Lex went on his first field trip today! To the apple orchard! He was so excited. I was so excited for him. I was also a little (just a little) but sad because it’s a milestone that I wasn’t really able to join him in (and take pictures of!) Together with the kindergarten class, they took the bus to a local apple orchard, picked apples, had a snack there (apples, of course!) and came home.
At breakfast this morning I told Lex that I wanted to go over some bus safety rules with him since it would be the first time he’s even ridden on a bus. He started the conversation with all of the things his teacher had already told him! Which pretty much covered what I had in mind and then some! Sit still, wear a seatbelt if it’s available (apparently not all of the buses have them), don’t stand up until the teacher or bus driver says it’s ok, etc. I was happy to hear that they had already reviewed that in class, probably more than once because Lex had them memorized. When I picked him up after school he told me that when the bus went down a big hill he slid out of his seat, but he got back in quickly when his teacher told him to. Visualizing that made me giggle :)
Lex came home with 10 apples and said he ate one for snack. He told me at breakfast that he was going to have an apple-a-rific snack at the orchard. Silly boy. He doesn’t eat apples often these days, but he told me all about the one he ate today and what he did with the apple core (there was a lady standing there with big red bag and we put our apple cores in the big red bag) so I’m inclined to believe him. Any day that he eats an apple is a good day.
Then he said he wanted to make an apple pie with his apples (a boy after his daddy’s heart!) so we spent the afternoon (between not napping and visits from family) making apple pie. I didn’t have any handy-dandy Pillsbury crust on hand so I did it the old fashioned way. The final pie looks beautiful and Alan says it tastes amazing! I’m pretty sure I’ll be having a piece in just a few minutes :)
An apple-a-rific day!
After preschool today we went on Lex’s first official requested playdate. What I mean is that we have playdates all the time with MY friends and their kids, but this week Lex specifically asked if he could have one of the boys in his class over to play. I called his mom and we worked out a visit at their house today after school. It was really nice. Lex was confused at first because he wanted to go home and have a nap first (our normal routine) but he quickly warmed to the idea of playing first :) They played on the swings, rolled down a giant hill, ran around, fed the horses, pulled Eve in a wagon, threw sticks into a pond for the dog and everyone had a good time. I’m so happy to see him playing with other kids and even requesting it! Yay for school!
Lex happily casts his vote for the wolf!
We were a few minutes early to school today and had to wait in the lobby until 8am. While we waited I pointed out to Lex the daily question that the principal posts each morning. He writes it on a whiteboard in the lobby and the kids all answer or vote as they come in. Lex read the question (“Should there be a wolf on the new school sign?”) and said, “Yes!” Then he grabbed the marker and wrote “YES” (see it it blue with a red checkmark in between?) Then he danced around with the open marker for a bit while I gently (sort of ) asked him to put the top on the marker before dancing. He said, “I’m not done yet. First I need to make an exclamation point to say that I’m excited!” So he added the ! and then put the marker down. I was bummed that I didn’t have the camera with me at the time, but I brought it at pick-up and took this picture. You can see that lots of people added their comments in the meantime, and in-between his letters :)
Lex has started making friends at school. This makes me very happy. After many months at daycare (just 2 days a week) he still says he doesn’t know anyone, but he regularly talks about kids from school. When I picked him up yesterday he started telling me about a girl named Anthem. I asked what she looks like (I like to put a face to the people he talks about) and he said she has long blond hair and brown and green eyes. Then he told me about another boy who has “a white body and blue eyes and black eyelashes and eyebrows.” His description struck me as interesting because a) it’s the first time he’s ever commented on skin color and b) he choose to tell me about the boy’s eyes instead of the normal grown-up descriptors such as height, weight, hair color, etc. After a moment’s pause he added, “everyone has white bodies.” I said “Everyone in your class, but not everyone everywhere.” He thought for a moment and then said “some of the kids in gym today have light brown bodies.” And that was it, he moved on to talking about other things. We don’t exactly live in a racially diverse part of the country, so its interesting to watch as he starts noticing these difference. I’m really happy with school so far :)
