Friday, August 28, 2009

First Day Of School

Today was Thomas' first day of preschool. Actually, it more like orientation but I wasn't allowed to stay so I think it counts. It was an abbreviated schedule, next week will be for a full two and a half hours. We have been talking about it for a few weeks now. Every time I'd ask him if he wanted to go to school he would say "no" so we stopped asking and started telling. We would talk about his teacher, how fun school is, the new friends that would be there, and all the toys that would be waiting. I went to the library and got a few books about preschool. Guess it did the trick because this morning he was so excited to wear his backpack and go to school.

On the way there he said "Mommy, bus, school". I smiled to myself as I realized he wanted to know why he wasn't taking a bus to school. I told him he was right, kids do go to school on the bus but Mommy wanted to take him today. He told me that was ok. I appreciated his understanding.

We got there a little early so I was just going to sit in the car with him for a few minutes but he was too anxious. He said "Mommy, park, keys." He was ready to get out. We walked across the parking lot holding hands, backpack securely strapped across his shoulders.

As we walked down the hall with the dark blue carpet on the floors, passing offices and other classrooms, I explained this was his school and it looked like a really fun place. He responded with "Mommy, hold you." I could tell he was getting a little nervous so I reminded him that I was holding his hand, we'd go to his classroom and meet his teacher together and he was doing a great job.

We got to the classroom and within a matter of seconds he had discovered the sand table with diggers in it. I put his backpack on the hook. Stayed for another minute then bent down to tell him I was leaving and to have a good time. Following expert advice (I did some research on separation so I would be prepared for any situation) I told him I would be back to get him as soon as school was over. He didn't even blink. Didn't even really want a kiss. He was busy.

I left and sat in the parking lot. I watched from the car as he played on the playground during outside play. I was so proud of him. It was the first time I had left him with total strangers. He was in a new environment and didn't have any friends yet seemed to be doing just fine. He climbed the equipment and discovered some toys to push around the perimeter (all of which he parked in the same area). He amazed me.

All of the children were sitting on the circle when the door open. Most of the kids ran to the door but T stayed in his spot with his legs crossed. I walked over to him and said "How was your day? I missed you?" He said "Mom, come". He took my hand walked me over to the door leading to the playground. I told him school was over and we couldn't go out there. This led to utter devastation. He was so upset that he couldn't play out there tears started streaming down his face and he laid on the floor. I picked up him and he quickly recovered. We said goodbye to Mrs. Mallon and told her we would see her next week!

I am thrilled he loved it as much as he did. I am surprised it went so smoothly and definitely didn't expect a tantrum over leaving but I'm pretty sure that is a good sign.