Yesterday was Offspring v. 3.0’s first day at preschool; the same preschool at which her sister and brother began when they were also one year old. (Yes, they have a class for one-year-olds; yes, they try to teach them things using a loose, flexible lesson plan; no, they don’t force them to sit at tiny desks and study. It’s a great deal of fun for the kids. If it wasn’t, mine wouldn’t go there.) 1.0 went there for three years (would’ve gone four, but she skipped ahead a year) and 2.0 went the full four, graduating last May.
I was expecting, from Eliza, a reaction that fell somewhere in the middle of the other two’s. Madalyn, on her first day, barely glanced at us when we said goodbye and walked out the door. John-Zachary, on the other hand, melted down quite spectacularly and it took two-and-a-half years before he quit crying every time we dropped him off. Eliza has cried when I’ve left her on occasion but then, other times, she hasn’t shed a tear. When I worked VBS this year she stayed in the nursery all week. The first day she cried but the second day I opened the nursery door, she walked in, and was fine the rest of the time. Therefore I was expecting a brief period of minor adjustment and then all would be well.
We were first to show up at the classroom yesterday morning. I carried E. in and set her down. She was immediately dazzled by all the toys and started playing right away. The other babies started to arrive soon after that. Usually she is obsessively fascinated by other babies but, for the moment, she was too busy with the toys to give them more than a cursory glance.
I stayed for fifteen or twenty minutes and then got up to go. I fully expected some tears at that point. Eliza had ceased to pay attention to me at that point so I called her name (I don’t do the whole ‘sneaking out’ thing – just a personal choice) and I said, “Bye-bye!” and waved. She stared at me for a beat and then turned and went back to what she’d been doing. I slipped out the door and down the hall, and that was that. The teachers report that she did beautifully – no tears whatsoever for the entire two-and-a-half hours. One teacher also said that Eliza was trying to take care of all the other kids all day. She had to walk away quickly to tend to one of the kids right after she said it, so I didn’t get her to elaborate on what exactly Eliza had been doing, but it doesn’t surprise me. E. already has a maternal streak and has been baby-oriented since she was old enough to be aware.
So, thus ended our last first day of preschool. I suppose she could unpleasantly surprise me next week and do a one-eighty and protest being left, but I don’t see that happening. Thus far, with my kids, what’s happened on the first day has set the tone for the entire year. I couldn’t be more pleased, of course. Apparently my girls are both going to turn out to be fairly reasonable in this situation. It figures that The Boy would be the odd one to cause a ruckus.
In closing, how about a picture of our newest school kid? I couldn’t pry her pacifier away from her but I figured it was a fair exchange for her not losing her ever-loving mind.
One last bit of trivia: Eliza’s outfit loosely coordinates with the outfit Madalyn wore on her first day of preschool. Madalyn’s top was the same color as the bottom band on Eliza’s shirt, and both girls had the same shade of denim on the bottom (though Madalyn’s were shorts and Eliza’s was a skirt). Is that weird? I mean, that I did it on purpose? On second thought, don’t answer that.