Looking back on the last 6 weeks I didn't know if we'd get here when we started the journey to transition Lachie into kindy, let alone it happening within less than a couple of months.
Here's a rundown of how it went...
The first day I dropped Lachie at kindy was emotional. I thought I was prepared and had it all in check, but as soon as my hand hit the gate the tears started rolling. Due to covid the rules were for parents to only stay for 10mins to settle their children, so this is what I did on the first day. However within an hour they called to ask me to come and pick him up, as he hadn't settled.
On the second day I just hung around, waiting to see if I'd be asked to leave, and I wasn't. So this was the start of me being able to support Lachie to feel safe at kindy and was massive.
For the first 2-3 weeks he needed me next to him the whole time. Anytime I tried to quietly back off he'd get upset and come and grab me by the hand to be next to him again. So I stayed where he needed me, and we would spend around 1.5 hours each morning at kindy together, learning how things worked, starting to play and getting know the environment and other children. During this time he wouldn't really acknowledge the teachers. If they tried to engage with him he'd turn away and want me, but gradually he'd look at them.
At about week 4 Lachie started to feel a bit more comfortable venturing away from me. He'd become interested in something and for a moment forget about me and wonder off, so we decided to see how he'd go if I left him for an hour or so. During this week there were tears when I left, and tears when he saw me come back to get him, but the teachers reassured me that in between he was settled and would engage in things, so I stuck to it.
Week 5 we started to extend how long I left him, from around 1.5 hours to 2ish hours. There were still a few tears at drop off, but when he saw me come back to pick him up he called 'Mama' and ran over to me with the biggest smile to give me a cuddle - oh how my heart burst! And by the end of this week, there were no longer tears at drop off.
And now we start week 6, and this morning Lachie happily gave me a kiss and waved me goodbye while he played with some cars and trains. This feels like a massive milestone, and honestly after that first week I thought it was going to take months to get here.
There were moments where I doubted many of my decisions. Maybe he's not ready for kindy? Maybe I should have put him into some sort of care earlier? Maybe I've made him too attached to me? Maybe he'll never be ready? All of the doubts crept in, but I did my best to let them go and step back into trusting myself. At around the end of week 5 the head teacher at our kindy said how Lachie is really starting to feel more comfortable and it's a credit to me that he has such a strong attachment to me, and that I have been able to spend the time I have at kindy with him to support him in feeling comfortable and safe there, as so many parents have to drop and run with work commitments.
This has reaffirmed my belief that a child can't be 'too attached' to a parent/caregiver. It is this attachment and feeling of security that allows them to then spread their wings and start to develop their independence, because they know they have a safe place to come back to with you. So to any other Mamas on this journey and wondering if they will get there, you've got this, all you need to do is trust yourself and your wee one.