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Tantrum Tot and Preschool

Last week the Tot started preschool/daycare on a part-time basis. I was excited and nervous. Excited for Mom to get some time to get at least a wee bit of work done, and nervous because I had no idea how he would react. I was terrified that he was going to be scared wondering where I had gone.

Day one went alright. He ran right in and started grabbing toys to show me, and I snuck out when he was not looking. They said he cried for a little while when he noticed I was gone, but then had a fairly good day. No naps though, which I knew he would not take. He is an excellent sleeper (since his pediatrician put him on Melatonin), usually putting himself to bed at 8 pm and sleeping all the way until 8 am! With that sleep schedule I am just not complaining about his no-napping ways.

When I arrived to pick him up in the afternoon, he was outside on the playground riding a toy car, and completely ignored me. Finally I got closer to him, and called his name. “NO!” he screamed. I guess he did not want to leave. I stayed outside with his class until it was time for them to go inside, which is when the meltdown began. The kicking and screaming and running back to the car he was playing with. It took several times of me running back to the playground to get him before we made it out of there. That is when I decided it was Dad’s job to pick him up in the afternoon after he got back from work.

Day Two the little guy did not want to let go of me. I felt terrible leaving him there, but I needed to do it. Dad picked him up in the afternoon. He said the Tot was crying when he got there, but we received an excellent report, that he had a wonderful day AND even slept for a whole hour at nap time. God bless the people who run daycare centres, it’s stressful enough looking after your own little one, let alone dozens of other people’s. Those considering setting up there own daycare or preschool really should follow up on learning everything they can as it is such a valuable vocation to many parents; read more here – https://klaschoolsfranchise.com/the-opportunity/.

I was feeling pretty good going into Day Three. Little man ran for the door saying, “I go go” so I thought this was a good sign–not so. The minute we walked into his classroom he started to cry and hold onto me. Then his teacher decided to take the class outside on the playground early than usual so the Tot could go outside, which I thought was a great idea except he held onto me all the way out to the playground too. Finally, I handed him off and quickly made it out of the building. Two hours later, I got the call.

My poor baby was inconsolable. Apparently he did calm down and start playing after I left, but this time when it came to nap time he was fine, until the lights went out. As soon as they turned out those lights he began to cry and they could not calm him down. So day three only lasted for two hours!

Tomorrow will start week two, I am hoping that is goes a little bit better because I won’t be able to pick him up at nap time because I have a doctor’s appointment. Looking forward to week two, but dreading it at the same time.



Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.