Baby Steps

    Today was my baby boy’s first day of Pre-Kindergarten.  He looked so big and handsome in his new school uniform and I felt like the proud Mommy as his father and I escorted him to class for orientation.  I have to admit, I was a little afraid that he was going to cling to me because he is definitely a Momma’s Boy and likes to be with me every waking moment.  Maybe that is just something that we mothers convince ourselves of because we can’t bear the thought that our children will ever stop needing us for everything.

    The teacher stood in the doorway to the classroom greeting every child individually and asking them their names.  As we entered the classroom, the children were encouraged to interact with one another by playing with different types of puzzles that were on top of all the tables.  My son immediately left my side to go play with the other children.  So much for the theory that he would not want to leave me…

    Most of the children became immediately engaged in playing with the puzzles so the teacher took the opportunity to usher the parents into an adjoining classroom in order to go over classroom procedures.  We had to stand for almost an hour as she went over everything from sending a change of clothes for each child to curriculum practices.  Yes, I said stand, apparently, the only detail that the school failed to pay attention to was the fact that the parents and grandparents of 20 children might need seats to sit in while they listen to an hour’s worth of Pre-K mumbo jumbo.

    As we listened attentively to the teacher, the two aides, who were minding the children, kept interrupting to reunite crying children with their parents.  As most of you know, children sometimes experience separation anxiety when they first attend school and have to get used to new surroundings.  It was very cute and tender to see all of the weepy faces that were immediately soothed by the sight of their mommys and daddys.  The teacher was not put off by any of this and, it was quite obvious, that she is very patient, qualified, and well versed in how to deal with early childhood issues and children.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, my sweet boy never came through the door crying.  He took to his new environment and surroundings like a fish takes to water.  I guess this means that I did a really good job of making him feel confident enough to venture into the world without me.  Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit but, those of you who have kids, know exactly what I am talking about.  How did I go from hearing, “I want to be with Mommy”, to hearing, “bye, Mommy?”

    I’m sure my baby still needs me and will probably always need me in his life to some degree.  However, there is nothing like letting go of your child’s hand and sending him out into the world.  It is really a scary feeling because your instinct, as a parent, is to take your wings and wrap them around your babies as tightly as possible to shield them from a cruel world.  The problem is that, if you go with your gut, and keep those wings wrapped as tightly as you can, you also shield them from all the beautiful and wonderful things that life has to offer.  So you see, dear friends, herein lies the dilemma, you have to let them experience the bad in order for them to experience the good.  They are not mutually exclusive and one cannot exist without the other.  We are aware of this, as parents, as we also take baby steps beside our children through every experience that we share with them…

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. I'm taking notes. Bring chair. Be prepared for tears. (Mine)

    Stopping from Mom Loop!

  2. Aw, that must have been bittersweet. Mine is only 9 months, but I would probably be a little sad if he didn't cry leaving me that first day. But you're right, he is a happy guy and ready for some socializing.

    I'm following you from the blog frog community. Mine is Stop by any time 🙂

  3. Hi from Momloop! I am your newest follower! I have 2 years before all my kids are in school and its a bittersweet knowledge of what is to come!

  4. Your baby will definately still need you. 🙂

    I guess that's one of the sacrifices of being a parent – knowing when to let go of their child to discover their own little world. Every parent want to protect their child from harm but they can't always be around to do that. The greatest gift you can give them is freedom to venture out and be there for them when they return.

  5. Beautifully written! Congrats on his first day of school. Don't feel too badly mommy, btdt, and it's all good. Like you said, you did a great job. But, keep in mind, no matter how old, they always need mommy! Hey, I'm ummm 40 something, shhhhhh, and anxious about testing and guess who the first person is I called and guess who I want with me. MOM!!!!

    Letting them live is a good thing, as long as they know that it's you they should come to first. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship. I always had and still have that with my kids and that's great.

    Those milestones make you proud. You have a lot more to get through. Cherish every one of them, I did.

