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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Too quiet.

Yesterday was Danny's first day at the Montessori preschool. He woke me up at 5:00 am, "Mom, wake up. I go to school." I knew it was futile to try to get him to go back to bed, just to wake him up in an hour. We had to be at his doctor's for his immunizations at 8:00 am and then preschool began at 9:00 am.

He was very brave, not crying- only scrunching up his face while he received 4 immunization shots. He exclaimed, "Owww," each time but still sat there for the next without fighting. A proud mama moment. We left the doctor's at 8:50 am, just enough time to get to preschool at precisely 9:00 am.

Excitedly, Danny was full of energy as I signed him in and took care of a little paperwork and then we walked back to his room. I watched as one of the directors talked to Danny about the rules and what is expected of him. My heart sank as I realized, I was actually dropping my child off in someone else's care. Danny gave me a hug, kiss and said, "Bye bye Mommy, I luv you." It took everything in me not to pick him up and walk out with him.

Camille was cheerful as we left, I was in tears. She asked me why I was crying...I told her that I cried when I used to drop her off too. Camille had attended daycare and preschool as well. Honestly, I thought I was past putting my children into the care of someone I don't know well. There is absolutely no reason not to trust them and I'm not saying that I don't, it's just not what I thought I would do.

I spent yesterday (Mon.) in a depressed state, the quietness around the house, the blaring obvious fact that I could keep the house clean now for more than 20 minutes. My baby wasn't there. Camille loved it and saw nothing wrong with it. "Mom, he's doing his thing, we're doing our thing and then we'll be together. I think it's nice not to be interrupted 100 million times a day." She was right but time marched on slowly.

I braced myself for his absolute enthusiasm when I picked him up. I knew he had a terrific day in the new environment, I chatted with his teacher and laid it out for her. "He'll be homeschooled next year for kindergarten, so I'm hoping this experience will prepare him for lessons at home. No pressure or anything (smile) but he's here to get what I cannot provide without pulling my hair out...predictable structure, constant activity for his age and ability and conformity. I want him to be able to focus on a task for 15 minutes at least by the end of this year." She laughed and said, "No pressure? I'm sure we'll be able to accomplish that and more." She was very nice and had the temperament I often wish I had with Danny, the nice but firm.

I know deep down I have failed my child, I am undisciplined and could do better to balance preschool and 3rd grade studies, "if only I..." ran through my head a lot yesterday. The problem is, I try to be an all or nothing type person- if I cannot give 100% is it really worth doing? It seems that no matter what I did, keep Danny at home and continue to do preschool for 30-40 minutes a day and then focus on Camille's studies...I was still losing with Danny. He is perpetual motion and if I couldn't focus on him, I felt he was getting lost at home. I don't want him watching tv and I was turning it on everyday for him to just sit still and be occupied.

I know this Montessori preschool is going to be what he needs right now. I just hate that I cannot provide that for him, I feel like I have failed but I also feel like I have done the right thing by letting go for just a little while so he can get what I feel I'm lacking. It's a huge emotional mess.

Now, I'm working on embracing the situation on my end, making the time count while he's gone and getting used to the stillness of the house. Yesterday was a rough day, I think today will be better.



Michele said...

Jessica - I'm sorry you are having a tough time. I had mixed feelings about Belle going to pre-school too. But she loves it! And I have the extra time to spend with dd7. If Camille and Danny are both happy and thriving with the situation - you cannot have failed them! Try to think of it as camp. You are sending Danny to camp!



Shannon said...


I remember my daughter's first day of Kindergarten. I was crying so much the nurse brought me into her office to calm me down! I hope that feeling eases up soon.


Teacher/Mom said...

You have not failed! I wish that I had the money to put my three year old in a preschool so that I could give my ADD girl the focus that she needs. You have been able to choose to give Camille the focus she needs so that next year she can be a lot more independent, which is what you will need her to be as Danny starts kindergarten. You are doing this for his longterm benefit as well as Camille's long term benefit. Please remember that. I have to spend so much time cleaning up and disciplining my three year old and 10 month old that I am not able to give very much time to my two students. One does okay if I make absolute certain to check the work she "claims" to have done. But my ADD princess cannot do anything without constant hand holding and attention redirection by me. And she is the one who is suffering. Kudos to you for making the hard choice, but YOU HAVE NOT FAILED! Blessings.

Teaching Diligently said...

I checked the blog off & on yesterday wondering how you were doing . . . I will be praying that God guides you in this decision & makes His will ever so apparent to you. Remember, he picked us as their parents, knowing we had everything that they could need (including letting go at times). There is a lot of pressure that tags along with homeschooling. Finding a balance isn't always easy. We all need the time to find our way & it is a huge challenge teaching multi-grades. Have a blessed day!

beth said...

I know my circumstances are a little different, but the feelings are the same. My oldest has multiple disabilites and goes to public school while I homeschool the other two. I struggle with guilt about that a bit too although it's gotten easier as the years have gone by. I know that school is a better place for him than home and I do get some grief from that by fellow homeschool moms (the ones that say anything but homeschooling is bad, bad, bad). It's almost like you have to harden your heart a little so it doesn't bleed all over the place.

christinemm said...

