Tuesday Toddler Tales
Today was Emily's very first day of Preschool with The City of Alameda's Parks & Recreation Department and if I had to give Emily a grade she, sadly, would've received a C for "passing but needs improvement".
I had been talking to Emily about Preschool for a few weeks, telling her all about the songs she would sing, stories she would read, art projects she would get to do, how great the playground was and how nice the teachers were (based upon my two girlfriends who've been in this program for the previous year) and that Preschool was for "big girls" who were ready to play without mommy and daddy. She would repeat back to me; "yeah, I'm a big girl and I will go by myself". David and I had no reason to believe today wouldn't go smoothly... boy, were we wrong.
In all fairness to Emily, it was a lot to take in: a brand new classroom she had never been in, two brand new teachers she'd never met, a room full of kids only 3 that she knew, and lots of noise and confusion as all of us new parents were getting our directives on how to drop the kids off and leave. I felt completely unprepared for the semantics of the Preschool Drop-Off, I had no idea what to expect, and I'm sure Emily could sense that.
She was actually really excited to walk up to the room and go in and she began exploring the room, books & toys, and eventually sat down on the carpet as all the seasoned kids were doing. All the parents began to leave and the door was left open so, a few kids including Emily wondered out and saw us leaving and that is when the freak-outs happened. The teachers had to rip the kids from our arms and we all had to walk away, listening to them scream for us, as the longer the parents stay, the harder it gets for the kids to adjust and focus. Totally understandable but, ugh.
Poor David was in tears. I was ok because I've left her before and knew she would calm down and be alright but David was actually questioning whether this was even a good idea.
So, David went to work and I went on my way for 3 hours and when I picked her up at Noon, Ms. Natalie pulled me aside and told me that Emily did eventually stop crying and seemed to really enjoy the art projects and their play time at the playground; however, would not sit when told, would not come in when told, and was just disobedient in general. She was very nice about it and told me that it's normal but that it might help her transition faster if I made it clear that Ms. Natalie was in-charge while she's at school.
It sure would've been nice had someone told me how to better prepare my kid for Preschool... just one more thing people don't tell you about having children!
After lunch and some time with me, she was talking about the friends she made at school and how fun the art project was, and when asked, she said she was excited to go back so, it seems she not traumatized by this first experience and is eager to try again. And we are excited for her, too and hopefully she will listen & obey Ms. Natalie on Thursday.