August 23, 2009

big day tomorrow

Yes, indeed.

Guthrie's First Day of School.
Ever.

The new dress that she picked out is washed and ready to go.
The backpack is packed, except for Rar the tiger.
The sausage patties are waiting for us in the fridge because Guthrie said, "Gus yike dis." I said, "Really? When did you have them?" "At Gus' house." Huh.

This is the new answer for everything. Apparently our house is home to many strange and parentally unknown activities. Like sausage patties.

And I completely can't sleep. I'm sure pregnancy will take over soon, but for now I'm awake.

What if she cries when I leave? Like really, truly cries? And will it be better if she just skips off without a backward glance?

This isn't just preschool for us, it's the first time she's ever been anywhere without a family member. The two times she's been babysat by friends I think she was too young to remember. So, I don't know. I'm all freaked out that somehow I've 'done her wrong' and should have exposed her to more babysitters or experiences without us. She's not even 3 years old yet though, so really how many experiences should she be having?

I was at a meeting with some co-workers last week and the one girl, with a son slightly younger than Gus, talked of leaving her son with her parents for monthly weekends beginning when he was 2 months old. She says it is the best thing for her marriage and for her son. And part of me wonders if I should be more like that, whatever 'that' is. But I'm not. As parents, John and I are just not like that. And I'm not judging her, please don't think that, because I know everyone in that situation is happy just like I know that everyone in this situation is happy. And that's good family life.

It just makes you reevaluate how you're doing things. You know? It didn't necessarily help that the other woman, after I said that John and I had not had a night away together since Gus has been born, said her and her husband hadn't either for several years and now they're divorced. She was quick to say, not that I think the same thing will happen to you! But the thought was obviously there on all our parts. I'm inclined to believe that divorce is complicated and while no weekends away might have been a symptom of the problem, it certainly wasn't the disease. I felt like I handled it ok and was happy to come home to find my husband and daughter napping together in what is, a majority of the time, still a family bed. And I was happy to join them and know that this stage won't last forever and I will cherish every second I can.

So, here's to new experiences and new friends and more independence on everyone's parts. I, for one, am looking forward to my weekly day off and a chunk of time to spend alone in the morning while Gus is at school. I think John is thinking the same for his Tuesday mornings. And I'm so looking forward to the things she is going to learn! How exciting!

One more thing and then I swear I will end the world's longest blog post not necessarily about preschool! We went to her classroom's open house last week and it was great. The classroom looked just like the kind of classroom I'd always wanted and could never have. And you know what it comes down to? Curriculum. How weird is that? In the curriculum I had to follow there were a certain number of things that had to be in the room at all times and within those certain things a specific number of items. Like blocks. 350 plain tan blocks of various sizes. 150 colored blocks of various sizes. Foam blocks. Wooden blocks. Plastic blocks.

I get the theory- provide enough choices for everyone and enough materials for multiple kids in a center. But it was chaos folks. Utter chaos. No one needs that many choices, let alone a 3 year old. My ability to focus in that classroom was nil - no wonder the kids had a hard time too.

Not so in Gus' new classroom. Simple shelves. Wooden toys. Clear boundaries and clear areas for specific tasks. Of course there's a big empty space for games and songs and creative play, but it's all just so manageable. I watched new kids come into my classroom for the first time and be completely overwhelmed. I watched all the new kids in Guthrie's classroom be able to navigate easily and focus on what interested them without getting distracted. When they were done they moved on. It was like watching a procession. I think I'm gonna like this Montessori thing. I might not agree with all of it, but I think the benefits will outweigh everything else. I'll let you know in a few months!

So, wish us luck. There will be pics tomorrow of course!

1 comment:

daydreamer said...

I'm glad you found a preschool that you really like. Exciting! I hope that next year- I live somewhere else- and I will be able to find one I like too!

And this parenting stuff... there cannot be this one right answer for everyone, right? I could not do weekends away, but I know parents who could not stay home like me. Whatever works.

I hope you had a good morning with very little tears. She will do awesome. :)

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