Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Very First Day of School

Sweet Pea excitedly waiting for the teacher to arrive and open the classroom.

Well, everything went pretty well yesterday on Sweet Pea's first day of school.

I had to wake The Bug up from her nap and try to get lunch into both girls pretty quickly, and then we drove over to the school. In a surprise move by always-late me, we were twenty minutes early and had time for a leisurely check-in (not only are the doors of the school kept locked - the families of students have a code to get in - but I also have to sign Sweet Pea in on a computer terminal in the hallway and with a written signature since she's under 6) and then to sit outside the classroom to wait for the teacher. As you might imagine we weren't the only early family, so we met a couple other kids before the teacher arrived. One little girl was so excited that she kept running to the classroom door to see if the teacher was there yet to open up. Sweet Pea has been excited for weeks about starting school so she quickly got caught up in the excitement and went to check again and again with the other little girl.

When the teacher did arrive, Sweet Pea was the first at the door, shy though she was with the teacher, and was the first into the classroom. I stood there stammering, "but what about my hug and kiss?" I figured that Sweet Pea had just just forgotten to give me a hug and kiss in her excitement and that maybe if she turned around and saw me she would remember to come back out and give me a proper goodbye, but she had run all the way to the other side of the classroom and never turned around, and the teacher looked at me and said meaningfully, "goodbye..." so I turned and left, probably a little more moist than usual around the eyes. I called Slipshod when I got into the car and he laughed when I told him Sweet Pea had run in without giving me a hug and a kiss. My mom thought it was really funny too.

The Bug and I drove home and went immediately to our neighbors' house to play with Speed Racer (his preschool starts next week - and he'll be going in the mornings anyway so we may play with them when Sweet Pea is in school on other days as well). His mom is so sweet and had encouraged me to come right over when I got home so I'd have some support if I felt sad or anything.

Well, we played outside for quite a while and then came back in to get a drink for Sweet Pea to have in the car when we picked her up, change The Bug's diaper, etc. Then we went back to school to pick Sweet Pea up. The time really did fly by. I knew that 2 1/2 hours would go quickly, but since we were outside playing for so long it really zoomed!

I was on the phone with my mom shortly before we left to go back to the school and then a different (not Speed Racer's mom) neighbor and her baby dropped by and I said, "I can chat for a few minutes but then The Bug and I need to go pick up Sweet Pea," but our chat sort of kept going and I felt like I nearly pushed her out the door - I REALLY didn't want to be late to pick up Sweet Pea, especially not on her first day! Besides wanting to be there for her immediately after school, the school charges $1 per minute for childcare if you're late to pick up your child.

So - The Bug and I managed to get there in record time (it really does help if you yell at the traffic lights), and Sweet Pea was SO HAPPY to see us. The teacher told me, "Sweet Pea did get a little sad a few minutes after you left. She said that she forgot to give you a hug and a kiss before you left. I think that's all it was - so she'll remember to give you a hugs and a kiss on Wednesday, won't you, Sweet Pea, and then I think she'll be fine." The teacher then told me that Sweet Pea had cried but she had taken her outside and they "rested" together and talked and Sweet Pea felt a little better and then she went back inside and painted a picture, and was fine for the rest of the class.

I checked Sweet Pea out on the terminal, etc. and was bursting to hear how her day went, but wanted to get her home first so we could see each other and chat. So we drove right home and I set up the girls at the table with a little afternoon snack and then I sat down opposite Sweet Pea and said, "So - you went into the classroom. Then what happened?" She told me bits and pieces, but we're slowly getting more and more information about her day as time goes on and she thinks of things.

She said that when she first felt sad she pulled out the collage I had put into her backpack of family pictures, but she was still crying and that's when the teacher helped her. She said that her painting was of two sunshines and a kitty (it had to dry so we'll see it on Wednesday). She told me that the teachers had told them of some rules and I asked, of course, what the rules were and the first one she told me was, "if you're feeling lonely, you need to have a friend nearby." I said, "well, that's a great rule!" tee hee. I'm not sure what else Sweet Pea did in the classroom but they had some playtime on the playground too, which was something she was REALLY looking forward to. She especially enjoyed digging deep holes in the sandbox, and said that after she played in the sandbox she got to use a real broom to clean up! hee hee. She told us later at dinnertime that when they were out on the playground she and a little girl were going to go down the slide together but she decided that the slide was too hot, but she had to go down anyway because the other little girl was holding her hand and slid down. She wasn't too happy about that but Slipshod explained to her that the other little girl probably just wanted to be her friend.

Oh - the other rule that she remembered was, "no throwing sand." We asked her if she had thrown sand or if another kid had, because it seemed likely that that had happened, since she had been playing in the sandbox. She said "no" to both questions, though, so I guess the "no throwing sand" rule was a pre-emptive rule given to them before they went outside. Good rule! I told her that I thought it was a really good thing for her and the other kids to know and when she replied with her customary, "why?" I told her about the time I threw sand in my sister's eyes when we were little, and how badly it hurt my sister, and how my mom had had to hold my sister over the sink and pour water in her eyes until the sand came out, and how much TROUBLE I had gotten into. Heh...

She doesn't remember any of the other kids' names, but she did seem to make a connection with "the girl in the orange dress," because that little girl was a bit sad too.

Over all Sweet Pea said that she had a great time at school and can't wait to go back tomorrow. She's home today because of the way they do the first two days of school: Yesterday kids whose last names end with letters in the first half of the alphabet went, today it's the M-Z kids, and starting tomorrow, everyone goes.

We all survived well, and I think that Sweet Pea and I would have both been totally fine if we had gotten to give each other hugs and kisses before The Bug and I left. So, we'll make sure to do that tomorrow!
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Christina said...

Sounds like it was a pretty good day! They say the second day is usually harder, but then after that it gets a lot easier. But I think Sweet Pea is amazingly mature, and handled herself very well!

The Pizzitola Family said...

Glad all went well on the first day. Congrats Sweet Pea!