Oh Jessica I think you are being very hard on yourself. I too am an 'all or nothing' person and understand what feeling that way is like. I was going to say that you could handle Danny not away at preschool and do fine by Camille too but you know what, I'm not in your shoes and don't know the realities of your home or your children. So I am not judging you I want to be clear on that.

If your heart continues to be heavy over time then you can reexamine your choice.

One more thing I hope you are not so focused on getting all the homeschooling done with Camille that the joy is missing. I am working to get back the looser, more joyful feeling as last year I got too concerned with filling buckets by certain time periods (mostly for my older son then in fifth grade not regarding my then second grader).

Have a nice week!!

BTW I did decide to do the HS weekly reports this year and might find time today to do my first one. Yesterday when I viewed your link page for them it was defective and I could not read the third column. I couldn't tell if my blog was on the list from last year or if this is a new link list for 2008-2009 year. At over 100 participants I would say it is far more than 'a few' people particpating. Great job at creating one of the blog-participant things that people can join in.

Jennifer said...


I am so glad to read that Danny enjoyed his first day of pre-school. Although this was a tough decision, you made it prayerfully and you have not failed Danny in any way. In fact, you have served him well by realizing that what he needed was not what he was getting at home right now.

Best advise I have EVER received regarding homeschooling:

Take it one day, one week, one month, and then one year at a time. Be willing to accept the good with the bad, and be a big enough person to recognize if at any time it is not working for one or all of your children.

I try to keep that in mind each and every day. I know families that homeschool all but one child - not a double standard, just a realization that each child is different and for some kids, at some times, school may be the best option. I'm happy for you that you have found what sounds like a safe, nurturing, structured environment for Danny and I do hope this year helps him to be ready for homeschooling for K.


Lisawa said...

Ello duve...

I thought about you a lot yesterday and now kick myself for not dropping you a note... I’m a bad online friend....

I’m sorry your mommy heart aches... but like you said... you are only doing what you feel is best at this time.... just remember.. you never fail your children by loving them.

He sure seemed chipper.... maybe that’s the part that sting? I think I would secretly hope my child hated it... silly to admit... but I know myself to well...

You are in my prayers... and I hope today you are able to cheer up and move forward today.... this is temporary.... You are a good momma.... and you always strive for what’s best for your peeps... its a good thing...


Vix said...

Let me reiterate others statements.. YOU have not failed! Your doing a great thing for him, providing him the environment he needs. And pushing through teaching a preschooler and a 3rd grader is not worth the risk of ruining relationship with your son. And HE is a BOY. They are so hard to teach at this age! So much different than little girls. I am confident you made a good choice.

Dayle said...


I know how you feel. When we first moved to Guatemala I had to put all 3 of my kids into school for 3 months while we were getting settled. I cried everyday. I couldn't believe how much I missed them. It was so hard.

My heart goes out to you. I've been praying for you that God will give you a peace about your decision.

You haven't failed. You are doing what you can for your children. That is all we can do. You have beautiful, energetic, curious children. You are giving them a love for learning. Next year, it will all be different.

Hugs--Dayle in Guatemala

Lisawa said...

Hello seesta... Im not sure if you do this anymore.... but I have a little sump sumpten at my blog... come see... *Ü*


TolleLegeAcademy said...

((((Jessica))))) you have not failed. You are prayerfully doing what you think is best, and that's all one can do in ANY given situation. God will continue to lead you, and He is watching over Danny and you all each and every day. May you feel His love and blessing upon you.

Nancy said...

You are a good mother and have not failed. A person can only keep going and do the best they can and prayerfully make the best decions they are able. The best thing is to not spend too much time looking behind. It's wise to learn from things; but there comes a time when after a decision has been carefully and prayerfully made about something to just accept it and pray that God will deal with any of our mistakes. He is a good God and we can trust and rest peacefully knowing that He is going to take care of things and we can swerve and make wrong turns and He will set us right. So don't worry so much about this being the right or wrong thing. Just be at peace now and keep praying. Spend time praying that God lead you and give you wisdom for preparing to have Danny at home for school in the future.

Anonymous said...

First, BIG HUMONGOUS HUG for you.

Second, you have in no way, shape or form failed Danny. He is getting to run around and be with other children and learn things that will be very valuable next year. Yes you could teach him this at home BUT you two were butting heads and this was causing problems in your relationship. As someone said earlier you are able to focus on Camille this year while he is off having tons of fun and then next year she will be able to work a lot more independently and you will be able to focus on him. You haven't failed him. You are providing him with what he needs this year so that you will be BETTER able to provide what he needs next year.

I can however understand that you are upset so...

Have another HUG!!

And give your lovely children one each too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica
Just adding my voice--Let the "if only's" go and embrace with joy what you feel is the right thing--that Danny gets to go to preschool and Camille gets to have your complete attention.
One thing I noticed, Sweetie--"The Daily Grind" title for your schedule is cute, but perhaps it reflects a little heart soreness? I know you view each day as a gift. Remember, Dear One, that you never know what "good work God has prepared for you to walk in" each day--it's not a grind but can sure feel like one when we feel we have failed or let God down. You are hard on yourself. God isn't.

May you feel covered by His Grace, and take joy in his provision today. Have some fun, ok?
And know I truly care about ya!

Chris in VA