HOLY BUCKETS, we just survived the first week of preschool.
I'm here to tell you I didn't think I'd make it. I'm also here to share every little detail with you, because that's what I do (and because I want to be able to go back and read this years from now).
DAY 1: Josie was SUPER geeked. Just excited beyond belief. I was praying that I would make it out of the classroom before I started crying.
Her teachers made the parents a little gift, and while the tissues were a lifesaver, it actually made me cry even more.
When we went to get her, we waited in the little vestibule where parents have to wait to sign kids out, and when her teachers came with the line of kids, Jeremy and I burst out laughing. At the front of the line was Josie, hair standing on end, all glassy-eyed and looking discombobulated. She was worn out.
Unfortunately, the glassy eyes and confusion were also because she thought she was going to be able to take a puzzle home with her and she didn't get one on the way out, and WHY?!? At the open house, she got to pick out a puzzle to take home, and apparently thought this was going to be a daily occurrence. A crucial part of preschool, if you will. Oops.
She cried about that for a while, and then when she got over it, she told us that one of the boys was calling her names and told her she wasn't allowed to play with the hammer and nails she wanted to play with. That absolutely broke my heart. On the FIRST DAY? Ugh. Luckily, we talked about it, and she was eventually okay with it and developed a plan about what to do if it happened again. We tried to pry details about the rest of the day out of her and got nothing.
Did you play with toys?
Did you sing songs?
Did you read books?
Did you do an art project?
Did you go outside?
What did you do?
Okay, got it.
DAY 2: It is sinking in that we have to do this EVERY DAY. Until she's eighteen. UGH. She picked out another outfit, picked out another fancy hairdo, and we headed out. However, as we pulled into the parking lot, she asked "Can I just walk into school without stopping so you can take a picture of me outside the building this time?" Geez. I mean ... I guess. (*puts camera back in purse*).
I still cried, but less today. When I picked her up, the first thing she told me was "No one called me names today!!" She still told me she did nothing at school, but then a few hours later little bits and pieces started coming to her. The highlights of the day were apparently drinking milk out of a tiny carton and going on the teeter totter. She was sad that Jeremy was gone, and I was getting a little nervous about how the rest of the week would play out if she was missing him and still adjusting to preschool, but I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
DAY 3: Another fun outfit, another fun hairdo, another day of me trying really hard not to cry ... and I finally succeeded! Genevieve was a little better today, too. She was sad when we dropped Josie off, but she only asked for her a few times while she was gone, so that was a huge improvement.
When I picked Josie up, she was bursting with excitement about having a fire drill that day, but once I strapped her in her car seat, she remembered something else from that day and started crying out of nowhere. She told me, "My teacher read me this book ... it was called the Kissing Hand ... " and in my head I screamed "OH SHIT!" She had a little breakdown about missing me while she was at school and how she was going to cry all day because she couldn't see me, and I almost lost it.
Josie is just the kind of kid who doesn't think about things being scary or sad unless you suggest it. She was never scared of anything in her life until one day someone was reading her a book about monsters and told her not to be scared. She was like, "Wait, what? I should be scared?" and we had to deal with her freaking out at every noise, thinking it was a monster. It took months for her to get over. So when The Kissing Hand suggested that she might be sad when her mama left her at school, she got REALLY sad. I was freaking out about the next day. The only thing that had been making this doable had been the fact that she actually wanted to go. If she had been crying when I dropped her off, I don't know what I would have done.
DAY 4: Luckily, at drop off, she held it together. She asked me to kiss her hand, and asked if the kiss would stay on all day, no matter what. Then she asked to kiss my hand (SOB) and told me if I got lonely while she was at school, I just had to press my hand to my cheek, and it would tell me "Josie loves you." Soooo, yeah, I definitely cried as I walked out the door and pressed my hand to my cheek.
She was fine when I picked her up, though. Well, she had a blister on her foot from her new shoes (oops), but she told me about reading books and going outside to play, so it seems like at the end of the week she was pretty much settled in and was not so overwhelmed that she could actually tell me a little about her day, which seemed like progress. I was a little concerned that she still didn't know any of her classmates' names, even though a few had greeted her by name that morning, so I told her a nice thing to do would be to ask what her classmates' names were and try to remember them. She looked at my like I had lobsters coming out of my ears. Oh well.
And with that, we had survived the first week!!
This morning while we were waiting in the vestibule, she was walking up to all the other kids and asking their names. Then she was holding hands with one tiny little boy and taking him around and introducing him to all the kids and parents: "This is my friend Henry!" She finally brought him over to me, and after she introduced him, he said forlornly, "My name's CHARLIE." Hey, she tried.
Week two is off to a great start. I can't wait to pick her up today.