Friday, September 17, 2010

She is a really big girl...

After all my searching for answers about preschool and finally deciding to just not do it, something new dropped into my lap. I was searching online for something and up popped a link to a children's center about a mile from the house. I had previously discounted it based on the little buses in the parking lot - I assumed it was the same run of the mill standard child care machine as all the other ones. Well, I clicked the link and read on. To my amazement, I saw words like unconditional, respect, consumerism (as in "bad for kids"), and references to Rudolf Dreikurs and Vygotsky. As I continued to read, I saw the tuition info and it was not crazy at all. So the next morning I called and was greeted by a sweet woman who said we could stop by anytime. Now if you have not yet stepped into the world of preschool, you don't know that this is unheard of. Most places want you to come to their open house so they can be prepared for you. To have an open invite was a really welcoming sign.

I stopped in with the kids and got the tour. All of the staff were nice. Whether teachers or administration, they were concerned about Peanuts reaction to the classroom since there were "big kids" using it at the time and they wanted to be sure she knew that other little kids like her would be in her class. The facilities were clean and tidy and preschool like. As we talked about their special programs, the staff person said they had a TV studio so kids could make their own commercials. That way, they will understand that if they can do it, anyone else can too, and they will be more likely to understand that TV is fake and commercials are trying to trick you into buying things. What? Did she really say that? So then I was pretty sure we were in, since although the school is not as holistic as I might like, they are clearly open to a new path. At the end of our visit, the woman who would be Peanuts teacher arrived with a new kitchen set in a big box. When she told Peanut about it, her eyes got big as saucers. She talked about it for days afterwards which was my clue that she would be attending this preschool.

She had her first day yesterday. We kept it really low key as did the teachers, and she made a nice transition with a bit of nervousness. She later told me that she said "hi" to the other kids and she sat next to "the girl with the ribbons" at snack. She actually spoke in the classroom, and participated in most of the activities for the day. As for me, I almost didn't know what to do with myself. Having only one child to care for is really super easy when you are used to two! Pumpkin and I went to the grocery store, came home and cooked and played, and then took a nice walk to pick up the Peanut. Pumpkin was funny - he walked around the house looking for his big sister and calling her. When I asked if he was ready to go get her, he said "uh-huh!" and ran for the door. He was really missing her!

So a new era has begun. I know the first day of school was way harder for me than it was for her - it took all I had to keep it together until I got to the car. Then I cried to Honey. But I had seen her already playing with another little girl before we left and I knew it was good for both of us that she have more social opportunities away from me. She wouldn't let me take a picture at school, but she did allow a few before we got there - here's my cutie patootie!

1 comment:

Julie Brann said...

She looks so excited! Glad you found a place that you're comfortable with---not an easy task, I know. Hope all is well with you guys! Hope to see you soon.