Friday, September 05, 2008

Dirty and happy

William started school today, as I heralded yesterday. So, how'd it go? Surprisingly smoothly, even for a first day. Especially for a first day.

Only two minor hitches, that's it. The first: it rained today, which is actually a wonderful, desperately wanted phenomenon (doo DOO doo doo doo...doo DOO DOO doo). But that meant I had to scramble to unearth our raincoats as I was trying to usher William out the door. I just couldn't picture me trying to balance an umbrella and carry all William's gear while steering him through a busy parking lot. The second minor inconvenience: William took a sippy of milk with him in the car and managed to partially unscrew the lid. Which meant that some of the milk ended up on his outfit before he even got to school. Well, I figured, his shorts are dark, the milk's not going to stain, we'll wash the shorts later, and in the meantime, they'll dry pretty quickly. And hello, he's a two-year-old boy going to playschool. He's going to get dirty anyway.

But after that, it was all good. William hung back only a tiny bit when we got to Westminster and saw the throng of other parents and children entering the building. But he gamely carried his own lunchbox all the way to his classroom and let me help him wash his hands. Then he briefly surveyed the classroom, zeroed in on the best, most intriguing toy, and that was it. I, his dear old Mommy, ceased to exist in his mind.

Which was fine with me. I'd rather him be happily engaged in playing rather than clinging to my leg and howling. Not that he ever really does that, but there were a couple of other toddlers sobbing a few feet away from him. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with that drama. I mean, you know your kid's going to be fine, that he or she is going to stop crying as soon as you walk down the hall, but still. It's no fun. I've gotten well past the point where any drop-off crying pings my guilt meter because I know, without a doubt, that William will have a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoy himself. But I still don't enjoy it when my child is upset. So I'm glad he wasn't. I felt for the moms, however, who were trying to pry themselves away from their sweet little girls, who had tears dripping off their cheeks.

I arrived to pick him up at noon, two hours earlier than the normal dismissal time, but it was his first day. William smiled broadly at me from across the room, ran over and jumped into my arms and kissed me soundly on my cheek. "I ate all my tuhkey [turkey] samwich!" he announced proudly. "I ate all my wunch [lunch]!" He was SO proud of himself.

With the help of teacher Miss Ginny, I managed to coax him into posing for some First Day of School pictures by the classroom door.

Here's how I know that today was a success. When I picked up William, he was dirty (see his shirt in those last two pictures above?) and happy. That way, I know he had fun.

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