of the teachers who mentioned that they had an opening coming up for the current year, so she dug up the waiting list and there we were. We had to wait a few weeks, but at least he’ll get to finish this year.) He understood that we were visiting a new preschool and it didn’t take him long to be comfortable in that environment. The bucket of Lego pretty much sealed the deal.

We talked to the teachers and looked at the facility and the programming. It all seemed fine, and the location is really convenient, but how is a mom to know if her child will do well there?

When I talked to him this morning about going to his new school, I was expecting him to be nervous. Because that’s what mothers do, isn’t it? We project our nervousness onto our kids, who, in many situations, wouldn’t think there’s anything to be nervous about. Especially when there’s Lego involved.

I don’t actually have any reason to worry about Connor. He’s quite outgoing and he likes playing with other kids. He doesn’t care if he knows them, and as long as they don’t push him he generally comes home with little to complain about. (And if they do it’s a good opportunity to remind him that he’s been known to push a child or two here and there and to remind him what it feels like to be pushed.)

His social skills are pretty good and he’s quite good about sharing. He’s got an incredibly kind heart, and seeing him try to include others makes my mama heart swell with pride and love for him.

He’s not nervous and probably has no reason to be. So why am I? Because, like all mothers, I want good things for my child. I want him to learn and have fun, but most of all – especially at this age when it’s less about the lessons and more about the socialization – I want him to belong.

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Thank you so much, Robin, for being here today.

So, friends, have you been there?  Have you worried about your kid(s) belonging to a new group or fitting in in a new situation?

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