On Saturday, at about 3:30 pm, we were getting ready to head out to the beach and dinner. Our six-year-old son asked “Is it late?” He asks this when he’s worried about the day coming to a close. He never wants weekend-days to end. I told him not to worry, that the day was young, we were heading out early for dinner.
Yesterday, the day before the first day of school, he fell asleep on the couch at about 3:30. He rarely does this — but he had stayed up late the two nights prior, not wanting the last weekend before school to end too soon.
He woke up just before dinner time, and cried. He had lost time. He knew what dinner-time meant: eat, bathe, get ready for bed, and then… school. We still had about a half-hour before dinner was ready, so I asked whether he wanted to watch a cartoon before eating. He was placated… temporarily.
But then, as we sat down to dinner, he started sobbing. My husband thought it was because he had turned off the tv, but our son said that wasn’t it. His sister knew what the problem was.
“Don’t worry, your teacher is so nice, you’re going to have a great day tomorrow!” She is very good at cutting to the chase.
We tried to figure out what exactly bothered him about school. We reminded him that he knew his teacher (it was his sister’s first grade teacher), that he knew what the classroom looked like (he had seen it when his sister was in it, loved playing in there), that he knew a couple of the kids in his class already… We just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I had a feeling all weekend that the prospect of the first day of school was troubling him… I had visions of him crying Monday morning, not wanting to get in the car. Dread filled me.
Still crying, he wailed, “I don’t remember where to goooooo!”
We reminded him that his sister walks right past his class to get to her class, that she would walk with him after I dropped them off in car circle, just like we showed him on Friday as we walked around campus. It would all be familiar the minute he saw it.
Now he remembered. He calmed down almost instantly.
Baffling. Or maybe not.
Our son–he hates to be lost. And sometimes he forgets what he knows, and he’s reluctant to admit it. We’re all like that, I guess.