It was our daughter’s first day of preschool today. That’s actually not true. Her first day was last week, but we were away on holiday until last night so we’re joining a week late. It’s no big deal. The first session was only 10 minutes long, and the next one was just 45 minutes. Today’s session is an hour (in fact I need to leave in a couple of minutes to pick her up). Her next class is an hour and a half and next week they ramp up to the 2 hour class that will carry on twice a week until June.
Another milestone. I didn’t think I’d be one of those parents that gets all worked up over these things, but I guess you never really know until it happens to you. Yesterday, Marla and I felt compelled to run over some of the rules with Audrey before sending her off. “Make sure you listen to your teachers. Make sure you play nicely with the other kids. If you need to go to the bathroom, make sure you get the teacher to take you.” Those were all Marla’s. The only one I came up with was “Always do the right thing.” I realize it was a total rip off of Da Mayor’s line from Spike Lee’s film, but it was all I could come up with last night after two days of driving.
I think I’m fine with it. It didn’t really go as expected. I thought we’d get her settled and then we’d have a little tearful hug and wave and we’d be off. Instead, as soon as she had her indoor shoes on, she was off into the playroom with nary a backwards glance. I stood at the door for a few moments, but no one else was having a tearful goodbye. Maybe that happened last week already. She already knew one of the little girls from the weekly play-group at church, so Audrey seemed fine.
It’s ridiculous how close the preschool is to our house. I can turn from where I am writing this and look across the street and see it. Which is a good thing, because Audrey is still in pull-ups (a slight contravention of the rules). If she actually has an accident (read: poop) at school, I will have to go across and change her. I have the diaper bag by the door and my ear to the phone. Look at the time: It’s time to go get her already. I’ll be right back.
[10 minutes later]
Well, everything seemed to go well this morning (read: no poop). Each child is “released” from the room one at a time, and Audrey was one of the last to come out. Did she get detention on the first day? No, it was just how they were seated, I guess. Audrey shuffled out of the room, looking a little dazed. Some kids flew out of the room, others skipped, but Audrey was more timid. She had two pieces of art in her hand. One looked like finger-paint, and the other looked like some mixed media business with glued on pipe-cleaners, stickers and scissor work. I asked her if she had fun, and she said she did. They sang a song and read a story too. She asked where Mommy was, and I reminded her that she was at work today. The teacher looked a little dazed too, come to think of it. “We’re going to need to work on listening,” was all she said, but I don’t think she was particularly aiming that at Audrey, although I just sagely nodded my head to cover myself.
We got her back into her “outdoor” shoes and sweater and came back across the street home. There was no snack today, as it was a shortened class, so the first thing she asked for when she got home was an apple juice.
She survived her first day. Or should I say: “WE” survived her first day.