This isn't my first time dropping my kids off at preschool. In fact, today was J's fourth "first day" and M's second. Still, with four first days already under my belt, today was a little emotional for me. As excited as I have been for preschool to resume, it's another milestone - a reminder that my kids are that much older, that much bigger, and that much closer to being smarter than me.
I have to brag - my kids did great at drop-off today! M was a little hesitant at first - okay, so she ran away from the classroom while I hung up her backpack. But once she realized she'd dropped her kitty cat and came back for it, one of the teachers was at the door with a big smile, inviting her in. That's all it took - in she went, then found a puzzle to play with, and I was off to check on big brother. J had already walked up to his classroom, and he knew I'd be there shortly to check on him and say goodbye. When I peeked in, he'd already found his seat and was writing his name on his coloring page. He looked a little sad and his shoulders were sagging, but he perked up when he saw me, and after that got to work on coloring the letter A and pictures of "a" things. I guess he was back to normal pretty quickly, as he got in trouble on the first day of class. Just normal boy stuff - and I've been assured by the teacher that it's normal, first-two-weeks-of-school behavior. But I'm still allowed to fret a little bit. It's my job.
OK - now to the good part - more pictures!
Miss M was ready to go - her backpack was filled up, and was heavy, but she insisted upon wearing it. It's just a stage - we are going through it for the second time. Thankfully, it won't be that full every day - we had to take her special snacks to school with us this morning, so they were packed inside. Maggie was very upset on the way home that there wasn't a sippy cup in her bag - they took their own cups to the toddler class last year, so that's what she's used to. However, she's a big girl now and they use real cups in the two-year-old classes!
Mr. J was also anxious to load into the mommy-van and get to school! He was so good while I was snapping a few photos this morning - even doing his best to not squint in the morning sun. I tried the "keep your eyes closed until I say three" trick - he listened on the first try, and it worked! I think what I should really do is find a better spot for pictures. He's usually very squirmy when it comes to pictures, but this morning was a breeze. I guess he's passed the "squirmy" title on to Miss M.
This is my little man doing his homework. Yep, you read that right, homework on the first day. This evening, we worked on his "All About Me" booklet that he'll be sharing in class next week. I learned some new things about Jonah - his favorite color is now green (a change from yellow - but he still wants his bedroom walls to be yellow), his favorite book is Bible verses (then why have we been reading the Richard Scarry Dictionary at bedtime all summer long?!?), and he is afraid of monsters that come in his room (I always thought it was the auto-flush toilets in public restrooms - he hates those). I enjoyed helping him work on the booklet - from tracing his hand for the cover to writing out his answers and letting him copy them into the booklet. I was very impressed by his determination to write in all of the answers himself - even the long ones! I was also very proud of him for drawing the family portrait, when I can tell that he's not as confident about his artistic skills. However, we do know that he can be quite creative when he wants to be (see this post for an example).
I have one more cute story to share - this is how I knew Miss M had a wonderful first day. Last year, she was clingy at drop-off, and would often cry when I would come to pick her up - that, "Hey, you left me here! But I'm just now realizing it, now that you are here to pick me up, so I'm going to cry even though that was three hours ago" cry. Today, she was so busy playing with a shape sorter that she didn't even notice I was at the door. When she finally did see me, she shouted, "Mommy! My mommy! That's my mommy!" And when I picked her up, she wasn't clingy - she told me that she had painted, showed me the picture she colored, and then gave her teacher a goodbye kiss. I was so proud of her - and yes, a little emotional, too.