Monday, September 10, 2007

The first day

I am so relieved. William did beautifully at his first day of school today.

It didn't start out so well, though.

I like to chronicle all these Big Occasions, of course, so I thought I'd take William's picture with his backpack and lunchbox. And I had the bright idea of having him wear the backpack, like a big boy. Except, well, with all the stuff that I had to squeeze in the backpack, it was incredibly heavy....and well, William just about tipped over backward when I hung it from his shoulders. He was Not Amused. So that picture shows William fighting to stay upright and getting increasingly mad about it.

Here, he's happier in this shot:

And finally, we loaded up the car and headed out to the church. William picked out a book to take to read in the car, and look how appropriate his choice turned out to be.

He chose "Spot Goes to School." Pretty smart kid, eh?

Anyway, we arrived at the church a little early, amazingly enough. So I nervously made us wait in the car for a few minutes before I decided it would be okay to go on in. Miss Nora and Miss Theresa were there with one little boy who was even earlier than we were, and they warmly greeted both of us. William began to cry a little and clung to my legs for about five seconds, but then Miss Theresa led him off to look at some toys--toys we don't have at home--and that was it. He didn't even look back at me. I snapped a few photos for posterity, and I think this one should be titled, "Okay, Mom. You can go already."

And I stayed to nervously chat with Miss Nora for a few minutes, making sure she understood that William needed Natty for his nap and that I had packed the nutritionally appropriate lunch. You know, I didn't want my child sent home from school the first day for not having the right lunch, of course. And I blathered on for a little while longer, just unsure if it was okay to leave and if William would be okay without me. But with Miss Nora's reassurance, I steeled myself. I signed the sign-in sheet with my name and cell phone number and walked out of the classroom.

I kept my cell phone with me the rest of the day, checking it every so often to make sure it was still working. But it stayed silent. Gradually I began to relax a bit. I finished up my bible study and my errands and headed back to the church around 2:20, again waiting nervously in the car for a few minutes beforehand. (I am such a dork.)

As I walked through the hallway, I caught sight of all the children's bags and empty lunchboxes, ready to go. I spotted William's. On top was a little report, noting everything he'd done all day. He'd eaten most of his lunch, the teachers wrote, took a nap, had three wet diapers, read a book about Zoey, colored a picture of the rain and watered the classroom plant. For some reason, I was teary-eyed while reading this sweet little report about my son's life when I wasn't with him. Until I saw the part about the classroom plant, that is. That just struck me as oddly hilarious. Then I sniffed again when I looked at the little half-sheet of paper with some blue scribbles on it. "Rain" was written at the top of the page in neat teacher handwriting, and "William" was printed at the bottom. I loved it. It was beautiful. My child did that! And he did it without me!

And you know what? I walked in the classroom door and joyously called out my son's name, and he looked up oh-so-briefly and continued playing! Apparently, there was much more to be done with the plastic pots and pans and bowls and plates in the toy kitchen. I walked over to him to kiss him and let him show me all the bowls and plates he was stacking up (he's very into stacking and sorting these days). The teachers told me about how he went right to sleep at naptime and didn't even want his binky (woohoo!) and how he loved it when they sang "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." And they were both so amused by how well he ate. That's my boy. It's when he doesn't eat, I told them, that it's time to worry. I got to meet the aforementioned classroom plant. Then we picked up his stuff, said "bye bye" to everyone else, and we both walked out to the car.

As soon as we got home, I hung the picture of "rain" on the refrigerator. And I gave my child a piece of cheese as a reward for being such a good boy all day long.


Anonymous said...

Glad he had such a good first day. I thought he would enjoy it. The only thing I was thinking might be a problem was the nap since it was in a strange place with other children around. It seems he just got right into the routine. He's a very flexible little guy! Way to go, William!

Love, Mama Dee

P.S. How many books did you offer him? I'm amazed that he picked "Spot Goes to School"!

Anonymous said...

Hardwood floors in the kitchen? White dishwasher to the immediate right of the sink? Maple wood cabinets??? What were you guys doing in my house??