This week held another big milestone for us. On Tuesday, Elaine's new pre-school held an open house for the students and parents. They first let us all in the room to look around and take pictures. Elaine saw the toy kitchen right away and then spotted another little girl there. Lo and behold, she is Elaine's friend from the swim club. I spotted her parents, we remarked on what a coincidence this is, and then found out that we live nearby each other as well, AND they have an older daughter in first grade.
After we got the kids situated, the assistant teacher stayed with them, while the head teacher took us parents across the hall to go over all the information. While we were gone, the children got to practice their first circle time and hear a story. It was interesting how many of them had no idea how to follow directions and sit down on the colored tape. Note the model behavior of a little blond girl in a red dress (the one on her right is Aubrey, her swim club friend).
As we left the open house, we explored the hall where the bulletin board is and also where each child's cubby and coat hook are. By each hook is a picture of an animal. Guess what is by Elaine's hook?
And now today we were ready to go. "Is it really fall now?" Elaine kept asking. Then when we got in the car she said, "Is there a jail at my school?" She didn't seem convinced when I told her no. (I wonder what plans and for whom she had in mind with a jail. My cousin commented, "In a few weeks, her teacher will probably want to put one in.")
As you can see, she is totally unenthusiastic about heading off to school.
Please note the clip she's wearing in her hair, made expressly for her by Becky of Pocket Full of Posies (go now! buy! she's always adding new, adorable accessories!)
All summer long, Elaine had been talking about getting a Tinkerbell backpack for school. Color me surprised when she discovered Lucy's backpack from kindergarten and adopted it. She wants no other. She is already thrifting, just like her mom. It suits her perfectly, and I found her a new kitty clip at the dollar spot in Target to attach to it.
When we got to school, the teacher had written everyone's names out in front with sidewalk chalk (it doesn't show up in this picture, but she is standing by "Elaine" in green.)
We met Aubrey and her mom as well as another boy (Ben) and his mom on the way in. When we got up to the room, it was chaos. Children screaming and bawling and hanging onto their mothers' legs. Aubrey, Ben, and Elaine went over to the play centers right away. I leaned down and hugged Elaine and told her to have a wonderful first day.
"Bye, Mom!" she said airily and ran back to the kitchen. I figured it was time for me to leave, so I wandered off down the hall. Aubrey's and Ben's moms stood at the window, peeking in at our three happily playing together.
"I'm sadder than when my older son went to school," Ben's mom said.
"That's my baby in there," I sniffed.
"I guess we'll see each other at pick-up," sighed Aubrey's mom.
So then I came home, for the first time in six years, to a totally quiet house. It's a good thing. Both my girls are happy at school.
But I guess the flavor of the day is "bittersweet."