Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kindergarten Pro

We are now into our second week of Kindergarten.  But, I know you are most curious about the very FIRST day and how it all went... so let's go back...

Last Monday, August 19, 2013, Allie started her primary education with the brand new Alabaster City school system.  It is exciting for our growing town to have their own School System and exciting for us to have Allie in the very first Kindergarten class.  I will admit... I was a bit worried how the first day would go.  Allie is used to being in school and used to being away from us all day, so I didn't expect tears, but there was always that chance from any one of us.

The night before, we had everything all ready, bedtime went smooth and the kiddo was tucked into bed about 40 minutes early. She did that all on her own, she was tired and we started the routine, which can last 30 minutes sometimes, and boom. She was out!  All went well on that end, but I was a bit nervous and piddled until way past my bedtime. A decision I would regret just a couple hours later.  2am... Allie comes in... hi, Mom.... Oh, no... it's back to bed I tell her - following the normal process for when she does make her middle of the night appearance at my bedside.  She potties, we snuggle back in bed and I'm thinking... good.. this is all good... no problem... then I hear.. MOM.. Movie... and MOM... snack.... and MOMMY!  Game??  She is awake... there is no denying it.  She is denied all her activities, of course, and we spend the next 3 hours attempting to snuggle and doze. Never worked despite a grand effort.

Clearly she was too excited.  I didn't know it at the time, though. I just thought it was another sleepless night.  Around 4:30 Mommy was so tired all the first day of school emotions came out. Visions of my now overly tired child not listening, knocking chairs over and pushing kids jumped into my head. Can they kick her out on her first day?  I feared... I turned my alarm off. There was no need in waiting for it to go off. We were awake and we might as well face the day. With a prayer they don't kick her out on Day 1!! 

We got ready and she seemed fine. I realized she was excited as we started to do the school pictures. She was all willing. She was ready. She was going to Kindergarten!!  Both Daddy and Mommy escorted the big girl to her class - with about half the other Mommies and Daddies.  We walked into the front door and she was ready to march to her room!  We headed to her classroom. Kids were sitting "criss-cross applesauce" in the hallway by their rooms waiting on the first instruction of the year. Allie... as if a princess in a parade, waved and said hello to several children. 

We found her classroom - the one furthest from the front door - and she let go of Daddy's hand and walked straight up to the teacher and introduced herself with a finger pointed at her chest and her proud one word. "Allie!"  Her sweet teacher, Mrs. Colburn, smiled and said, yes, I know you are Allie. It is so good to see you. Mrs. Colburn took over and we watched Allie take her place in the hallway as she waited with her new classmates. A few hugs later her Daddy and I retreated.

Yes, we hid. Of course!! We hid behind people and doors so we could watch. She was fine. Excited clearly, but fine. Our sweet little girl with the big bookbag and snack and lunchbag. She was ready.  We left before they kicked us out and we weren't the LAST people to leave either. :-)

It's a new world in Kindergarten; not only for the 5 year old, but for the parents. There is no tv monitor in the lobby for us to go to and punch in her room number and watch the silent class move around into their centers.  There was nothing to do but walk out the front door, pray, and let her begin her anticipated first day.  I sure wanted to be a fly on that classroom wall.

waiting for school to start
After school I picked her up at After School Care. This is held at the school in the gym and on the playground. I quickly found out she has an aid that follows her around the whole time. That is comforting, but by Day 2 Daddy picked her up and realized she already had this whole game figured out. She was ordering him around like he was a servant. She wanted to go to the swings.. "come here" she'd say. She wanted to go on the slide.. "come on..." she'd say. She has leadership skills for sure!  As we left, she told the ASC teacher that she wanted to go to the playground. The teacher told her that she could go every day!  That did it.. After School Care seems to be good for Allie.

school was fun!
She was very excited to see me and even allowed a few more pictures, which I love because I can see the genuinely happy smile. I was excited to open up her backpack and see what they had to tell us. We were happy to get a first day of school picture and we love our daily binder. But, but let's face it... there really isn't enough information ever to the parents that not only want to see the sheets she colored, but know which hand she used, did someone help her, did she stay in her seat, what snacks did she eat, did she "drop" any on the floor, did she make friends, etc. etc. etc.?  I want a monitor to watch her! 

I did learn a day or so later that yes, she did nap. Right away. No worries. For a kid that takes a long time to settle down and fall asleep I never thought a 20 minute nap would be helpful, but clearly on day one when you've been up since 2am... there was no debating.  She fell asleep the second she was told to.

At home, it was fun to ask her about her day. I gave her a choice of words.. was your day... wonderful? terrific? awesome? okay? great? fun? etc. etc. She chose the word GREAT and I believe it was great. We celebrated by stopping at the store for some ice cream - with sprinkles and a cup cake. I'd say they were both earned today!

What a day celebration! Ice cream
and cupcake!
I'm extremely proud of her. She was very independant and happy to go to school. I was proud of us. No tears were shed (well, except those 4:30am desperate for sleep and worry of having to find a new school tears). But, I can assure you a lot of prayers were said by these two parents. Leaving her was hard in a world as scary as our world is. Knowing she can't communicate as well as we'd like. But, it was also exciting. Allie is going places. We know that. She is smart and determined and able.  That's our girl!! Our Big Kindergartener!

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