Yesterday was a big day… Chloe started preschool. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to send her… is she too young, is she ready, am I being a gunner mom? And I thought about how my little girl is a giant sponge right now, soaking up everything around her. Finally, I opined that school is the perfect place for her to go. I found a great little art school that has a preschool program – it isn’t an academic program, but an “alternative” to scholastic programs. In this program, Chloe will learn about art, music, language, gardening, drama… I want to enroll myself! Most importantly, Chloe will get to be around other little kids and get to be just that – a kid.
Before we left for school, I tried to get a few “first day of school” photos. Chloe didn’t really cooperate.
Each kid in the class gets a bucket – we send them with their clothes, snacks and what-not, the school sends them home with art work and notes. I thought I would slip a little note into Chloe’s lunch box so that she knew her daddy and I were thinking about her. I asked Gary to write something, to which he responded “she can’t read“. I thought maybe one of her teachers would read it to her.
Leave it to daddy to be totally inappropriate on such a special occasion… gotta love it.
I tried to get one last picture of my girl before we headed off to school. She was more interested in the sprinkler.
We got to school a little early so that I could take some more photos. Yes, I am officially a member of the “mamarazzi” now. At least I wasn’t the only one.
And Ella did manage to sneak into one photo on Chloe’s big day… there she is, sitting under the tree, taking everything in. I think she wanted to go to school, too!
So it was finally time to go inside and meet everyone. What a warm welcome the school had for all of their students:
The classroom is bright and happy and so much fun! And the floor is painted black with all sorts of bright paint splattered across it. Perfect for a bunch of rambunctious little kids!
The first 15 minutes of class is set aside so the kids can come in and paint or play instruments and otherwise just get settled. Chloe had fun running from one thing to the next. First, it was music:
After she had quickly played all the instruments, Chloe decided it was time to paint. This looked like an absolute nightmare to me, but it is just what this classroom is designed for.
Ms. Saskia acquainted Chloe with her easel and her paints. Chloe dove right in:
Chloe wasn’t shy about loading up her brush with some paint. Mr. Greg (or Mr. Egg as Chloe calls him) wandered by and said “ah, 3D art”. Chloe is big on texture.
I was a little worried when one of her classmates stood at the paper next to her and wanted to paint – they would have to share paint. Chloe has become very defensive about her “things” since her little sister is crawling around and getting in to her stuff. But Chloe played nice… ahhh, the relief.
At 10am, the kids all sit down for circle time – they sing a hello song, the teachers ask each of the children a question. Chloe was not big on circle time:
She just wanted to play with the musical instruments. The teacher was very nice and gently put each one down and calmly instructed her to sit down. From the angle I was standing, I couldn’t really see Chloe’s reaction. I tried to not be a “helicopter” mom and hover over her and the class, so I spied from a window. Suddenly, I saw her little hands move up towards her eyes. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like she was crying. I would have cried, too, if there weren’t 10 other moms and dads standing around. One of the other moms was really nice and assured me that Chloe would be fine, that her teachers were pros at handling this kind of stuff. I choked and sputtered and tried to smile. Just then, one of the teachers came over, picked up Chloe and carried her out of the room. I anxiously watched her give Chloe a big hug, and quietly walk her down the hall. Chloe didn’t see me, which was probably a good thing. And at that point, I decided to be a big girl and leave, putting my trust in her teachers.
The next 2 hours we sooooooooo loooooooooooong. I waited for my phone to ring, Chloe’s teacher asking me to come pick up my weeping, slobbery daughter. Much to my delight, she didn’t. And at 11:55, Ella and I were standing at the door, waiting for Chloe to come out. I saw her teacher and nervously asked how it went. She said “Chloe did great!”. I told her I was worried because I saw tears, worried because I thought maybe Chloe was too young to be in the class. Her teacher assured me that Chloe did fine and that she is easily redirected “a few hugs and she is happy again”. What a relief!
After we got home, I looked in Chloe’s bucket and found 2 art projects from her first day of school. I was so proud and full of giggles when I looked at them. Here is the first piece:
A finger painted caterpillar on a beautiful piece of pink paper. Complete with googly eyes and beads on her antennae. Then I found her second art piece. I think it is supposed to be a caterpillar, too, but my veterinary training makes me think that it may be something else. Have a look and tell me what you think:
I’m glad they stuck a little pipe-cleaner antennae on this thing or else I would have been suspicious that Chloe fished it out of the litter box. This is definitely a piece that I will cherish for ever and ever. And it will be making a debut each time a boy comes over to pick Chloe up for a date. Gary suggested that we have it bronzed, but I think it will lose some of it’s character that way.
All in all, Chloe’s first day of school was a success. She keeps asking to go back to school so she can play “instaments”. Daddy gets to take her tomorrow. I suggest that he eat a bowl of Wheaties with a whiskey chaser, because he is going to need it!