This morning got off to a much smoother start than yesterday’s. There were no shoe issues, glory be! And since the phone message from the director of the preschool, there has been no more talk of not wanting to go to school.
On top of that, while I was preparing breakfast this morning, C actually REQUESTED to go to Lunch Bunch. Now, this is a breakthrough of miraculous proportions. This child HATED Lunch Bunch last year because she disliked changing teachers. (As you can see, the fear of new teachers runs deep.) And do you want to know why she wanted to go to Lunch Bunch today?
So she could bring a peach.
I assured her that she could have a peach with her lunch here at home, but she was bound and determined to take a peach in her lunchbox. After a few minutes of trying to convince her that a peach at home tastes as good as a peach at school, I came to my senses and realized, who am I to argue with an extra hour-and-a-half of shopping time? So I dialed the school to inquire, and sure enough, there was room in Lunch Bunch today. So I signed her up.
She dressed herself in the outfit we had agreed upon and put on her socks and her new shoes with nary a complaint. And she didn’t complain once about me pulling her hair as I combed out the tangles.
We took the obligatory First Day of School Picture on our front porch, with her proudly holding up her peach-inhabited lunchbox, and then we piled in the car for our ride to school. I held my breath the whole way, expecting her to say she didn’t want to go or didn’t like her new teacher, but there was nothing of the sort.
When we arrived at school, we took another picture in front of the preschool sign. (Yeah, so I’m a slave to my camera. Sue me.) Then we found her classroom.
Now, I mentioned that last year, even though she loved school, she always put on a show when I left, clinging to my leg, sometimes screaming and crying. I never fed into this ridiculous display of melodrama. This is the child who didn’t have a moment of separation anxiety until she turned 3-and-a-half. I’m confident that she invented these little spectacles to garner extra attention; this child LIVES for attention. So even though she is no longer complaining about changing teachers, I fully expected a bit of resistance when I left today.
I am delighted to inform you that, while she was certainly timid as she entered the room, there was no clinging, no crying, no protesting, and no wailing of any sort. I helped her find the laminated construction paper "crayon" with her name on it, and then while she carefully velcroed it to the giant crayon on the wall, I quietly slipped out. I waited in the hall for a second or two, fully expecting World War III to break out in her classroom when she discovered that I’d abandoned her, but when I didn’t hear any weeping or wailing, I joyfully skipped down the hall and out of the building.
Seriously, yall, the euphoria that I felt can only be compared to that of a bird who has been set free of his cage. As I got in the car, I started singing my own personal a capella version of Aretha Franklin’s "Freedom" at the top of my lungs. I’m sure I made quite a spectacle of myself as the other parents passed my car on their way into the school building. I’m just glad they weren’t privy to the sounds emanating from my mouth.
I sat there for a few minutes, deciding what on earth to do with this glorious FOUR HOURS of virtual freedom. This, my friends, is what having three children does to you. I mean, only a mom with
three two or more kids can, with a straight face, describe a morning spent shopping with a single child on the brink of the the Terrible Twos as liberating.
So off I went to Target. Yes, I went shopping. I mean, that was a no-brainer. The question wasn’t, shall I go shopping or not. The question was, rather, which stores shall I patronize? My shopping excursion will be the subject of my next post, as this one is getting rather lengthy, don’t you think?
Let’s fast-forward to The Pick-Up. When I collected C from her Lunch Bunch room (incidentally, her classroom from last year with, of all people, the teacher’s aid from her class last year) she was positively giddy with excitement over her first day of school and Lunch Bunch with Mrs. M. But I bet you won’t believe what was the most exciting thing about school today.
Yes, my daughter is now the proud owner of a fifty-cent yellow folder with which to transport Very Important Papers to and from school. You would think they gave her a trip to Disney World. As soon as we were in the hallway on our way out of the school building, she pulled the prized folder out of her school bag and brandished it in front of my face, telling me how she is old this year and that is why they gave her a folder "just like D’s." She talked about that folder all the way home. Everyone that she saw at the bus stop this afternoon when we picked up her brother, she told about her folder. In fact, she is at this very moment playing with her folder.
You just never know what common item might charm a child, now do you?
So I do believe we can call the First Day of Pre-K a resounding success.