Now that we have a three year old, what should we do with her? We put her in preschool! Last week was her first week at school. The jury is still out most mornings where we have to leave for school, but I think that's how every normal kid is -- no kid really likes going to school until they get there. Two weeks ago, we went to her preschool for an "interview" -- to see if she would be a good fit for the school. Finn is a pretty shy girl initially, so I was a little nervous that she wasn't going to like it. My way of reassuring her the morning of her interview was that we were going to "visit" a school and if she didn't like it there, we didn't have to go back. I should also add that we do a lot of foreshadowing in our house, so there are no surprises. We talked about school and how fun it would be for at least two weeks beforehand and the "visit" as soon as the appointment was made.
Thanks, Auntie Anita, for the super-fabulous first day of school outfit! There was NO question in her mind which outfit she was going to wear for her first day.
She was only slightly shy when we got to the school and that lasted for a whole two minutes. The teacher welcomed her into the classroom and she got to play with the art supplies. She seem to forget that we were even there and didn't want to leave when it was time to go. So we were all set for her returning to school the following week. As we left the school, she kept saying how she wanted to go back and she was excited to return. We signed her up for two days a week: Tuesday and Friday. Unfortunately, we didn't get Thursday, which was gymnastics day. She has been asking and asking about going back to gymnastics class -- so I was hopeful that we could get her in on gymnastics day. (Guess I'll just have to find a class locally for her.)
We did our supply shopping the day before school, including snack-shopping. She had a great time picking out her folder and her bin that her extra set of clothes would go in (it was pink, of course). She seemed pretty amped about school the next day. Until the next morning came...
In the morning it was pretty evident that she was really scared and nervous to go when she realized that Mommy wasn't going to be going with her like last time. She was very cranky that morning and she wasn't very cooperative (all signs of fear to me). So I tried to calm her nerves by telling her that she was only going to be there for the length of a nap (three hours -- okay it's a LONG nap, but still). I told her that she was going to get there and they were going to work on some fun letters and colors games, she was going to have her snack (which she was super excited about because it was in a Frozen lunch box), and then she was going to play a little more and then Mommy & Brother would be there before lunch time! E was dropping her off and he said that there were tears initially upon getting in the car, but by the time that he walked her in to the school, she ran away from him even before he could take her coat off.
Her first day was pretty great for her. They read a book and learned some Spanish (although she couldn't repeat any words) and she played with her friends. I asked her about her snack and she said that she had to have help opening the water bottle and that she didn't eat it all. When I opened up her backpack, the water bottle hadn't been closed all the way, so it seeped into her backpack and all over her papers that she was bringing home. Her fruit bar was also water-logged and a mushy mess. So for the second day, I told her to throw away whatever she didn't eat. It was yogurt and a juice box -- I think you know how this ends... There was yogurt everywhere inside her lunch box but I was able to save her backpack as I took out the lunchbox immediately when I picked her up. When I asked her why she didn't throw away her snack -- "Because, Mommy, I wanted to save it for later." with a tone of "duh, Mom, why are you asking such a silly question." The second day wasn't as exciting when she got in the car (which I think is due to the fact that she was exhausted), but the first thing out of her mouth was that she played Frozen with all her friends. Heart melt...
When you ask her what her friends' at school names are, she can't tell her a single name. But I have to say that it melts my heart to hear her say that she is playing with her friends so matter-factually. It also amazes me how socially driven she is now. It's almost like a light bulb flips on on their 3rd birthday and she now would rather have friends than stay at home with mom. It's pretty awesome. Before her 3rd birthday, she really didn't care if she had friends or not. Now she talks about friends all the time and it's now obvious that it is very important to her to have friends and what she does with her friends.
So all in all, school at this age was an excellent choice. She is thriving (at least in the first week) and it's so great to see. We'll see how Tuesday's drop off will be (I'm writing this over the weekend) -- as I have to drop her off with E being out of town. I'm hopeful there will be no tears. Cross your fingers for me.