tea party, originally uploaded by kelanew.

eva has been on the wait list for starbright preschool for, well, about half her life, actually. i planned that hoping a spot would open up right around the time that a future second child would come around, and we were close -- we had a spot confirmed for august. well, we got a call yesterday that they had a last-minute opening starting... tomorrow. we thought about it for about an hour, then took the spot.

for now, she'll be going thursday and friday afternoons (2:30-6), and starting in august she'll move to a more normal schedule of monday and wednesday afternoons. starbright is a lovely (and coveted) waldorf-based preschool, and the kids spend much of their time outdoors playing in the huge wooded lot. eva has a good friend (ella) who goes there, too, and i think they're both fairly excited to be going to school together.

this couldn't have come at a better time -- now we'll have a little while to get her used to school before the baby comes, and i'll have a bit of a rest during the last weeks of pregnancy, and she won't feel like she's beeing shooed out the door and replaced by the baby (as is the concern had we started in, say, june). also, i've been making plans in recent weeks to expand her social opportunities a bit, hoping to augment what we currently do by finding some contexts that would be better suited to *her* needs (as opposed to my own needs of hanging out with my friends :) now that school is starting now rather than in august, i presume it can fill that role very nicely. i think she's going to love it, and i'm sure i won't mind having a few hours per week alone with the baby, either.

ordinarily, they invite parents to bring a new child for 6 weeks prior to their start date so they can acclimate to the school setting. well, we had only one day's notice -- today -- so today we went to school. i explained to eva that i would stay at school with her while she got to know her teachers and the other kids, and then once she was ready, she could tell me to go. i figured i'd stay for three or so days, depending. we arrived, she and ella ran off to play together, and basically eva didn't even check in with me for the next two hours. she played, had snack, went potty (with her teacher, not me), played some more -- and thought it was even a good sign that while she played with ella, she also played with other kids or just explored on her own. well, after we had been there about two hours, she came running over to me. i thought perhaps she was needing to reconnect with me a bit, or just wanted to chat, but she said with a cheery yet very sincere expression on her face, "okay mama, you can go now. i'm ready for you to go." well, okay then! i wasn't expecting that she would kick me out... on the first day.

so, i went out front to sit in the car until school was over. about 45 minutes later, one of her teachers saw me while taking out the trash and said she was doing great. but i guess i should have headed in a bit earlier than i did, because at 5:48 they called me saying she was sad. (i planned to head in a few minutes before that.) and, wow, she was really sad! she even continued to cry as i held her, saying she was "sooo hungry" (not used to eating on a schedule, i guess) and that she was "just very sad". the first issue is that she saw other kids leaving and i guess wasn't totally clear on the fact that i would be coming back, too, and how exactly that all worked, given it was the first day. and i think she really *was* hungry (we simply could not convince her to eat much lunch today, and she didn't eat much for snack at school)... and then halfway home, after all of five minutes in the car, she fell asleep.

until the pick-up time started at the end of the day combined with the tired and hungry, though, she did amazingly well for her first day. i was there the first two hours, as i said, but she couldn't even see me most of that time, let alone come hang out with me. my mom laughed, saying that sounds just like eva's mama and her grandma, too (we were both very ready for school). i think she's going to do just fine.

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