Friday, September 10, 2010

The Whole Story

So, here's the long version of Captain Adorable's first day of pre-school and the after math.

We arrived a little late (my navigator (GPS) did not know where it was), so when we got there it was a little hectic and Capt. Adorable did not really settle in. Also, there had been a couple of chances to meet other kids in his class but the first one was on the same day as my most recent CT scan and Capt. Adorable was sick for the second one, so we had to cancel. Therefore he was in a room of strangers. The teacher did give us a long chance to get acclimated before she took the kids downstairs and out to the enclosed back yard to play. Most parents left at that point ("a natural time to leave," as the teacher said). A few accompanied their darlings to the playground, as I did. Captain Adorable was clinging to me and the only way I knew to get him to feel confident was to promise him I would not leave. That way he would leave me and play and hopefully get more comfortable.

Well, that's exactly what he did. He played and explored and played and ran and climbed and et cetera. All the other mommies and daddies were gone. I was sitting by myself on a little bench, wishing I had a book since I was a little bored and wondered why I was required to be there if I was being completely ignored. I thought about sneaking out but I don't break the promises I make to my child, so rejected that idea immediately. (Plus I thought the repercussion of that might be to encourage further clinging in the future.) At one point I asked him if it was ok to leave, he said yes, we kissed and hugged, and I almost made it to the door when he called me back. Again I promised not to leave till they went back upstairs (the teacher had indicated this was "another natural time to leave"). After this the teacher asked him if he was a good helper ("Yes, I am a good helper!") and if he would help her with the snack when they went inside. He agreed.

A little girl came up to me and asked, "What are you waiting for?" I thought she was cute and wished Capt. Adorable (on the other side of the playground, totally out of my sight) could have heard her as well. A few minutes later a different girl (Capt. Adorable is one of 7 children with 2 adults and the only boy) told him she wanted to go inside (she was cold). He came to tell me this and I prompted him to tell the teacher; he did so. The teacher told him that he could choose when we went in. She knew full well that I would leave upon our return upstairs. She asked him if he wanted to go in after a long time or after a little bit of time. He replied, "I want to go in right now."

The teacher got them all lined up (Capt. Adorable was the caboose) and cracked to jokes about the wrong way and the right way to go up the stairs. Capt. Adorable guffawed happily. She sang a song and led them in touching various body parts (head, shoulders, etc) and Capt Adorable confidently joined in the activity. When we finally went upstairs Captain Adorable was no longer last in line, and was happily removing his new school shoes ("They're really fast") in putting them in the basket with the other kids when I moved towards the door.

I kissed and hugged him and then it began to be a little more intense on his part (he did not cry but his fair little face was red around the eyes) and I stepped outside, just so that the other kids would not be affected by this scene and began to close the door. The teacher saw this and stopped the door from closing (which was smart I think because if I had closed the door I am sure he would have wanted to go with me). We hugged and kissed and talked about how I would be back with a kids meal from Subway for lunch. I was holding him in my arms and handed him to the teacher. She encouraged him to blow me a kiss and I blew him one too. She said his kiss was not big enough and asked him to blow me another. We exchanged air kisses. I left.

I drove home, called my mommy and my husband (yes, in that order, but she is more likely to answer the phone), and wrote the post you may have already read.  I returned at the appropriate time and got a seat right in front of the door. Captain Adorable was not the first kid out, nor the second. I was kind of eager for him, but I think he was actually the last child out the door. He emerged with a confident smile and gave the teacher a big hug. He did not see me and went back in! I called him and he came back out. I got my hug. He was happy. We had our lunch with one other girl (the same one who wanted to go in) and her mom. They were going to a gymnastics class after lunch and invited us to tag along so we did. Once he had me in the car alone he said, "Mommy I wish you could come to pre-school with me."

The gym was really cool and Capt. Adorable got to have a free demo class with his buddy from pre-school. This time he ignored me so completely that I was able to go sit in the waiting area, totally outside of his vision, and chat with the other mom. I was astounded. In a good way. On the way home he collapsed into sleep and I knew he needed it so I let him nap. When Daddy came home they left to play soccer and didn't come back for so long that I actually got in the car to go look for them at the playground where they I knew they would go. I found them about halfway home, happily riding their bikes. It turns out another mom in the neighborhood has organized a kid's running group once a week on Thursday evening, so just as they were about to leave the other kids showed up and of course Capt. Adorable wanted to stay. We didn't have dinner till 7:30 at least!

That night (last night) he slept badly. Lately he has been sleeping in his own bed all night (from 8:30 or so till 7:00 or 7:30 or sometimes 8:00). By 12:30 last night I had already been up and at his side 3 times. At 1:30 he woke us all up and the whole family was uprooted as we figured out where to sleep (he kicks so much that we cannot all sleep in the same bed anymore, boohoo). Obviously he was deeply affected by yesterday's events. Today we talked about how he would go back to school on Tuesday. He was not interested!

This afternoon we went sailing. The weather was the gentle cool of early fall. The wind was good but not too much. The sunset was gorgeous. Capt. Obvious and I are trying to give me more experience captaining the boat, so I did a lot of driving. Capt. Adorable had a long nap. I hope he sleeps well tonight. I am tired.

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