Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prelude to a school year

The Nugget starts school on Monday.  On Friday, the school hosted an open house; an opportunity for the children to meet their new teachers and explore their new classrooms.  The Nugget will be in the 4's room, and all 3 of the teachers have been guiding preschoolers for 15 years or more.  These are unflappable women full of enthusiasm and calm.  They had a scavenger hunt prepared with sticker stations, so that each child would seek out different features of the room, like the art cubbies, the lockers, and the all-important restroom.  The children decorated paper name plates and picked out their own special square on the "art gallery" bulletin board and watched with awe as Miss L stapled their creation to their chosen square.  We stocked the Nugget's locker with back-up clothing and delivered his pillow and blanket.  The Nugget proudly handed over the pictures he'd chosen - one of himself for his locker, and one of our family for the family board.  He discovered heavy bins of well-loved die-cast vehicles and  sorted through them reverently, pausing to show us or one of the teachers a "very special" truck or helicopter.  He was thrilled to see his friend J, and the boys reunited with giggles, tickles, and a shared mission of racing cars down a plastic ramp.

The Nugget has been preparing at home by watching Mister Rogers' Going to School and reading Llama Llama Misses Mama.  Last year, he handled weeks 1 and 2 so easily that I don't even think he noticed I was gone.  The rest of the year was met with ambivalence - he moaned that he didn't want to go to school every day, was clingy at drop-off with occasional tears.  At the end of each day we got this glowing report from his teachers, and Daddy practically had to drag him out the door.  This year, he boasts, "I'm not going to be sad or scared.  I'm not going to miss you, because I know Daddy is coming to pick me up.  I'm going to help other friends who are sad.  I'm going to give them a toy, and that will make them happy!" This year, he said he said he doesn't need Bedtime Giraffe, but that he will bring Llama instead.

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