When My First Started School

By Viv Schaffel

Shared by Nicole
When my son first started school, I gave birth to his sister. Literally. On his first day. As soon as I dropped him off, I was admitted into the hospital. Talk about a buzz kill! I was so happy to have our daughter at last, but so bummed I had to miss picking him up those first few days of school. But life always interrupts our best laid plans, right?

Having to adjust to school and a new sister at the same time could be a royal drag, but my son handled it like a trooper. For one, he was used to school. I worked since he was a baby, so he'd been to both daycare and preschool since he was a toddler. He was already familiar with meeting new people and following new routines. He had the whole “six hours a day away from mommy” thing down.

It's daunting to realize your little one is, officially, in the system. There's no stopping that train. Eventually, he'd learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. He'd form his own quirks and opinions. He'd grow more and more independent and would need me less and less.

Although my little guy was at ease, I was still a nervous wreck, so I made it a point to meet his teacher in advance. This was also important for my son, so he was able to recognize a familiar face before the year started. I was sure to obtain a class schedule from her as well. With this, I was able to go over the day’s activities with my son in advance and get him familiar with daily schedules and routines.

I was lucky that my son got into a strong school with a great program and staff. And by serving as my child's advocate, I do my best to make his school experience better to the point of awesome.

Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.