Friday, September 07, 2007

School Days

JR (and his Dad and I) survived our first day of kindergarten. He is a Hummingfish. The other kindergarteners are Barbaloots.

He had a 1-1/2 hour orientation yesterday, and then the full, first day of school today. Earlier this week, he had a total meltdown about leaving his old preschool. ("I don't want new teachers. I miss K and H.") When we arrived yesterday, he looked a bit shell-shocked. One of his wonderful teachers (R) came up to introduce himself. JR glued himself to my backside. R got down on JR’s level and pulled out a guitar pick. After unsuccessfully trying to engage JR in a conversation about what the guitar pick does, he made it disappear. The guitar pick reappeared behind JR’s ear. R was now okay in JR's book. ☺

Today, he was pretty tentative in the yard at drop-off, which was filled with all the returning kids from pre-K to grade 8. He was especially nervous because his best friend Z wasn’t there. (Z also wasn’t there yesterday because he had a later orientation time.) Nevertheless, he walked upstairs and put his Spiderman book bag in his cubby. He then handed me his striped tiger to take with me (“Put it in your book bag,” I suggested. “Noooo, Mom, you take him. Stripey doesn’t want to go to kindergarten.”). Then he scooted over to the circle and sat down right in the same spot he'd sat in yesterday (next to Teacher R).

Z's mom told me later than when she dropped her son off (3 minutes late), JR's whole face lit up. He jumped up, the 2 of them ran to greet each other, and life was good. Z went to this school last year for pre-K, so he already has a bunch of friends. He promised his mom to introduce JR to his other friends.

At home tonight, the stories about his day tumbled out willy-nilly. Apparently, they learned the song for the weekly field trip to the environmental center, they had an all-school assembly at which all the Hummingfish had to stand up together, and they were presented with their official school t-shirts, and they paired off in twos and threes to share their favorite books which they'd brought from home. (JR brought in Book 1 of Harry Potter, which we've just finished). JR was grouped with Z and a girl whose name he doesn't remember. Another boy is already reading Book 3 of Harry Potter and every time his dad reads the name Voldemort, he screams. The class had a visit from the Lorax, who brought them a gift of seeds, which they planted. The whole school learned that "Every day is Earth Day." The "other J" in first grade, whom we met at church on Sunday, had to stand up when his name was called and he also got a t-shirt (all kids new to the school get t-shirts). And on and on.

After all of the agonizing we went through last year - we couldn't be happier with JR's kindergarten. The only downside - after 4 years of walking from home to preschool to work, we are now taking 2 busses up and back. I left my office at 4:00 p.m. to pick him up and we got home at 6:00 p.m. My resolution to use public transit and not drive may not last very long.

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