Saturday, October 2, 2010

First Day of Preschool

Yesterday was my daughter's much-anticipated first day of preschool.

We got there a couple of minutes late due to the commute (have to learn to time it right) and took K to the changing room. Each child has a little locker to store their extra clothes, coats, boots, etc., and there is an attendant there to help them if necessary, because parents are NOT ALLOWED.

In K's nursery in England we always helped her hang up her jacket on the hook in the hall and then took her straight into the classroom, so she was surprised that we were leaving her at the door already yesterday! For a minute she looked stricken - just incredibly unsure of herself, but then another little girl came in and K forgot about being scared in her haste to introduce herself. That's more like our K.

We went off, the Slovak to work (right next door!) to sort out a few introductory things, and me to the mall (three minutes away) while I waited for him. I got some work done, too, until I discovered the free wifi.

When we went back to get K after lunch, she came out of the changing room with the other half-day children. Running, singing a made-up song, waving her art project for us to look at and holding hands with another little girl. She stopped by us briefly to hand us her picture and backpack and then ran on with her friend to the playground, from which we extracted her about ten minutes later.

I think we can say it was a good day. I wasn't surprised she enjoyed it, but I was a little surprised she was so nonchalant when we picked her up, simply because when I picked her up from nursery she always made a show of crying because she missed me. At first the tears were real, then over time they got more and more perfunctory, but we never had a pickup like this one before. It was a beautiful thing to see.

After a few minutes the teacher came out and talked with me for a minute. "It's the most extraordinary thing," she said, "I've never seen a child engage so quickly before; usually they cry and cry at first..." She said K ran from place to place, looking at everything and wanting to know what was on the shelves and how it worked and that she already had a pack of friends.

I was hardly surprised to hear it, but it does please me that K's teacher seems to have a good impression of her so far. It's good to start off on the right foot!

We went home and let K take a nap, and then for the rest of the afternoon she seemed to be playing school. She kept talking about her "classroom" and I'm pretty sure she was doing circle time with her stuffed animals.

The final word on preschool was when I asked if she'd like to go back next time, and she agreed that yes, that would be acceptable. Let's hope she keeps enjoying it as much as she did her first day!

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