1 month mark
Posted October 4, 2012on:
This month marks 1 month since May first entered preschool. She still hasn’t made a single friend, though she did play along side with whoever happened to be at the same play stations with her. She’s still 95% non-participatory at circle time, choosing only to do jumping exercises with me the last 3 times I invited her. At first I thought it could be that she was testing her teacher, as some kids did the same thing. However, it doesn’t seem like it. More likely, she’s exercising her will. There are things that her teachers or I requested her to do that she complied, no problem. But if we simply asked her, “would you like…” then she refused. This is pretty consistent with her personality in that she doesn’t immediately imitate people. She only imitate the ones she trusts and likes. If she keeps this up, I won’t have to worry about peer pressure, no? She does talk to her teachers as needed and, to my surprise, answered questions in front of the class when her teachers asked her. She doesn’t join in at snack time no matter how much her teachers have invited her. Recently she told them she was not hungry, as oppose to just ignoring them. She has managed to quietly explore many corners of the classroom by herself, but usually after 30 minutes, she would make her way outside to the yard and spend the rest of the hour digging up sand and pouring in water. The first few days I saw her wet and cold, so I told her to request for a clothes change when she’s wet. After that, May is almost always in a different outfit at the end of the day. She’s very happy at school, and likes her teachers well. She knows the names of her classmates, but she ignores them most of the time. I’m pretty sure that she’s still awkward socially – I think she feels a bit awkward socially, doesn’t know how to deal with children her own age, etc.. With adults, she smoothed out everything after the 1st week, so that’s a contrast. Even though she shows no interest at circle time, some times I hear her singing new songs to herself when she’s taking a bath. But she doesn’t feel bothered at all. She enjoys going to school and shows me the new things she has learned everyday. Today, after I told her I was leaving and we kissed, something struck my interest, so I hung around in a different part of the room to quietly observe. After about 3 minutes, May’s saw me, so she walked over, looked into my eyes full of reassurances, and said “I’ll make you a present for sure today, OK!” meaning, it’s ok I can leave now, it won’t hurt, and she’ll reward me with a present when I come back lol.
Last night I checked today’s forecast, it said “72 High.” That would be a great improvement from 90 of the previous day. So when I woke up this morning to stifling heat yet once again, I was all, “awww fuck.” Checked current weather, and it said “62” with mid afternoon high of 80. Well, we life on top of the hill, with glass doors all facing east… May was dressed in a tank top, long light cotton pants. We got down to San Pablo Ave and it got cooler – same warm sun, but with cool breezes. 1 hour after I dropped May off, I looked out from my kitchen window and saw nothing but thick gray fog blanketing the entire city. Had to call into the school to ask that they put a jacket on May… So I think that’s the end of the Indian Summer for the Bay Area. Not sure about Southern California though, because I have experienced 3 Christmases in a row where the temperature was perfect for going to the beach.
Before we got to the school this afternoon, May told me she had something to tell one of her teachers. She sat quietly through circle time looking bored as usual, while everyone was raising their hands madly to comment on everything and anything. As soon as circle time was done, she lingered near Teacher Suzie. At first I wasn’t sure why she lingered, but maybe perhaps because teacher Suzie was directing a pumpkin counting game? The teacher thought so too, so she herded May into the circle. May stayed out on the fringe and attempted eye contact until she gained the desired audience. So this is what she wanted to tell Teacher Suzie, the one who always leads at Circle Time and teaches everyone about geography: “Teacher Suzie, when i was walking to school today, I saw a flag just like yours.” It’s one of those things I would do as a child, patiently waiting for a 1-on-1 audience instead of speaking in front of the whole class when I felt like I was sharing something personal. Makes me happy to see that in May.
At 2nd Circle Time, Teacher Suzie led everyone in a sort of matching puzzle game. May just sat there quietly like a sphinx as usual while everyone around her were talking and commenting and answering questions. At one point teacher Suzie decided that the usual contributing 1/2 of the class have said enough, so she wanted someone who hasn’t had a turn to answer her question. When that didn’t work, she just picked May. May calmly gave the correct answer and then clammed up again.
Also at 2nd Circle Time when I arrived in class, May was sporting 2 huge band-aid on both knees. . Teacher Nighat informed me that she fell hard on the cement surface, got quite a scratch and bruise, (but didn’t cry – aww) . The toughness didn’t extend to me though, because after class was over, May started whining as she walked bow legged toward me, face twisting into a pitiful grimace. Teacher Suzie heard the poor puppy yelps from her and came over to inform me of May’s injuries as well, and between hearing the teacher’s report and looking at May’s funny walk + May’s face, I couldn’t stop laughing even though it didn’t seem to be the appropriate reaction. Too bad for her we had to walk home, but she didn’t complain. Probably that piece of brownie at the Farmers’ Market helped. When I asked her before dinner if it sill hurts, May said one side was (the same side Teacher Suzie mentioned that was more severe than the other). At night we dressed the wounds after bath and I kissed them both, to May’s delight.
I love it whenever May asks “why?” with interest. She would hold her head very still, eyes concentrating somewhere as she listens to my answer. And then she would start nodding. Many times she would try to synthesize the new information as well. But mostly it’s the initial stillness that I love, her little head stopping in time as the world opens up to her one word at a time. May doesn’t tease with her “why?” that often. Maybe I get the random nonsensical string of “why?” once a day, the one that is not committed to scientific understanding, but just to get on my nerve. I can’t claim that precious trait of personality as my own. I’m a teaser and that’s why I thank God May is not the same as me. If I get a mini me, I would totally go nuts.