I'm officially the parent of a preschooler. When did that happen?! Wasn't I just bringing little Miss Jane home from the hospital the other day? (Oh, no, wait! That was Harold!)
We started talking about preschool with Jane over the summer. She was chomping at the bit to start going once we bought her little uniform and backpack. I absolutely LOVED having a uniform as a student, and, let me tell you, I love them even more as a parent!!!
We had to do a few obligatory first day of school pics with this cute sign that Philip's mom sent us.
|I call this Jane's smoldering "I'm still waking up" look|
|She'll either avoid looking at the camera or make a crazy face like this these days.|
|Philip was able to ride along with us to drop Janie off on her first day of school. Look how excited she is! Walt was pretty excited, too!|
|Fishy face in front of school|
|Jane, me, and Harold|
All of the preschoolers filed in with their parents. Jane and I had gone to open house the previous week to meet Jane's teacher and explore her classroom, so Jane knew right where to go. While I was busy holding Harold and wrangling Walt, Philip started saying goodbye to Janie, not Jane. This is an important detail.
While trying to calm a sobbing boy who was clinging to his daddy, Jane's teacher overheard Philip saying goodbye to Janie. "Oh! I think she's in the other room!"
I said, "Really? We were in this room for open house. I know you have your hands full right now, so we'll go and check next door."
Completely oblivious to what was going on, Jane picked up her backpack and followed us out the door of what we thought was her classroom to go next door. We entered, introduced ourselves to the other teacher, and she said, "I'm sorry, your daughter is in the room next door."
I laughed and said, "Well, that's what we thought, too, but we were sent over here."
The teacher was also wrangling sobbing children. She laughed, looked at Jane, and said, "I'd love to have such a calm child in my class, but I know that Jane is on the other class list."
So, back we went to the first classroom! All of the other parents had left at this point, so things were calm, and Jane's teacher wasn't distracted by crying children. I said, "Mrs. so-and-so said that Jane is in this classroom afterall."
Immediately, she gasped, put her hand to her mouth, and said, "OH! JANE?! Janie?! I thought your husband said Chaney! There's a Chaney next door. I didn't realize you called her Janie, too. Oh, Jane, I'm so sorry, honey!" She bent over and gave Jane a big, big hug. "Yes, you are in my classroom!"
She said that she was so confused because she thought she remembered meeting us at open house, heard Philip say "Janie," misheard it for "Chaney," and knew Chaney was in the other room. While she explained the reason for her confusion and apologized for sending us next door, Jane had taken a seat at one of the tables with the other kids, and was already chatting up a storm.
Jane's teacher showed her to her special ladybug hook for her backpack, and she proudly hung it up.
She was so excited about meeting her new friends that Philip and I could barely get her to stay still long enough for hugs goodbye!
When Philip and I were walking back to our car with Walt and Harold, I said, "Maybe it was because I was so distracted with playing musical classrooms, but I thought I'd cry on our first baby's first day of school." Then I poked him and said, "I'm a cold, cold mama, aren't I?"
He laughed. "No! You're a great mama! Did you see how excited she was?! She's going to love it!"
Philip was right about Jane loving preschool, but some days she needs a little time to decompress. The 3-hour structure wears her little brain and body out! When I arrived in the school pick-up line on the first day, I thought about all of the possible stories she'd tell and envisioned her going on and on about everything she saw and did. (I'll tell you another time about how absolutely fantastic the school's drop-off and pick-up system is for the preschoolers. Brilliant, I tell ya!) When Jane got in the car, I played the stereotypical over-excited mom on the first day of school. "Sooooooo, how was your first day, honey? Did you have fun?"
She had been all perky and bubbly in line with her little buddies. By the time I got her buckled in her carseat, she was a little zombie. She sighed and said, "Oh, Mommy. I'm so hot and tired. Maybe I can talk about it tomorrow."
This is how pick-up went the first few times. I'd watch her giggling and talking with whoever was in front of her in line. Then, she'd turn into a zombie in the car.
Last Thursday, I said my usual, "Hi, honey! How was your day at school?"
To my pleasant surprise, she said, "Great! Hi, Walt! Hiiiiiiiiiii, Baby Harry! How was your morning?"
For now, pick-up is a box of chocolates--we never know which Jane we're going to get! Depending on how tired she is, we'll either have a bubbly life of the party or a zombie that won't come back to life until after she's had lunch. Either way, when she's ready to talk, she can't stop! She sings songs, proudly takes her crafts out of her backpack, and talks about all of her misadventures with her new friends. One particular little guy seems to be her favorite new friend because she mentions him at least once everyday.
I can only imagine the fun stories I'll have to share as the year continues. So far, Jane is sold on preschool!