We blinked.

by Katie on August 11, 2016

Somehow in the last few weeks, we found ourselves shopping for school supplies, selecting a (turns out, too small) pre-K size backpack from Pottery Barn Kids with shiny gold polka dots, and getting a “school” haircut.

It all culminated in this:
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And a beaming little girl, who told me on the way home, “Mama, thank you for letting me go to preschool.”

Two days later, and I kind of explode inside a little thinking back on it.

And just for a little reality, even though I planned for perfection, right down to a “perfect” reading of The Night Before Preschool before bed, our first school morning was actually far from it. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but our girl has crazy sensitive eyes. It’s the worst when she wakes up to summer sunlight streaming in the kitchen. So even though I had done everything I could to set us up for success, the day still began with a meltdown over the sun. Something I couldn’t possibly do anything about.

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The night before, I had asked her what she wanted for her first day of school breakfast. Bacon and toast. Easy enough. So her plate of bacon, toast, peaches and “breakfast fruit snack” was waiting on the table next to her milk. Except Mama forgot the cup of requested orange juice. Meltdown number two.

After some bribery for a few “first day of school” pictures, and threats to just take a picture of her brother by himself for her school pictures, I finally got some mild cooperation.

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Then, as she was getting in the car, she found a “Pretty Rock!” that had to come with us. Fine. No problem. Until meltdown number three ensued when Mama insisted we follow the school rules to not bring anything extra until a designated show and tell day, and the Pretty Rock! had to stay in the car.

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After sign in, kids are left on the playground with their teacher until it’s time for the day to begin with school-wide prayer and pledges before everyone heads to class. When the teacher began gathering everyone up, I began holding my breath. Waiting for her to refuse. Scream. Run away. But it didn’t happen. I exhaled slightly – first test passed. Then it was time to line up. I waited for her to insist upon being in a different place in the line, or to stand next to a different kid. It didn’t happen – second test passed. Exhale. She made it all the way to class, doing exactly as she was told, not even looking at me or paying any attention to the fact I was still there. And I just could not have been more proud.

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I left her sitting at her table, getting ready to open up some Play-Doh. I’m not sure it even registered when I told her bye.
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That afternoon, she refused to share anything about her day other than the fact she had yogurt and Goldfish for a snack, and “I be the leader!” And I thought that perhaps we should have warned the teacher that “leader” may not have been a good place to begin with her on the first day…

This morning, we’re off for Day Two, and we had one excited little girl at bedtime last night. She’s going to rock this preschool business. And I still can’t believe how quickly we got here.

We blinked.

And our screaming, squirmy, beautiful newborn baby girl was a gorgeous, handful of a precious toddler girl, hanging up a polka dot backpack at preschool.

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