Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Yesterday was ER's first day of preschool and it went very well. Really! It was much better than I expected. There was no crying, ER didn't and neither did Mommy, although I think if she had started I probably would've in the car! Brad works down the street from the preschool coop and met us there. We arrived a little early because as Session Rep., my job was to take pictures of each of the kids with their family. He took her into the classroom and got her settled, while I was busy with the families. I looked in a few times and she was absorbed with playing with the activities set out on the tables.By the time I finished in the hallway, it was Circle Time. I said goodbye to her, and she reached out to kiss the palm of my hand and held out her little hand for my kiss. We've been reading the Kissing Hand, and I've told her that I'd kiss her hand and she'll kiss mine. That way whenever one of us misses the other, we can hold our palm to our cheek and feel each other's kisses. She really liked the idea of that. She waved happily to me as I walked out.

I thought for sure the tears might be coming, since the past few days I've been rather sad at the thought of my baby heading off to school. I've been torn between my feelings as a former educator and parent. The teacher knows it will be a good experience for her, she'll get to learn in a safe and nuturing environment. Her teacher is very warm and kind, ER took to her right away, and she just has a manner to her that is very good with young children. ER will get to see other kids, learn how to exist without Mommy at her side at all times, how to follow directions, and school manners and rules.
The mommy side of me, keeps thinking why do we make them grow up so fast? Why can't kids be little, play, and run around longer. Is it really necessary to start formal instruction so soon? I didn't go to preschool until I was four, how early is too early? Plus I feel I can teach her more and better than anyone else. After all, it IS what I did professionally before staying home.

So it's for socialization, not the academics that we're sending her. Is it worth it to essentially pay for a play date? Don't worry in the back of my mind, when I say that comment rather indignantly I KNOW that there is structure and a whole lot of learning going on too. I am a big proponent of developmentally appropriate activities and learning through play and hands on manipulatives, which is also the philosophy of her preschool. With all the second guessing and going back and forth in my mind, you can imagine how relieved I was that today went as smoothly as it did!

I do feel it was the right decision for us, even though in my heart I am still very sad that my baby will not be with me all day anymore. That other people will care for her because I won't be there. I think most of us go through a period of reflection on this, or at least I hope other people do too!
When I picked her up from the playground, Mrs. Pam told me that the art activity was to make a painted apple. Each child got to choose with color they wanted: red, green, or yellow. ER picked red and when her teacher asked her if she liked green, ER told her no, only red. Mrs. Pam crinkled her nose and told her that she doesn't really like green either because they can be sour. ER thought that the face she made was very funny and then the rest of the day, she'd ask Mrs. Pam if she liked green apples. That was her way of getting Mrs. Pam to make the funny face again. I thought it was nice that her teacher made it a point to tell us each a little antidote about our child's first day.

As we drove home ER agreed with me that school was fun, but added after a pause, "I missing you Mama. You kissin' me all day." I could see her rubbing her little hand on her cheek in the rear view mirror. When we got home, before she climbed out of the car, she said, "I gonna kissy you right now," and she did, as well as giving me a big bear hug. We ate snack and then I asked her what she wanted to play. She just wanted to snuggle on the purple couch and watch Olivia. And so we did, at one point ER had her arms wrapped around my waist and looked right up at me and said, "I love you Mama, Mama always comes back." So even though we took a big step today, she's still my little girl who loves to give me rapid fire kisses on the cheek. I think we'll both adjust to preschool, just fine.

{BTW Did you notice the layered digital frames I made for the last three pictures? I'm rather proud of the way they came out, especially because I had to figure out how to change the color of the rick rack from green to blue. The original color version is in my header. That and the tree button came from my header kit by Krystal Hartley. Otherwise, I used freebies I got off August Blog Train. It's rather tedious to go to all the blogs but a nice way to add to my digital collection, all it costs is the time it takes me to gather everything up. The top frame I did not make, it came already embellished and ready to go.}

16 Friends Said:

Susana said...

I'm happy that both of you had a good first day! Hope there are many more ahead:-).

You did a super job on those frames too! Makes me want to do some digi-scrapping:-). Maybe later--much later!!

the lady of the house said...

What a big girl! So glad you both had a great day. And let me just say I was bawling with the whole hand and kiss and cheek thing... gosh, these pregnancy hormones. I have to share that with my sisters they'll love it! Her grins in those pictures were awesome and kudos to you on raising such a confident baby girl who knows her mama and daddy will always come back. (Hugs) The Lady

Tonja said...

Yay for a good first day of school!

I love the pictures! She has the most precious smile.

I hope you have had a wonderful week (:

Dawn said...

We love The Kissing Hand. Glad she had a good first day. Cute pictures!

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

Too cute! Sounds like she has a fantastic teacher, you guys definitely made the right choice!

I love the Kissing Hand. My daughter and I have been reading it lately, preparing for pre-K as well!

Kelli said...

It sounds like she had a great day. Congrats on no tears (on either side). Tell her that I don't like green apples either.

Preschool Playbook said...

I hope your family has a fun year at preschool!

Mama King said...

I got teary eyed reading your beautiful story! ER looks so tiny and I was reminded how tiny Lu looked last year as she went off to school for the first time. So happy it went well. love the digital frames!

By the way - I am now on an adult adoptee board (all the members are Korean Adoptees.) Guess what? One of my fellow board members has curly hair!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

It sounds like everyone had a great first day! She looks so big! and happy in the photos!

What a sweet thing with your hand kisses!

Blessings & Aloha!

Annie said...

I'm so happy that she had a great day.

Thanks for sharing her big day at school.

The Harris Family said...

I am happy she enjoyed her first day. She looks adorable and I love the kissing hand story...it so sweet.

Nichol said...

Great photos. I'm so happy she had a great first day. I enjoyed reading all about it.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What great pictures, and I'm so happy to hear she had such a fun and exciting day! This is a big milestone! She's getting so big! :-)

RoS said...

Sounds like ER and Mom are doing fine! It seems like only yesterday that you went off to preschool. I still have your preschool picture on my dresser! Hugs and kisses to all! Mom

Vickie said...

Awe....This post made me a little weepy, but in a good way. Both Michaela and I had a hard first week of school. But now she no longers needs me to walk her straight to the door. Which is kind of sad because that is just another step of her growing up:(

I like the kissing palms idea.

I do like the frames that you did. Thanks for sharing the links. I am gonna check them out:)

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

Such cute pictures of ER's first day of preschool...she's so precious! It makes me a little jealous that you are experiencing this with your daughter. We decided to wait on Mikayla, but seeing all these cute pictures of these precious 3 & 4 year olds going to school makes me think twice! Our day will come and I'm sure when it does, I'll be shedding lots of tears.

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