First Day of School

To say that Harrison has been excited for the start of preschool would be a huge understatement. From the time in July when we got his official letter telling us the date/time of his class and read it to him, he’s been ready and raring to go.

For the first few days he kept asking us to read the letter to him again. Then he began talking about his teacher Miss Ash-a-leigh (her name is really just Ashley; this is just the adorable way it sounds when he says it, which is all the time), asking if she was ready for him to come to preschool yet. Even though we would say, “No, not quite ready yet” he kept asking and asking if it was time to go to preschool. Now, in another life, I might have taken offense to this desire of his to get out of the house and away from me, but I know he’s just so darn excited about being with other kids and learning so that helps me not take it personally in the least little way.

A couple weeks ago, we attended an evening Open House with the rest of his classmates to meet Miss Ashley and see his room. HD & I had a crawl-in-the-cave afternoon that day thanks to a major nap disaster, but Open House ended up going really, really well. I didn’t know they were going to separate us, but after an introductory scavenger hunt to explore the room, the teachers kept the kids in the main room while the parents went next door to fill out paperwork. Brilliant plan, really, but since we didn’t know that was coming, we’d had no way to prepare HD for it. He jumped up from the circle mat when we started to leave, but after I gave him a hug and some quick reassurances, he was fine. We were even able to peek on him through the door a couple times which was so cool. I loved watching him sit and listen and interact with the other kids and his teachers. Part of me was amazed by all of the sitting, actually. And of course it ended as soon as we came back to join him; then it was all over to run and play again, but my gut tells me that he saves his excitement for us because he loves us and wants to share. How can you fault that? On the way home he asked why we had to leave to do “schoolwork” and told us that Miss Nikki (Miss Ashley’s assistant) helped him get soap (we’re not sure if this means he just washed his hands before snack or if he actually used the bathroom there, but whatever – either way is a win in my book). All in all, a great night.

In the time since, we’ve worked hard to finalize potty training with him so he’d be ready to go to school. There are still accidents from time-to-time and we’re still using diapers at night/nap, but I think we’ve made it through the worst of it. He wears his Thomas the Train undies all day even when we’re out and about and does pretty darn well. He won’t tell us when he has to go, so we’re still asking him a million times a day, but at least we’re not having accidents right in front of us or two seconds after we ask like we were a few weeks ago. Turns out that telling him that we would have to call Miss Ashley and say he wouldn’t be able to go to preschool because he couldn’t pee in the potty was really good motivation. Now, the previous sentence gives me the giggles because I can’t believe we did that, (and hopefully none of you are mortified by it) but it’s the truth and it’s what worked so I guess I’ll take it, right or not-so-right. Thank goodness, too, because I can’t imagine taking preschool away from him; he would have been devastated! And, let’s be honest. There was no way we were going to take preschool away from him (unless they kicked us out for him having too many accidents, which is a fear I confessed to some friends a couple weeks ago), so I’m glad he didn’t try to call our bluff!

Last night, before bed, I read one of our old favorites, Llama, Llama Misses Mama to him and we talked about how today would go. The order of events, where he would be, where I would be – all that. He seemed fine with it (of course, during supper, he asked if he could go as soon as he got done eating). Actually, I was worried he wouldn’t go to sleep because he was too excited, but Ben got him down with very little trouble. Then we joked that he’d be up at 4:00, grabbing his back pack and telling us he was ready to go.

Ummm, we should have kept our mouths shut on that one!

Technically Harrison didn’t get up for the day at 4, but he did come in our room then and an hour later Raegan started making some noise, followed by more noise when HD needed to potty at 5:15, and so on and so on. So really, it is amazing we even made it to preschool this morning, but hey, we’re survivors, even when we’re sleepy!

Ben couldn’t join us for drop off, so we took a picture before he left for his own school.
Harrison kept trying to insist that he should leave for school before Daddy, but then I let him help feed his sister Cherrios which seemed to distract both of them quite nicely and burn some of the extra time we had since we started our day so darn early. A couple times, HD made a sad face and told me that he didn’t want to go to preschool, but I knew the tune would change as soon as we got there. As it turned out, using the potty one last time at home and getting dressed for the day was all it took. 
After that he ran to grab his backpack and was really excited to see that I had signs for him to hold as I took some pictures. Here is how our morning went from there:

 
“What’s it say, Mama?” (Sister Bear wanted to know, too)
“Can I take it to school with me?” (I said we could leave it home to show Daddy, later)

This one is my favorite. The sign says: “I want to be: Daddy!” We asked him a couple times yesterday and today what he wants to be when he grows up and ever the philosopher, Harrison gave us some funny answers, some cute ones, and some questions. “Be? What do I want to be???” The list of responses included: Rory McIlroy (HD’s favorite professional golfer – he’s been able to say his name since before he turned two last year), Daddy, Harrison, and a pinata. Yes, I kid you not on all of those! I went with “Daddy” on the sign because that was his first answer this morning and it was just too sweet to pass it by.

Lesson learned on arrival at preschool: we were too early. They don’t let you come back until the teacher comes to the door to collect the kids, so we had to just chill in the hallway for almost 10 minutes. Harrison was fine with this because they had a First Day treat waiting for the kids and their parents – his favorite, muffins!

Then it was finally time to go in, find a hook for his bag and get started. I could hardly get him to stand there long enough to take the picture once he got his bag up because, as he was telling me, “Preschool is starting!” I guess in this picture he’s waving to all of his new friends that are about join him in their classroom. 

Proud Mama moment inside…Harrison was able to pick out his own name tag from the table where the teachers had set them out for all the kids. Maybe he is supposed to be able to do that by now? I don’t know. But he did it and then we tried to sneak in a few more pictures before leaving. Here’s the first one I managed to get: 

 Then another mom with a preschooler and toddler noticed us and offered to take our picture. She apologized that she didn’t get one with him looking, but that’s pretty typical, plus he was so excited and ready to go join the rest of the kids on the circle mat that I’m lucky he sat still long enough to even get this!

At this point I realized I had a very sleepy baby to get home for a nap and a preschooler who was ready to do his school thing. I had to call him back over for a kiss/hug goodbye and then, he was off again, blowing me a few more kisses as he ran back to play. So much for not wanting to go to preschool, eh? 😉 I stood up, scanned the room and discovered that was it. He was ready and I was ready. Time to go. If he wasn’t going to fuss, then neither was I. (Confession: I about lost it to the weepies two or three times this morning as we were milling about the house, but managed to keep it together).

Now it’s been almost two hours since I got home and I keep thinking this is so strange, to be here with Raegan (who is napping) and not Harrison. I can’t wait to go get him in an hour and hear all about how it went….

_________________
 

Here he comes! Harrison, on his way to greet us after his first big day of preschool. He told me he got a couple stickers for being calm and for eating so well during snack. And his favorite part of the day was the dinosaur. I honestly don’t know how to verify any of this information, but I guess that is what life as a parent will be like from now on – taking his word for it and enjoying the stories he tells, especially if they are creative. Bonus? Same shorts as he had on in the morning = no accidents! WhooHoo!

Other Bonus? Dad got to sneak away from school for 10 minutes to be there when we picked up Little Man. Harrison was able to tell both of us about all the fun he had, and he was really excited to see Raegan, too.
Later, when I was feeding the kids lunch, Harrison told me that he missed Miss Ashley. Here’s hoping he always loves school and his teachers in just this way!

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Posted in HD

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