    My "baby" is in her senior year this year. In a blink of an eye, you watch them walk into the classroom and then, you watch them walk out all dressed in cap and gown and you wonder, how did it happen so fast.

    Your boy loves his mommy, not to worry. He's just lucky, his mommy made him strong and he will be well-prepared to face the world! Good job mom!

  6. Hi, JDaniel4's Mom. I definitely felt like crying but, when I saw how confident he was, it kind of made me hold back my tears and suck it up. I figured, if he was going to be brave, I better be brave too.

  7. Hi, Kerry. Yeah, I have to admit that it made me a little sad that he was so eager to go. However, it indicates that he was ready to make new friends and ready to learn new things. It's better for him to be outgoing and friendly. I guess it is just "Mommy Separation Anxiety."

  8. Hi, Heather. Thank you so much following. You certainly picked the perfect word, it is bittersweet…

  9. Funkkeejooce, as always, you say just the right things to make me feel better. I will always be there for both of my sons with open arms when they return from their life adventures and realize they need me.

  10. Thank you, Doreen. Oh my goodness, I can't even imagine preparing for when my boys graduate from High School. It must be even more difficult to think of your children leaving the nest to go to college. You are right, though, in saying that having a good relationship with your children lays a wonderful foundation for great communication for years to come.

  11. This was such a poignant post for me. My baby just started high school, and I still remember his first day of preschool like it was yesterday—I dropped him off then sat in my car and cried…which, come to think of it, I did this year too! 🙂

    (Glad I found your blog through the Mom Loop!)

  12. I can totally relate to the mom separation anxiety. Be proud of your son's independence and confidence. And yes they will always need us 🙂

  13. Jo, as I stated to Doreen previously, I cannot even imagine the Mom anxiety that comes from your baby starting High School. I'm sure I will be crying silently when that time comes. I am so glad you found me through Mom Loop. Thank you so much for following!

  14. Hi, Jill. I am really proud that he was so confident and independent. It brings me some comfort to know that he has these skill which will carry him through many situations and experiences in life. You are so right, they will always need us, just in different ways as time goes on. Thank you so much for commenting.

  15. Great post! I think the transitions at any age are difficult, although there's nothing quite like the Empty Nest Syndrome. My children are now 20 and 25 and live in England and San Diego. We talk daily, but I miss them every day as well!

    I found you through Mom Loop.

  16. Congrats on that first step. Sounds like your baby boy is doing great!! I just dropped my baby girl off at college 2 weeks ago. She is enjoying the free flight and I am fighting the urge to wrap my wings around her:) It is all about balance and preparation. Enjoyed your blog!

  17. Hi, Deb. I totally agree with you, it is hard to let them go at any age. It is wonderful that you maintain regular communication with your children despite the fact that they are far away. I'm sure it must be hard to be so far away from them. Thanks for passing by, I really appreciate you sharing with us.

  18. Hi, ZippyChix. I know exactly how that is, fighting the urge to wrap our wings around our babies but having to let them make their own way in the world. That is a great way to put it, "balance and preparation", we definitely have to prepare them and prepare ourselves for the separation.

  19. Somehow there are never chairs at those meetings…or if there are, they are the tiny little kid-sized ones that make me feel like I've been sent to the principal's office! Pre-K is a big transition…for mothers more so than the kids!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment!

  20. Hi, Lynn. There were little tiny chairs all over the room that nobody could sit on! Lol It is a bigger transition for me than for him, so very true. I really enjoyed your blog and decided to follow so, I will definitely be keeping up with your posts.

  21. A good problem. My first would scream her head off when I would go pick her up from Mom's Day Out yelling, "I don't want to go home!"

  22. @Laughwithusblog, that is definitely not good! Kids are definitely a trip but so worth it all. I wish I could have seen the teacher's face when she was screaming that out.


  1. Maria says:

    My baby started Pre-K. I had more trouble letting go than he did.Read all about it…

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