For the first two weeks of preschool, Kyra was allowed to bring her favorite stuffed animal "Big Bear" to class with her. The teacher would have the kids "teach" their "snuggle buddies" all about preschool. How to sit during circle time, where to put their trash after snack, etc. Then at the end of the two weeks, the class had a Snuggle Buddy Graduation, complete with handmade mortar boards and diplomas for the stuffed friends. The graduation signified that the snuggle buddies had learned all they could about preschool and now were to stay at home so the children could now do more "big kid" things. For children who are super attached to their stuffed friends, this is a great way to ease them into going to school.
In my opinion, for Kyra, (who once was EXTREMELY attached to her bears) this wasn't really necessary. Before she started preschool she had become very accustomed to leaving her bears at home or in the car when we would go places, but I still thought this would be fun for her to actually be allowed to have Big Bear at school. Never though did I think that this would cause her to regress and suddenly really want to have her bear with her at school.
The day after the graduation, Kyra was almost in tears as she begged to bring her bears to school with her. I tried explaining that "Big Bear graduated, so he can't go to school anymore", but that meant nothing to her. My heart was breaking for her as I saw the confusion on her face, so in a moment of enlightenment I asked her if I could take her bears to the grocery store with me while she was at school. She lit up. "You'll take Big Bear and Little Bear to the grocery store with YOU?!" she said. "Sure!" I replied thinking that tomorrow she'd forget all about it.
She did not forget. In fact, it was quite the opposite. As she was getting dressed for school she stated, "I'm going to go to preschool and Big Bear and Little Bear are going to the grocery store with you mom." "Yes, that's right!" I said. And then she proceeded to remind me that her bears were going to the store with me for the next hour until I dropped her off at school, including one final time as she got out of the car. She turned to her bears and told them, "I have to go to preschool, but you're going grocery shopping!" Oh man.....
I had a feeling she was going to ask me about her bears trip to the grocery store later. And I seriously considered just making some stuff up because I never really intended to take the bears with me INTO the grocery store when I offered that suggestion the previous day. She's 3 1/2. She'd never know the difference if I told her a little white lie....
But I would know. And I felt ill just thinking about lying to my super adorable, extremely sweet little girl. Especially because she was just so. stinkin. excited. about her bears going to the grocery store. So, as I pulled into the Wal-Mart (I shop here for convenience, not because I like to) parking lot, I determined that the bears were coming in. Even in spite of the fact that it was currently POURING rain.
I stuffed them into the diaper bag as best I could to keep them dry and then ran/walked into the store with Kylie on my hip and the diaper bag on my back. We got a cart and instead of putting Kylie in the seat in the front like I normally do, I put her in the actual cart basket. I then proceeded to pull out two well-loved little stuffed bears, seat them in the child seat, and do my shopping. I even snapped a few pictures to show Kyra later, because I knew she'd ask about the grocery store.
And I was right. Before we even made it out to the car she asked about the grocery shopping trip and immediately I whipped out my phone and showed her the pictures. She grinned and giggled at the sight of her bears in the cart. And in that moment I was so happy I didn't just leave them in the car.
I must say though that I have not volunteered to take her bears on any other outings while she has been at school since this, but at least it seemed to put an end to her wanting to take them to school with her.