The stars managed to align perfectly, and just when Joey is getting ready to go to kindergarten… Mo Willem’s pigeon is also being sent off to school too. And he’s not happy about it.
About a month ago, I mentioned kindergarten to Joey and he started crying. It was hard to tell if he was crying from the topic, an uncomfortable chair positioning, or something else, but the type of cry and its relation to the sudden topic change made me wonder how Joey is feeling about his upcoming new routine. Going to kindergarten is a big deal, and Joey isn’t able to ask us questions, tell us his feelings, or even hide under his bed and tell us he isn’t coming out and is going to be home-schooled. (This may or may not be what my own five year old has said).
Joey’s reaction made me realize that I need to slow down and take more time to talk about kindergarten with him – not just what he’ll do and see in kindergarten – but also the feelings he may or may not be having about the transition.
Mo Willems to the rescue.
The pigeon, in all his drama – makes it clear that he has no interest in school. He argues, throws a tantrum, and offers up all sorts of questions about school – what if the teachers don’t like pigeons? What if math is hard? What if he doesn’t like school?
These are the questions many of our five year old are feeling – even if they are not yet able to articulate that feeling of nervousness inside them. Changing to a new routine is scary, and it is nice to be able to use the pigeon as a starting place to talk about those BIG FEELINGS that come with transitions.
“Of course the pigeon is upset! He feels nervous – which is how all kids feel about kindergarten! Being nervous is normal for the first day of school!”
We can go through and answer the pigeon’s questions, while also reassuring Joey (and my daughter as well) that school is a safe place to be.
Joey was thrilled to see that I brought a new pigeon book, and was even more excited to see that it came with the pigeon stuffed animal. He immediately grabbed it and wouldn’t let go. I felt as though I was reuniting him with a long-lost friend.
Wait until next week when I bring back Pete the Cat for more kindergarten prep – Rockin’ in My School Shoes.