Since I last posted, we have survived the LONGEST WEEK EVER!
It has been an incredibly emotional week. Definitely felt as if it was longer than just seven days. Seriously.
It wasn't bad. Just super stress emotional roller coaster.
First day of school at a new school. SmallStu first on Monday. She was happy to go. We had been prepping all summer for the transition. I had always been focusing on the adventure side of the change. I didn't want to put any fears into her head if they weren't already there.
When we told the kids in June that they would be attending a different school in the fall, SmallStu cried. TinyStu yelled "WHAT?!?!" SmallStu cried because she was worried about leaving her friends. SmallStu has spent four school years at the same place with the same friends. Naturally the idea of leaving the friends and environment she has known was daunting. I assured her that we were not dumping the friends we've had. We love our friends. And playdates will happen. Anytime she wants.
I was so proud of her that first day. She seemed to have no fear. No hesitation getting out of the car at drop off. No sign of timidity in her eyes as she walked head held high into the school.
Stu was anxious. He divulged that on the phone a little later that day.
Finally it was time to pick SmallStu up. Grammy came too... We were both way too excited to see how the day went. SmallStu was all smiles. Lucky for me (and Stu) she loves school. She loves to learn. Loves being in that kind of environment. And she said she's happy with her teacher.
There was one issue. She is shy like her Mommy. On the playground, she had a run in with some "mean girls". Ugh. I was dreading this. We came from a nice, small, intimate and snuggly school. We knew all of the kids. We knew all of the parents. But now, in the new school, all bets are off. I have zero control... and it freaks me out.
Girls are mean. It's a fact. I think we are predispositioned to behave badly to each other. At least once, each one of us has been the mean girl. And usually, it's not justified. It's unspeakably cruel and pointless. Anyway, SmallStu encountered some little snot bucket at school on the first day. As she was relaying the story to me, my blood began to boil. The Momma Bear was starting to emerge. I had a real physical desire to kick some 2nd grader's butt*. No one hurts my kid.
This was one of those parenting moments when your reaction and response is critical. I'm acutely aware that my reaction and response is going to shape her in more ways than I can even fathom (and a lot of scenarios are running through my head). I think back to all of the times that I had run ins with mean girls - ok, not all of them, there are simply too many. I decide honesty is the best way to handle this for her.
SmallStu is sad at home about the way the day went. She is really hurt by the men girls. And she's uncomfortable with the idea of going back and facing those people tomorrow.
I tell her the truth. It sucks to be the new kid. It sucks to deal with mean girls... unfortunately this will not be your last run in with some, that I can guarantee. This is not the last time you are going to feel this way. This is not the last time that you are going to be the new kid. Heck, Dad and I are that now too. I point out that Dad and I also don't have any friends at the new school. I tell her to forget the mean girls. Try to make friends with someone else tomorrow. If that doesn't work, try befriending a boy. Boys make excellent friends. Mommy had way more male friends growing up because girls are not as nice.
Day two was much better. After school, that is. On the way to school, SmallStu was trying hard not to cry in the backseat. She said she didn't like being the new girl with no friends, she wanted to go back to her old school. Words cannot do this moment justice... It was all I could do to not cry, race right back to the old school and beg them to take us back. I'm glad we [both] stuck it out. That day, and each since, she has bonded with some kids. And all is right in the world.
* I knew I wasn't alone when I retold this story to one of my BFFs and mid story she offered to go "[mess] some kids up" for hurting my kiddo. =) You know who you are, and I love you for it!