The first day, and I know I was more frazzled and wary than she was. I had been working all weekend on a million forms to fill out, snacks to bake, errands to run, breakfast and lunches to pack... Since this first week is all 1/2 days, Pumpkin and I are finding activities close by school, but that means I'm packing for a full morning for all of us.
With Peanut, we took it really low key - no photo ops, just some easy conversation about school starting. We talked about the kids who would be there and some who would not. We talked about how the teacher she had connected with this summer would be a mentor to the other teachers and she wouldn't see her as much. We talked driving there, and when I would be picking her up. All was well, and everyone was calm but anticipating the day.
She slept fine, got up snuggly, and as she got dressed, she got a little apprehensive. Suddenly, those pants were too small or too big, and she didn't want to wear them, and she didn't want this or that... I could have been annoyed, but I know she was concerned about it all. So I sat down and held her and talked about how most kids are worried on the first day of school. Most kids don't know everyone in their class or their teachers. I reminded her that she knew and liked some of the children, and she knew and really liked some of the teachers. I reminded her of the farm animals, the dragon tree, the space where all of her extra clothes will be, how she really enjoyed all of the outdoor time, and how she would surely get to use her new raincoat today. We found a new pair of pants, and she was ready to go.
She was slow to smile when we walked in, but the text I got in an hour or so said she was happily talking about her new bunk beds at breakfast. She was happy when I came to pick her up, and had drawn a picture of our playground at home for me. I heard about the rain, playing outside and getting her crocs all muddy. Not much, but I know I will hear more tomorrow morning on the way back to school.
We all crashed hard this afternoon - I even turned on the tube for the kids to veg since everything else seemed to be such hard work. Remember the last party you went to where you didn't know anyone? Remember how much work it was to make smalltalk and remember who was who? It drains you. Imagine how hard that must be for a little kid. We forget how much energy it takes to do this school thing, especially for someone who likes to be in comfortable, known situations like Peanut.
On to the next tomorrow - Pumpkin has his first day too. I'll stay for a bit, and he will have a shortened day to start getting used to the idea. I'll have to keep in mind that although I expect he will be fine and jump right in, I'll need to be patient and support him as well. Having two kids with such different personalities can throw you for a loop sometimes. We shall see what the morning holds!