Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Mom's First Day of Preschool...

Today was Fin's first day of preschool and I woke up this morning with my stomach in a thousand knots. I know, I know, Fin is the most social and well adjusted child you know, but he's MY BABY and the thought of leaving him in a strange place with all new people made me want to cry.

We carried out our morning as usual, the chief difference being that I ironed Fin's clothes for the day (which I never do and probably will not do again for quite some time - especially considering the note they sent home about how they do NOT use washable paints, but I digress...) and we had some bacon biscuits and a banana for breakfast. Brooks stayed home late so that he could watch Dash while I took Fin to school. We arrived in true Maggie style - a half hour early. It was nice not to rush and we had a little time to sit and talk about the day ahead (mind your manners, be nice to the other children, respect your teacher...) With 9am approaching, we hung up Fin's backpack on his hook and waited for the doors to open. At 9am sharp, Miss Annette opened her door and Fin was the first child in - with a hug and some help placing his snack in his cubby. And he was off! I actually had to yell for one last kiss and a promise to pick him up later. After which I promptly raced to the car in hopes that I would get out of the schoolyard before my tears escaped the range of my sunglasses. Poor Brooks had to deal with the "OUR BABY IS AT SCH(sniffle)OOOOOL" phone call.

I came home, did some laundry and snapped up Dash. Then I did what every new preschool mama does. I went to Target. What makes me think that this is the chosen activity for those scant three one-less-child hours? Because I ran into two other moms from Fin's new class and spoke to a third who confessed to being there as well (Did you see their big back-to-school clearance? I mean really, does my preschooler need 5 notebooks for 50 cents? YES). I had been avoiding the Target trip for weeks just so everything would be "new" for this occassion when I needed the distraction. So Dash and I trudged around, list in hand (or mouth, depending on which one of us was holding it), and we talked about what Fin might be doing. Apparently Fin talks SO much I had sort of forgotten that, well, Dash doesnt. And people look at you like some kind of crazy person for having a deep discussion with your baby. (Huggies Baby Wash or Johnson & Johnson, Dash what do you think? Smell these for me...) I think I realized how much I missed Fin when I asked Dash if he needed to go potty when we left the store. Sigh.

Once Dash and I had loaded up the car with all of our exciting (diapers, wipes and notebooks) Target purchases, I realized it was still barely 11am. Did I mention that I had been feverishly checking my watch every few minutes to make sure I wasn't loosing track of time? One of my many nightmares last night involved me doing just that and arriving at the school to find Fin the last child there crying over a mother who had forgotten him. If that's not enought to get you to be on time, I don't know what is. With that fear in mind, I decided to just head straight to school. At that point Monika called me and reminded me that it was only a ten-minute drive. If you hit every red light. But I HAD to be the first Mommy there, so off we went. And then we waited...and waited...and waited. It should be noted that I had Dash in the Bjorn because in my post-first-day-of-preschool fantasy I would need both arms free to lift and hug the little boy who came running out so excited to see me...

At exactly noon, the doors opened and children started streaming out single file. Some burst right into tears upon being reunited with their lost parents. And Dash and I waited. Fin was the LAST child out of his classroom and only then at the prodding of his teacher letting him know I was waiting. But my dissappointment was shortlived, as he immediately launched into showing me his artwork (a crayon drawing and a dot painting) and explaining it (there was a traced hand, a circle, an attempted "F"), thanking me for his treats in his lunchbox (which made me feel like I had really done something right), and then detailing the misdoings of a certain Sophie (who apparently pushed down Owen - Miss Annette told her that wasn't nice - and stole a drumstick from Fin - Miss Annette told her not to steal - and tried to take said lunchbox treats - Fin told her SHE wasn't nice!) Then he grabbed his baby brother by his little head, told him how much he missed him and gave him a big smooch. Ahhh, here's that verbose child I missed so much...

Fin's artwork

I asked Miss Annette how he did, which I felt bad doing as clearly he was fine and I'm sure that was a question she had to answer a zillion times a day, and she said he was great. Great! So I, proud mama, took her preschooler to his favorite place - Johnny Rockets - as a reward. While we listened to Cheeseburger in Paradise on repeat (I KNOW they TOTALLY hate us there!), Fin informed me that he couldn't wait to go back to preschool. Only on Thursday he wants to take Dash with him. Now I have two days to figure out how to get Dash to sit still shoved in a cubby waiting for Show and Tell time. A mama can dream!

Happy Student at Johnny Rockets

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