This September, Harlow is starting preschool full-time. She will be going from 9am-2pm every day and I am beyond nervous about it. Harlow would be nervous too except I haven’t really figured out how to communicate all this to a two-year-old.
We never worried about sending Mazzy to a full day of school because she’s always been happiest when she’s surrounded by other kids. Harlow takes a little time to warm up to people and is much more attached to me than Mazzy ever was. That has been made even more apparent this summer in the absence of Ruth, our longtime nanny who left at the end of June to have a baby.
Over the past few years, Harlow has never really made a fuss about me leaving for work in the morning because Ruth was always there. Harlow loves Ruth like family. Now we have a sitter for the summer who is wonderful, but it’s definitely a struggle for both Harlow and I to part ways at the door.
This summer, we enrolled Harlow in a camp two days a week from 9am-noon. This is the same schedule she had over the year so we didn’t think it would be that big of an adjustment. Since we are at our summer house (which doesn’t have nearly as many kids running around the neighborhood as in Manhattan), the camp is really the only way Harlow gets to interact with kids her age.
Even so, Harlow cries every time I drop her off in the morning. Or she puts on a brave face but makes it painfully obvious that she’s fighting back tears with a quivering lip and big watery puppy dog eyes. It’s brutal. This means I usually go into the classroom and read her a book or play for a bit before I feel like she’s in a good enough place that I can leave. The teachers at the camp tell me she is perfectly fine and happy during the day, so I shouldn’t worry. But I feel like we’ve had a setback since she got comfortable in school last year.
Ruth will be returning part-time in October which is the reason we switched Harlow’s school schedule. Originally, we were planning to send Harlow three half days a week next year, because that’s what her school had available. But after finding out Ruth could only work in the afternoons, we decided to put Harlow in a different school that could offer her five days a week with a longer day, rather than find a new nanny. It’s a transition we were going to make anyway, but it’s coming a year earlier than we were expecting.
In September, when school starts, we’ll be sharing my sister’s nanny so Harlow will need to get used to school and another sitter’s routine at the same time.
Unfortunately, Harlow is like her father— NOT GOOD WITH CHANGE.
Over the past year, I’ve developed a really good relationship with the people at Apple Park, a company that makes high end eco-friendly products for kids like backpacks, blankies and stuffed animals in their Picnic Pal and Farm Buddy characters. They gave us a whole bunch of stuff when we moved into our summer house last year, so Mazzy and Harlow would have familiar comfort items while they got used to living in a new place. Last week, Apple Park sent us another care package with all their backpacks and matching lunch packs to ease Harlow’s transition into school.
Harlow is familiar with some of the backpack characters because Mazzy carried the bunny pack all last year. She has also used the purple owl pack and the bear pack. But Apple Park included new characters too, like a bat, a monkey and a white owl.
The eco-friendly backpacks are made from 100% recycled materials from PET bottles— one backpack saves 24 bottles from entering a landfill.
On Saturday, I lined up all the backpacks and their matching lunch packs on the couch so that they would be there when Harlow woke up from her nap.
Then I let her choose which backpack she would be taking to school. She loved them all, but after some careful thought, chose the bunny pack, just like her big sister.
I can’t say I’m surprised. And I love that Harlow will be taking a familiar friend to school every day, since she is definitely a kid who takes comfort in objects she recognizes from home.
In addition to the backpacks, Apple Park sent a package to Ruth for her new baby with lamb booties, a lamby blankie, a jaquard muslin blanket, a bunny rattle, a farm girl onesie and a ballerina mouse bib.
Did I mention Ruth had her baby???!!!!!
Her name is Arami which means “piece of sky” in Guarani, a native language Ruth speaks in Paraguay.
We met her for the first time last week.
Welcome to world, Arami! We think of you like family, just like your mom.
Today, I’m giving away a $150 Apple Park gift card!
To enter, you must be a Mommy Shorts Facebook fan or subscriber. Then visit the Apple Park site and leave a comment below telling me which Apple Park item your kid would choose and what changes he/she has coming up this school year.
To receive 20% off on all Apple Park products, use the code MS20 at check-out. Promo code valid from August 17-31st.