Today was Sofi's second day of Real School. This means we were off the "first day high" and down to the nitty-gritty of what Real School actually is and how it compares to the first three grades at home, where (according to her nostalgic re-writing of history) any time we feel like it, we just take the day off school and watch movies and eat cookies. Or something like that.
Let's just say that at TGS they never take the day off to watch movies and therefore they suffer by comparison. She was bawling her head off within fifteen minutes of walking in the door. She hates school, she never wants to go back, she wants to homeschool again, she doesn't know any of the other girl's and she'll never learn all the different ways they do stuff.
At that point, being Me, a piece of me died inside and I vowed to myself never to make her go back. She's my little girl, my sidekick, my buddy for the last eight years and no one can take that away from me.
The more Adult side of me managed to keep all this from pouring out of my mouth, as I patted/kissed/cuddled. Judah joined in with the patting/kissing/cuddling and also with the crying-- he's such a tender-hearted little thing and hates to see Sofi or Jamie cry. Then Jamie, not to be outdone, began to protest in his highchair (I discovered later that although I had fixed his food, and actually brought it to the table, I had neglected to put it on his tray. So he was stuck there, starving to death, with food literally inches from his face.)
Count it out. That's three out of three crying within fifteen minutes of walking in the door this evening.
I sent J an SOS chat:
Come home now. Three simultaneous meltdowns in progress. I need you.
I gave Jamie his food. I gave Sofi a cookie. I held Judah on my lap. What else could I do?
This is really hard for me. I miss her. I miss having that spark of almost-adult conversation in my day. I miss watching her relationship with Judah-- that most precious gift that so long eluded us. I miss her sweet interactions with Jamie. I miss her helpful hands.
But I know at some point I have to stop depending on her so much. She has to grow more and more independent of me. She has to be 'Sofi', not 'Mommy's little girl'. She needs to make friends with her peers, and with other adults, too. She needs other influences in her life, other manifestations of authority, other opinions, other standards. She needs to gradually learn to stand on her own two feet.
It's going to be hard for both of us.
PS. By bedtime she was feeling much more positive about school and I think we managed to (with J's ever-practical assistance) iron out some of the difficulties and solve some problems. We'll see it goes tomorrow.