So the downside to an action-packed weekend is a tired preschooler. I did not give him enough down-time this weekend and that became painfully apparent when I tried to get him into the car this morning. He was happy, ate breakfast, got dressed (that’s been remarkably easy lately), brushed his teeth, and then hid in the living room. I had to physically put him in the car while he hit and kicked me and screamed that he did not want to go to school. He settled down on the drive, but started up again when we got there. Eve helpfully wore his backpack and walked into the school (I’m SOO lucky that they don’t usually act up together!) and I carried Lex in, hitting me the whole way. It was horrible. He screamed when we got to his classroom. He was overtired, I was up half the night with Eve (on top of my few weeks of 5hr nights) and very overtired myself and we were not a pretty scene! Eve made herself at home while I tried, unsuccessfully, to get Lex settled down. I cried, he cried, it was awful. I asked the teacher if I should just take him home, but she said that would just reinforce the bad behavior (of course) and she said they are perfectly ok taking a screaming kid. Ugh!!! Eve and I heard him screaming all the way out of the school. I felt like a horrible, horrible person and Eve hugged me and tickled me and did everything she could to make me happy. She’s so sweet!! I kept reminding myself that he did have fun the first few days and that he will settle down and have fun today too. I headed to my friends house for some powerwalking! Half way there I got a call from the school and immediately started looking for somewhere to turn around to go pick him up. Instead it was his teacher calling to let me know that he screamed for about 2 minutes and then decided he wanted to read some books. She said he settled himself in front of the bookshelf and stayed there until he was ready to play. I was super relieved!! Obviously. I also had a good parenting thought as I remembered how we had told the teacher that he uses books to settle himself. I think had we not told her that, she wouldn’t have known to guide him that way and wouldn’t have known to leave him be with the books until he was ready to participate. At pickup time he was smiling and gave me a pretty fierce bear hug. He said he loved me very much and missed me. He also said he wanted to go back tomorrow. Whewh!
Carrying his backpack on the first day of school.
Lex is at preschool this morning. I’m at work. Eve is at daycare. Alan is working from home. It occured to me on the way to preschool this morning that today is the first time that I can remember that all four of us are in a different place.
We had a hurried morning today. Alan and Lex woke up at 7am, just as the clock was chiming and I was realizing that we have to be leaving in half an hour! I think we are going to need to start getting up a little earlier. Well, some of us anyway, some of us were up at 6am (and awake at 5am with a happy, bouncing toddler!) We managed to get everyone out the door, though I didn’t get the “holding a Pre-K sign on the front porch” pic that I wanted. I ran Eve into daycare and she was a little disgruntled about the hurried drop off an hour earlier than normal. No tears (that I saw) but clearly not happy either. Then back in the car and off to preschool.
We got there right on time and Lex was so excited the whole way. He said hello to the principal at the door, admiried the school bus out front, used the bathroom on the way in and made it all the way to his classroom. The he clung to Alan like a scared monkey baby. They cuddled for a few minutes and then Alan transfered hm to me. I sat on the floor with him and hugged him, then started pointing out the kids he played with yesterday and the toys. Then the (great!) teacher came over and asked if he brought his new backpack today and he happily bounced over to show her the cool things he put in his backpack (a cup, a snack, and a chanage of clothes). Life was good from there. He put on his nametag (on his back, where all stickers must go!) and waved goodbye to us. We have a silly routine at home and daycare where he likes to watch out the window and wave goodbye as we leave. He was a little concerned that he couldn’t see us out the window from his classroom, but his teacher let him stand in the doorway and watch us go down the hall. He’s so sweet!!!
I cried, just a little, but I know he’s going to have fun. I’m already looking forward to pickup :)
Big hugs for mommy
Lex showing his teacher the cool things in his backpack (cup, snack, clothes)
Lex watching us leave
Hmm…. what’s this in my cubbie?
“This is what it should say!”
There he is, just one of the boys.
