First Day – Sort Of

Yesterday was Paige’s first day of preschool … sort of.

I say ‘sort of’ because we were actually only there for an hour, and the mommies stayed the entire time. But, I was still a nervous wreck and was certain I would cry.

The very first thing out of my mouth when I woke up was “Derrick. Our baby is starting preschool today. How did this happen? Wasn’t she just born a week or so ago?” He smiled knowingly (as in, knowing I was very close to the edge and keeping his mouth shut was probably in the best interest of all parties involved).

She was up at the crack of dawn (duh), and we decided to make a pre-preschool donut run.

Paige and Derrick do this all the time together, but Mommy and Blair never get to go. So Paige knew this was a very special day.
Blair was just happy to be along for the ride. And even happier to figure out a way to have her bottle AND her donut hole at the same time (unless you’re her pediatrician reading this. Ha, ha, Dr. Boyce. This isn’t really a bottle. I swear we put them all away at one year, just like you told us to. And just like I told you I had at her last appointment).

Next stop, home. Time to pick out a special outfit and get ready to head to school! She had already picked out a cute little romper to wear, but at the last minute she decided she wanted a dress. Mind you, she had already picked out her accessories (large bow) and shoes. Ahh…a girl after her mommy’s heart. 
Last step (which, by the way, took the longest) was updating her calendar in her room:
You’ll notice behind her that ‘Today’s Activity” is ‘School” (with the school bus). She has been waiting all summer to use that one! She also noted that she was feeling ‘Proud.’

And we were off. She was so brave. All the way to school we chatted about what the morning would bring. I asked her how she was feeling. 
P: “I’m so excited. And I feel proud, too. Because I’m so brave and getting to be such a big girl, Mommy.” (Can you tell we’ve been talking a little about this day here?) “How are YOU feeling, Mommy?”
M: “Very excited. Because it will be so much fun. And a little nervous.” 
P: “Why are you nervous?”
M: “I’m not sure. I guess because you’re getting so big. But nervous is okay.”
P: (after a loooong pause) “It’s okay. I will be there. I love you so much, Mommy.”
I’m pretty sure time stood still for a moment. I wished I had a little locket or something where I could take this moment and keep it with me forever. Play it over and over again. Just to feel that feeling and hear my little girl making a huge leap from baby to preschooler.
And to be honest, this was the only point I really got choked up all morning. She was so excited, and her excitement was contagious. 
She marched to her classroom, showing her Daddy the right way to go (and making sure to get irritated when he mistakingly started walking down the wrong hallway):
She pointed out her ‘owl’ on her coat hook, finding her name all by herself:
And that was it. She headed into her room, giving the teacher waiting by the door a high-five. During circle time, she leaned over to check in on her friend Audrey, who can get shy sometimes. “Psssst. Audrey. Are you okay over there?” She participated, even saying “excuse me” before talking. She played. She painted. She had a snack (and attempted to go back for seconds and thirds). After an hour, when it was time to go, she said “I’m not ready to leave yet, Mommy!” (And, I don’t blame her. Her teachers are A-W-E-S-O-M-E. And you can honestly tell how much they love spending three days a week with seven 3-year-olds. So, basically, they’re crazy people.)
So, basically, I didn’t cry. I marveled at the child Paige has become. As much as she frustrates me and as sassy as she can be, she is also compassionate and caring. As big as her fits are and as loud as her screams can get, she is also full of life and excited to try new things. I can’t wait to experience how much she loves preschool. Seriously. That girl was BORN for the routine and activities these teachers have planned.
Now, Monday I will walk her to the door and she will walk in alone. 
(I’m also dropping Blair off for the morning in the ‘Beginners’ class. She clung to us like a leach while walking through the halls. That will NOT go well. For either of us. Stay tuned.). 
So, basically expect a post about that sometime next month. 
When I can finally stop crying.
Paige’s first day of PDO (Parent’s Day Out) – September 2010                 

First day of Preschool – September 2012

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