My 4am contemplation of whether we should send Belén and Eloise to a new school ultimately ended with a decision to do so. It has been an interesting experience getting used to this new school because there is SO much more information coming from the school as well as a lot more procedures and rules to follow than our previous school. We have filled out reams of forms, attended a new parent orientation and brought Belén with us to an open house yogurt social. There are room moms and menu plans and developmental charts. Needless to say, it is very different from the previous school where you just show up for drop off and pick up.
Andy and I and some friends whose daughter is also moving to the same school have been joking about the rigidity and rules of the new program but ultimately I think we made the right decision. Sure, it is more money and we have to bring their lunches, but in the end it is probably a good thing we are engaged with what they are eating. In addition, the student to teacher ratios are much lower and it is already very apparent the teachers are much more engaged with the children than the previous school. The worse part of the deal is that we are losing our Nana/Grammy days but I am still hoping to sublease a day of our full time schedule to someone else looking for daycare one day a week. (Let me know if you know of anyone.)
We have been talking up the NEW SCHOOL to Belén for a couple of months now. She seemed excited about it, but the level of that excitement rose considerably after the open house where she learned of the PURPLE DINOSAUR in the playground. I mean, seriously, how many school playgrounds have a PURPLE DINOSAUR, only the COOLEST THING EVER apparently? So cool in fact that it warrants saying in a strange voice which kind of sounds like shouting and blowing air out of your mouth at the same time making the words come out more like PER-PA DYNE-A-SAAR. Afterwards we learned the purple dinosaur playground is the big kid playground, not the ones the toddlers use, but the cool factor does not seem to have diminished too much.
One of the many favorite attributes of our daughter is how she is not change averse. She has been embracing the first day of the new school with open arms and a new penguin lunchbox which is more exciting than almost everything except aforementioned purple dinosaur and a trip to Nana or Grammy’s house.
Doesn’t she look so grown up? <wipe tear and dread the first day of kindergarten>
It was my understanding the 2011-2 year started June 1st but apparently it was actually May 31st. The school oozes communication yet somehow I managed to miss that minor detail. So technically Belén missed the first day of school but it was great because she was able to spend the day with me, Auntie Chrissy and Eloise.
For her first day, we packed a healthy lunch, brought her new sleeping matt with sheet and blanket as well as the other necessities for a day at school. She and Andy left the house and I was immediately overcome with that motherly feeling of your kids growing up too fast.
Fast forward to 5:15 when an excited kid carrying an emptier version of her penguin lunchbox came bouncing through the front door. I asked her how her day went and she replied “Good.”
I then asked her what she did at school and she gave her standard response, “Babies.”
Luckily her “report card” gave more detail.
I asked her if she liked her teachers and she said, “Yes.”
Andy told me that when he picked her up, all of the kids were on the playground. When Belén saw Andy, she ran into his arms very excited to see him and immediately turned and waved to everyone saying, “Bye Bye New School.”
Next Andy reminded her of her pictures she made for us.
We made a big deal about how great her pictures are and she seemed proud of her accomplishment.
All in all, our big girl appeared giddy after her first day at her new school.
Thursday, Andy was able to talk with her teacher more. The teacher said she is doing really well with the transition and asked Andy if we realize how much she loves babies. She must be a baby hoarder at school…
Thursday’s report card had her disposition as Happy, Silly, Busy and Helpful which reassures us that she is adjusting quite nicely. Those are the same traits we consistently see at home.