September, so far.
Georgie had a great first day on Monday. He was excited to start school in the same room Abby started in two years ago. He already knew all the teachers from taking Abby to and from school, and from my volunteering during lunch the last couple of years. So when his second day did not go so well, I was a bit surprised. George had come with us that morning to see Georgie off, and I noticed he seemed a little quieter standing next to his cubby than he had the morning before, but I figured he was overwhelmed by the gaggle of anxious kids, and their even-more-anxious parents, stuffed into the very tiny and unventilated hallway. But when it was time to go into his classroom, I expected him to bounce in like he had the day before. But he didn't. He cried for us to stay. I wanted to do just that, or atleast if I had to leave, I wanted to take him with me. But I knew he had to stay, and I had to go, so I figured a little reassurance and a quick hug goodbye was my best exit strategy. I reluctantly headed to the gym with Norah and tried to run out my anxiety on the treadmill, keeping my cell phone close by in case the school called to say they had never seen a child in such despair, and that I should run back and pick him up immediately. The phone never rang, and when I picked him up two hours later, his teachers told me that, no matter what they tried, he just kept insisting on going home. He quietly refused to participate in any of the crafts, games or work from the day (though, somehow, he found the strength to console himself enough to eat his snack). But, they said, when the morning was ending and they were cleaning up for the day, Georgie walked up to them and said, "I'm comin' back tomorrow, and I'm not gonna cry."
That night, Georgie and I talked alot. He told me that he didn't want to live at school, and he was afraid that I would forget to come back for him. After spending over an hour reassuring him that school was not his new place to live, just a place to visit, he seemed ready to try again. The last few days since have been great, and when I drop him off in the morning, he once again walks into his classroom with a little bounce in his step.
As for me, the morning scramble has been an adjustment - getting Abby to school by 7:30 and then wasting a bit of time running a few quick errands until Georgie has to be in around 8:45. Afterwards, Norah and I usually head over to the gym where she plays with her friends in the daycare while I slog away on the treadmill or stationary bike for an hour. I usually have just enough time to run home and get changed before it's time to pick up Georgie (and this week Abby's school is running on half days, so by the time Georgie is in the car, we're heading across the street to wait for Abby). Homework is next, which I was right to dread. It's a bit more complicated with two backpacks to sort out, but as we get organized, it will get easier.
Tonight Abby starts ballet, and Tuesdays Georgie has soccer. Wednesday nights are set aside for swimming, but I'm not sure if three nights of activities will be too much to keep up with. I think our plate is already quite full.