School Days...adventures in preschool-land
Yes....that's my daughter, Jane, being swallowed-up by a life sized Hello Kitty backpack, and looking longingly at the playground behind the fence. (She picked out the backpack herself.)
You see, even though I would LOVE to be able to stay home and home school my Jane, I am not blessed with that option at the moment. So, I teach art to 4th, 5th and 6th graders at a large private Christian School, and my daughter has always had to go to some sort of day care. When she was a newborn, and toddler, she went to a lady who watched a few kids from her home. Last year, as a two year old, she went to a small daycare at a local church. But, this year, she's 3 years old, and that means she's old enough to attend MY school's preschool.
How can such a little-bitty thing be old enough for school?
(She LOVES her backpack!)
We had the chance to attend an open house on Friday and meet the teacher and the other children that are in her class. One of the first things she set to work doing was "playing house."
....taking care of the babies....
...and sweeping the floor....
The next thing she went for was Mr. Potato Head....now that's MY girl!...going for the 'retro' toys!
We had a nice time at the open house, and Jane was actually sad to leave with the prospect of so many new toys. I finally convinced her that she would be back many, many times and have ample opportunities to play with the toys.
This morning, we got ready for the BIG DAY.......the FIST DAY OF SCHOOL.....
....and here's how the day progressed.....
Jane started off SUPER excited about wearing the school uniform. Who wouldn't be excited about wearing a cardigan, a pleated skirt and knee socks! (though I'm not too keen on the polo...)
And when I say SUPER excited, I mean it....she would barely hold still long enough for a picture.
All the way to the car and while we were driving to school, this adorable ear-to-ear grin was plastered on her face, as she giggled and talked excitedly about going to her new school.....wearing her new backpack, of course.
And then we entered the school....and the excited smile faded fast to a VERY nervous one....but, there was still a smile none-the-less. Momma was trying hard to hold it together, and I really do think that Jane parted on much more agreeable terms than I did. We put her lunchbox and backpack on the hook labeled with her name, and I sent her on her way.
Well, I fretted and worried all day long........imagining the worse.....
When it was time to leave work, I hurried out of there as fast as I could, and fumed over the fact that I caught every red light between my campus and hers (the grade levels I teach, and her preschool are on different sides of town).
I finally got there and found her in the one place she had been talking most about for the past few days....the play ground.
She was at the sand table, already making friends with the boys...ahem... and when she saw me, she announced (as you can see by the exasperated facial expression and hand gesture) that I "wasn't allowed to come and get her when she was in the middle of playing with the sand."
Even though she appeared to be having fun, her pony-tails were drooping, her cute little knee socks were down around her ankles, her shirt was soaked down the front with water (from using the water fountain, I later found out), and there were dark circles under her eyes. It had OBVIOUSLY been a very LONG day.
I finally coaxed her out of the playground, and was able to talk to the teacher before we left. The teacher is very sweet, and complimented Jane, but also told me that it had been a rough afternoon for her. The morning was lovely, she said, but I guess with all of the excitement and new-ness of the place, Jane hadn't eaten much for lunch, and had had trouble falling asleep at nap-time.....not a horrible day....not cotastrophies at least.... but the results being a very hungry and tired little girl. I'm sure she will sleep good tonight. I asked her about her day, and she pouted and grumped and said she couldn't talk about it..... :-\
So, we made our way home, both of us feeling a little strained from a long day of worrying.
But, almost immediately after entering the house, Jane transformed from the exhausted, downhearted, sad little school girl.....
....into a free, delighted little princess! She put on one of what she calls her "princess dresses" (it's really just an old camisole), and twirled......
...and danced....and giggled....
....feeling the freedom of finally being at home.