And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Today's the First Day of the Rest of Your Life . . .

Apologies to my "loyal readers," many of whom are also on the March Moms list, for this repeat.
Katie's first day at St. Paul's was today. On Monday, we had a parents-meet-the-teacher session for an hour (no kids, which is pretty obnoxious for parents of young kids, but whatever). On Tuesday we could bring the kids from 11 to 12:30 to drop off their school supplies. There was really no need for us to do this, as the teacher had already labeled and sorted everything, but it was a good introduction to the classroom for Katie and we got to chat with some of the mothers and other kids. I was actually kind of shocked at how much younger Katie *looked* than all the other kids (if you remember, she's in a transitional kindergarten class, in which 12 of the 14 students are repeating kindergarten before going on to 1st, so she's a year younger than almost everyone). I didn't think it would be that noticeable, but especially with the boys, it is. Katie was a little clingy, but she gets funny about that -- it's almost like an act she thinks she has to put on. But she and Ian enjoyed playing with the bins full of manipulatives (shells, buttons, blocks, little rubber cars, keys, all kinds of stuff) the teacher has out.

This morning, we were greeted at 6:15 with a cheery "Good morning!" from Katie. Her alarm had gone off, as planned, and she had apparently slept pretty well (I, on the other hand, was plagued by anxiety dreams about things like forgetting to take her picture on the first day of school). We got her dressed in her uniform (which is actually cuter than I thought it would be, especially with matching headband and saddle shoes -- pictures at, user name JennDM, password blank, album -- funnily enough -- "First Day of School"), packed up her My Little Pony backpack and Hello Kitty lunchbox, and Dave took her off on his way to work. It went extremely smoothly.

This week, they'll be going half-days, so they go from 7:45 to 11:45. Pickup was a bit of a pain -- no buses (private school), and they escort each kid to the cars, so we were in line for almost 45 minutes, inching our way to the pickup point. I was glad I brought my Family Fun magazine to skim while waiting. I'm going to try to go a little earlier tomorrow, but I expect things will start going better soon -- so they say, anyway. Carpool's an option, but with two carseats in the car and a sedan, I don't know how we could reciprocate. Something to look into and another reason to start jumping on the minivan trend.

After we got her, we went and picked up Dave (he works about 5 minutes away) and took Katie to Applebee's to celebrate the first day (yes, I know, food as a reward :). The district manager happened to be there, and he commented on her cute uniform, and I told him why we were there. He insisted on buying Katie dessert to celebrate, which was really sweet. He called her by her name, too, which mystified her until I pointed out that she was wearing a name tag. :)

She had a really good day, and came out smiling. I'm so glad to get her back with kids her own age -- I think she really needs it. And it was awfully quiet around the house. Ian was really whiny this morning too; I think he missed her. Well, he'll have his own thing soon too -- we signed him up for La Petite Academy 3 days a week starting after Labor Day, and I think he'll enjoy the kid contact as well.

Whew! It feels like a big milestone has been passed, and I'm thrilled with how well it went. Katie's favorite thing was that I bought her a little notebook with a picture of a horse on the cover, and I wrote her a note telling her we loved her and were proud of her, and then I tucked it in her lunchbox for her to find at snack time. She loved it, and has requested notes every day.