Harry started a park district preschool program today. He'll go twice a week for 2.5 hours. We went to visit on Tuesday and he was very suspicious and didn't want to go inside -- until he saw the other kids. On Thursday, we packed up his Elmo backpack with his lunch and new water bottle and headed over. "Should we go to my preschool?" he said.
Still, when we got inside, he clung to my legs as the other kids came up to him. I was trying to encourage him to introduce himself -- ("Say 'My name is Harry'") -- when I had to stop speaking because I was suddenly choked up. Every other activity or place we've gone, one of us, or another family member or trusted adult, has been with him. But today he was going to be on his own and he'd have to navigate this all without us there.
Some other boys started playing cars on the rug, and he came out of his shell and joined them. I stuck around outside the door for about 15 minutes to make sure he didn't freak out, then....LEFT. Yikes. Weird feeling. Cried a little bit in the car, but my Mom was there, and she was teary eyed too, so I blame her :)
When I came back to pick him up, the class was finishing a bathroom break, and all the kids were lined up outside the restroom. He was obviously stressed out about this. We've had some successes with the potty, but a public bathroom? We're not there yet. He was grateful I appeared to save him from the public potty. After class, Miss Lisa said he did fine for his first time. He asked where Mommy was three times, but no tears.
He's talked about nothing but preschool since we got home, although he's been very, very huggy and affectionate with us. I think a little freaked out by going out on his own for the first time. But all in all, we're proud of our brave little guy.