As I’m sure you all know by now, today was our first day AT Pre-K. We dropped Eve off at daycare and then Alan, Lex and I went and spent an hour in his classroom. We met the teacher and two assistants, the other parents, and his classmates. He was THRILLED! He woke up happy and got himself ready and we got out the door with no fussing or crying. Eve was a little confused when he said goodbye to her at daycare and she seemed a little upset when he didn’t come in with us, but she didn’t fuss much. The whole way to school Lex was talking about excited he was and it lasted all the way until we rounded the corner in the hall and saw his classroom. Then he stopped short and snuggled into Alan. After a few minutes I told him that I was going to go in and find the daily schedule (in the car he had promised to show it to me). Upon hearing that he jumped up and said, “I’ll show you mom!” and in we went. He showed me the schedule and quickly found some big wooden trucks and was a very happy camper from there. We learned about the activities they do, got some paperwork, and socialized for awhile. It was really nice. Then we took him to daycare and he cried at the door, saying he was too tired and just wanted to go home and take a nap (it was 10:30am). His daycare teacher asked if he wanted to sit down and read some books by himself and that did the trick. When I picked them up today he was happy and bouncing. Seriously happy. Overly happy! I’m hoping that he holds on to that enthusiam for the next few weeks :) He even went to bed happy and talking about going to school tomorrow. Whewh! One half day down, many full days to go!
Tonight we went to a “Welcome Back” picnic at Lex’s new school. The school has 14 classes, grades Pre-K through 5th. There was a good sized crowd! Based on the first letter of our last name we were assigned to bring a dessert (my favorite thing to make!). I chose cookies and Lex chose chocolate, so we made Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies. :) Yum!!
My first school contribution
When we got to the school Lex was pretty overwhelmed. He wouldn’t get out of the car and I ended up carrying him from the car to the field and around for a few minutes. I introduced myself to the principal (Lex hid his face) and he introduced us to the Pre-K teacher (Lex buried his face in my chest and cried) and then we sat down for a little while to just observe. Eve ran around and had a blast with Alan tagging along behind her. After awhile I was able to get Lex calmed down and sitting up to just look around. Then three hot air balloons came over the horizon. They were beautiful!
Hot air balloons at the "Welcome Back" picnic
After a bit we decided to go into the school to find the bathrooms. Then Alan and Lex went for a walk to see the balloons (not sure if they ever got there!) and Eve and I played. I tried to strike up conversations with parents who were with 4yr old looking kids :) I ended up meeting two moms, both with girls in Lex’s class (Bella and Aurora… did Lex get put in the princess class?). When Alan and Lex got back we sat down to eat a picnic dinner. Alan enjoyed the BBQ and the kids and I ate chips and cookies. Sadly the salads and more healthy things were mostly gone by the time we got there. Oh well. While we ate Alan and Lex filled me in on their adventures. Apparently they went back into the school and the Pre-K teacher let them check out the classroom. Lex saw his cubie and told the teacher about his new green backpack. I think that was super helpful because after that Lex was so much more relaxed. We ended the evening with him and Eve running around, playing with other kids (even a girl from his class!) and having a great time! Yay! Of course he cried when it was time to leave, at 8:30pm. One of Lex’s strengths is that he really likes to be wherever he is. It makes transitions harder, but in general he’s very happy wherever he is. Hopefully he can hang on to the memory until Wednesday when we go back for the Pre-K open house and Thursday, his first day on his own!
Lex and his new backpack
Lex starts preschool (Pre-K is what they call it, is there a difference?) one week from today. Needless to say I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m trying to weigh the excitement against his resistance to change. Awhile ago he was very excited about preschool, but lately he’s started telling me that he doesn’t want to go. It’s funny reading the papers and ads and whatnot talking about back-to-school shopping, and routines, rituals, and the school “buildup.” Every time I bring it up Lex seems a little more resistant. Funny boy. Next Monday the school is having a “Back to school BBQ” and we’ve been assigned to bring a dessert (my favorite assignment!!) Then on Wednesday the preschool has a welcome day where parents are invited to come for the day (it’s only an hour that day) and we get to see the room and meet the teacher and classmates. I’ve emailed with a few people who also have kids in his group, friends of friends, but no one we know personally. Then on Thursday he goes it alone!! It’s a work day for me so Alan is going to take the day off and we’ll bring him to school together and then Alan will pick him up afterwards. The plan, so far, is to meet for lunch because I don’t think I can make it until the end of the day without seeing him :) Needy mommy? Alan thinks Lex will want me after preschool anyway. I think we are going to leave Eve in daycare all day, meet for lunch at Panera Bread (Lex’s favorite!) and then Alan and Lex can go home for a quiet afternoon while I go back to work. Hopefully the day goes smoothly. It’s funny with him because the bigger deal you make of something the less he wants to do it, so I’m trying to celebrate the significance of the day without being overwhelming. A fine line I’m walking.