30 August 2011

The First Day

So...this Hurricane Irene thing happened. It took out some trees and generally wreaked havoc, though it was nothing like Isabelle a few years ago. At our house, it only knocked out the power for about 30 hours, and destroyed some branches. The worst was Hurricane Eamon, who unfortunately ingested apple and spent the majority of those 30 hours ridding it from his system in the most expedient, but messy, ways possible. We went through a lot of diapers, to say the least.

BUT. It was nowhere near as important as what happened today.

Because today, Eamon Wolfe went to school.

That's right. Today was the first day of many, many years of academia to come. Heck, I'm 31 years old and still trying to finish my doctorate, and already looking at programs for instructional technology, or maybe Spanish, or possibly curriculum with an emphasis on teaching mathematics when I finish (Shh. No one tell Aaron this. He might divorce me.)

We decided awhile ago that we wanted to get Eamon into a Montessori school. Aaron and I are huge fans of their child-centered approach and focus on individualized education, critical thinking, and inquiry. Luckily, just when we were considering putting Eamon in some sort of daycare/pre-school, the Hampton Roads International Montessori School about 8 miles from here started a Toddler Program (I'm not saying that they started it just for Eamon. I'm just saying that it's an awfully big coincidence).

Yesterday, Eamon went to meet his teacher, Miss Lauren, and her assistant, Miss Savannah. They are both young and pretty, so predictably, Eamon fell in love with each. He's out an out-going little bugger, so we weren't too worried...but then again, he has never separated from family for long period of time. So Tuesday was met with some anxiety. Of course, it was all mine.

The Montessori school has a rule that you drop students off promptly, then just...leave. When you pick them up, you sit in your vehicle and they bring the child to you. Which is great...if you have a kid who can accurately verbalize what went on between pick-up/drop-off. Toddlers, as it happens, do not particularly excel at this skill.

My mom dropped off Eamon. She said that he looked ambivalent about the prospect: excited to see his new soul mates, Miss Lauren and Miss Savannah, but wary because another little boy was crying so loud you could hear him from the front of the school. My mom tried to follow the rules, so she gave Eamon a quick goodbye kiss and walked briskly away once Eamon had taken Miss Lauren's hand and walked off to look at some toy animals.

I picked Eamon up at 11:45. He ran out the door holding the hand of another assistant. She was not the assistant from his class, so I couldn't even ask her how his day went. He was smiling and shrieking, "My mommy! That's my mommy!" and pointing excitedly to our car. He almost jumped into the car.

Tentatively, I asked, "Eamon, how did it go?"

"I pway with animals, Mommy! I ate crackers! School's fun!"

I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I suddenly breathed out.

(But do you see what I mean? I kept trying to ask him about other parts of the day, but he just kept repeating about the crackers and the animals. If I didn't know better, I would think that school was just a big zoo that sold Saltines at their concession stands. When I asked him if he cried, he said proudly, "I stopped crying." Because he's no Shakespeare when it comes to the English language, though, I had no idea whether he understood that to "stop crying" one must first "start crying;" therefore, I had no idea whether he cried or not.)

Later that day, after she finished with the kids who don't have grandparents to watch them for the rest of the day, Miss Lauren dutifully called Eamon's over-anxious, borderline crazy mother as I made her promise the day before.

"He did great," she said. "He helped cut the strawberries for snack. He played nicely with the other kids. He played with the animals and had a great time."

"Did he cry?" I asked.

"Nope, not a bit."

So, there you go. First day, over. I've promised Aaron that I'll be a little less crazy now that I know that his adjustment period...well, there was no adjustment period. Eamon loves school.

Wait...where are we going?

School, huh? Hmm.

And you're saying that even though there will be two pretty young ladies there, I have to share them...with other kids?

Eh, all right.

On my way to SCHOOOOOOOL!

Wait, what do you mean I can't bring my plastic dinosaurs?!

Oh well. I'll just play with them in here.

All right, let's do this. Let's go to school.

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