Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day of school...ever

Today was the first day of school for The Monster and Princess Bear. PB is in fifth grade...the seniors of the school. So far, she likes her teacher...she's somewhere between the one she didn't really like at all and her all time favorite. She had homework tonight, the usual tell me about yourself questionnaire. She wasn't pleased, but she sat and did it as I filled out the pages of information sheets for her and her brother.

The Monster started Kindergarten. My baby has grown up. He's not a baby anymore.

Yesterday, we went to school to "meet the teachers" before starting today. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Monster was going to have the same teacher that PB had. This teacher had moved up to a higher grade after PB went through Kindergarten, and just moved back this year. We really liked this teacher, so I'm happy to have her for the Monster. However, we realized the depth of his fear of starting school as we began getting out of the car. He wouldn't undo his seat belt, and I had to pick him up and carry him out of the car and into the school (yes, I know he's 5 1/2 and I still carry him every once in a while. He's my babbbeee. I can't help it.) Once he explored with daddy and got a little comfortable, he didn't want to leave. We finally convinced him to move along to PB's class. Several times throughout the rest of the day, we discussed the fear, and that it was fine to be afraid.

Daddy took him to the Youth Center this morning, where he enjoyed playing with his friends and getting to use a big boy cup and a knife for lunch (not sharp, perfectly safe, I swear.) Daddy and I went and picked him up and took him to school (he's in afteroon K). We arrived a bit early, so we stood outside with the other kids outside the breezeway into the school. The door to the other side was opened to allow the beautiful breeze to enter, and a dragonfly had made it's way into the breezeway. The kids would all stand and look at it, daring each other to touch "it." Since it was on the other side of the glass, they weren't really touching it, just the glass near it, but it would move a bit, and they would all jump and shriek. All the parents watching started out chuckling, and before you know it we were laughing along with them. They were taking such delight in scaring themselves. One of the janitors finally came by and rescued it, setting it free out the open door on the other side. Then they all were looking for it to come flying over the building.

The door was finally opened and we were allowed to walk him into his room. He sat down, took off his backpack, and commenced to drawing. Another little boy had noticed that they had the same backpack, which was really funny, as the Monster has had that one for years now. We tried to find him a new backpack, but couldn't find any that we liked.

While DDS took some pictures, I looked around at the other kids in the classroom. There were the ones that were sobbing, clutching their parents. There were the kids sitting there, looking bewildered and confused. But the majority of the kids sat there and colored, chatted, looked curious about this new experience. We left them to begin, and I saw several tears on some mommies cheeks. There were none for me though. I'm very excited and happy that he has finally started school. Maybe because he's been in daycare since he was an infant, maybe it's just because I really enjoy him at this age. I don't want him to rush to grow up, but I also don't really need him to be a baby all his life (although he'll always be "the Baby"

After school, his sister and him travelled to the Youth Center and enjoyed their afternoon snack and activities. When I came to pick them up, he was hanging out on the playground, but he came running when he saw me. PB was hanging out with all her friends in the "big kids" room. Both were pleased with their days, and are looking forward to going again tomorrow. The Monster passed out as soon as we put him to bed, 30 minutes earlier than we usually require. I'm thinking the newness wore him out. And I'm okay with that.

I hope this is a good year for the kids. It's a big year for both of them, and they will weather their father leaving and being gone for the majority of it. But this school is equipped to handle the issues that may arise, and they are surrounded by other kids dealing with the same situation. I know they will be fine, but there will be some struggles.

Tomorrow, Bug begins her sophomore year at the High School. Although there are parts of the teenage years I could do without, I'm really looking forward to seeing what this year brings her as well. She's joined the marching band, thespians and choir. More opportunites will come her way this year, and I hope that she is able to embrace them. I'm sure I'll be blogging about her day tomorrow.

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