first day of school 9/4/12
Posted September 5, 2012on:
with Nana, mom & dad in tow, May started preschool today. Prior to today, May has been to APS 4 times, each time for at least 30 minutes (mostly 1 hour), so she was fairly comfortable with the environment, knew where things are, and had a general idea of what is in store for her. The $$$ that we burned this summer toward her swim classes (kid still can’t swim or float) had one beneficial effect: it introduced to her the concept of a “teacher” and the idea of being in a class.
So anyhow. First day of school. Son and Helen signed out 30 minutes later, after circle time was over. I stayed for another 30 minutes, not really interacting with her, I just sat a bit further away and quietly observed. May went about exploring things on her own, reacting appropriately to the teachers when they tried to engage her. She didn’t mind playing along side with other kids, she just ignored them. Things were looking good, so I said, “May, I think I’ll head on home now, I’ll be back around 4pm to pick you up, OK?” May looked up from her pile of miniture animals and said, “Yes, I want you to go on home by yourself and let me stay here to play.” On that note, we gave each other a kiss, and I left (May continued to play with her toys, didn’t look up to see me leave).
By the time Son and I came at 4:20pm today to pick her up, she was out in the yard with everyone else, swinging on a bar by herself. When she saw us, her face broke into this radiant smile as she came with her arms wide open for a hug. She didn’t offer any information, so Son asked her a few questions to get an idea of how her day has been. She told us that Daisy joined the class at circle time, and pointed the guinea pig out for Son’s benefit. Then I asked what else did she do after I left, she said she went outside to pick up rocks near the sandbox, as well as sat on the swing. A few more questions from Son, we gleaned that one teacher read a Five Little Monkeys book during the closing circle time, complete with hand puppets and a tiny bed. Predictably she didn’t eat anything at snack time, but suddenly wanted to claim her snacking privileges now that we were there, so I had to explain that snacks were only served for 30 minutes during school hours, if she fails to line up and join everyone, then she’ll have to wait until we get home. As we headed out, May said good bye to all of her teachers comfortably.
We got home a bit before 5pm, I gave her milk, a few cookies, and a cut up fruit. She finished everything quietly.
School had the positive effect on May for the rest of the evening – she didn’t tell us anything about it unless we really probed her (we didn’t try too hard), but she reenacted it with her imaginary friends (still the sight words) by gathering them (imaginatively) around her, then commanded them in English “Now let’s all learn to count, everybody say it with me, one, two, three…” She danced by herself, sang to herself, and played games quietly without demanding our attention. Finished her meals without much fuss. Didn’t take her nap, but rested on the couch with Son for about 30 minutes of “down time.”
In her typical mild and mellow ways, she just carries on with her life contently in the light of this recent change. She doesn’t talk a lot about it, doesn’t ask when she gets to go to school again, or makes preparation for tomorrow; it’s as if she’s optimistic that things will just turn out as she likes them to, one day at a time.