Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Day of School

Gareth has been beyond excited for school for the past couple of weeks and finally the big day came. Yesterday morning he (and Malcolm) woke up bright and early at about ten to seven. Gareth came into our room, asking where his "school clothes" were (I'd just washed them earlier in the week, so they hadn't made it to his room yet) and quickly got dressed. Usually he wants to wait until noon to get dressed, so this was nothing short of a miracle.

I got up and went to work on the breakfast I'd promised him - waffles. We don't usually have waffles, because my brain's got this idea that they're time-consuming and tedious to make. They're not, but somehow that idea is firmly implanted in my mind. So, yeah, it's a pretty special thing to get waffles. Gareth helped me until the first batch was done and he could start eating.

Ready to go (a good 30 minutes early)

The morning wasn't terribly stressful, because school starts on the late side here. So I had plenty of time to shower and remember to brush Gareth's hair and teeth and all that. We even got the dishwasher emptied before heading out! I loaded all of Gareth's supplies into a paper bag and his backpack and we set out for the school. I love that we have neighborhood schools here now (they used to work on a lottery system), because it means that Gareth doesn't have to ride a bus. It's a decent walk for little legs (10 blocks), but Gareth's did pretty well with it.

Thrilled that the first day of school means getting his picture taken

Things were a bit crazy with all the parents there dropping off their kids and their supplies. Gareth's teacher helped him find his locker (he's in the classroom not originally intended as a Kindergarten room, so no bathroom or cubby area inside the room) and then he went into the room to find his desk. There are four other kids at his "table" area with him. Gareth sat down and started coloring right away; I had a hard time getting him to even acknowledge me to say good-bye! I felt badly for the dad of one of the kids in the class, who's kid was bawling when it was time for him to go. But I saw him walking down the hall later, so he managed to get away at some point.

It did feel a bit strange to leave Gareth there, having no firm idea myself of how the day works and what they'd be doing. With preschool last year, I worked in the school on the first day of the week, so I knew before I ever left him what the day would look like. So, yeah, a bit strange to leave him, but definitely no tears on my part. And I'm sure I'll figure out over the next few weeks how his classroom works and what kinds of things they do during the day.

The K kids have half days this first week, then go to full day next week. I met up at a restaurant with some other parents from our preschool after we'd dropped the kids off and then rushed back to pick Gareth up on time. Today was my first day just heading home with Malcolm. I think it'll be nice to have time just with Malcolm. Especially if it works out like today, where he fell asleep on the walk up to the school and then let me move him to his crib when we got home and stayed asleep for another hour! Poor kid hasn't had a chance to develop much of a nap routine yet, and I'm hopeful that with Gareth in school we'll be able to get him on a more consistent routine.

First day of school review was rather mixed. Gareth got really hungry (they have a snack, but not until 11), so he was really negative about it all until I got some lunch in him. It was boring, it wasn't what he expected, there weren't any toys in the room, he was disappointed that they didn't read the story he wanted. About the only positive thing he said when I picked him up was that his teacher had beautiful earrings. But after lunch some more positives started coming out. He's excited because his "team" (the group of kids he sits near) is the Gorillas. It was fun to sit on the carpet for the story. But the overall response to day one was that it was boring and disappointing.

With that in mind, I was rather surprised when he said he was excited for school this morning. This morning I made sure to feed him a small snack before we left the house and on the way to school he told an acquaintance that his first day had been great. The first thing he said when I picked him up was, "It wasn't boring today!". Hopefully things will be more positive from here on out, but I wouldn't be surprised if we have more "boring" days since it sounds like they spend the first month acclimating to the school.


Matt White said...

Not gonna lie - Gareth sounds like an awesome kid.

Marianne said...

The first day of school is such a big deal...good job getting through it!!

Gareth sounds like he's going to do just fine. And I'm sure as he figures out the routine and the rules, he'll be able to entertain himself if things get boring again.