Thursday, September 07, 2006
Here he is waiting for the bus, with his bus. Theo's eyes lit up when his little yellow bus pulled up. Once on, his excitement was quickly replaced by tears. Was he scared? No. He realized that daddy was staying outside. I, the chopped liver parent, sat with him and watched as Sharon the matron strapped him into his carseat. His tears quickly faded once the bus started moving. Theo loves him a good bus ride. A few rounds of singing "Wheels on the Bus" did the trick. Happily we rode off to school.
Theo was the last pickup on the bus, since the school is so close by, meaning he's also the first drop off. This is great news. Miriam, the bus driver, is very nice and a fine driver. Still, I studied the route like a paranoid mom and watched for any danger zones. But it was all streets, no highways, and I felt okay about the trip after taking it.
Sharon told me and the other mom on the bus to get off, since she would take care of unstrapping them and getting them off the bus (our first instinct had been to do it ourselves, of course). Outside of the bus grownups stood by to escort the kids to their classrooms. It was like getting off a plane and having limo drivers waiting with a sign with your name on it. Not that that's ever happened to me. But I digress.
Theo and I were escorted to Grace's classroom. In the hallway we put Theo's jacket and bookbag in his cubby, that already had his name on it. Later that day they took a picture of him, so that will be on there too.
Then Grace greeted us, and welcomed Theo. The first thing he said was "house," as there was one on the table that kids were playing with. He went over to it, sat himself down, and played. He took Barney and sent him down the slide, and said "wheee." That was that. He was home.
His teacher Grace (note how he doesn't stop playing while posing for the pic):
After free play, the kids were escorted to the bathroom, where they either went or were changed. Theo washed and dried his hands like a pro (but I only watched from afar, I tried not to be the obnoxious interfering parent, and so I stayed in the background).
Back in the classroom, it was breakfast time. The kids who were returning from last year got jobs. One handed out plates, another napkins, another cups, and another placemats. These jobs will be rotated. Theo is going to love having those jobs! He loves helping. This is what the placemat looks like:
The cups and plates that are given out are the same size as on this mat. A kid returning from last year knew to put his cup and plate on the corresponding spots, and showed Theo and another new kid how to do it. It was awfully cute. I can precede every single one of these sentences with "It was awfully cute." The whole day was a cutefest. It was overwhelmingly adorable!
Grace called the kids up one at a time to choose either milk or juice, and either a muffin or cereal. Theo chose juice and a muffin (he had already had milk and cereal at home; good choice, frog!). After he ate his muffin, he had another. The boy next to him,Daniel, was drinking milk, and poured all of his milk into his cereal. Theo asked for more milk, and went and got a little container of it. When he got back to his seat, he handed the milk to Daniel. Jeanie, the speech therapist in the room, observed this and she and I exchanged, "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"s. I was thrilled, I can't believe my baby boy was giving milk to another child who had finished his first one.
Theo brought all his food to the garbage by himself, grinning with pride. He tried to throw his placemat away, but Jeanie showed him the proper place for that. I'm sure today he knew exactly where to put the placemat. He's good that way.
It was time for me to leave. I was already the only parent in the room and knew I was only staying for my benefit; he was perfectly happy. So I left. But I peeked into the window for a little while and watched them have circle time and sing songs. Theo did all the hand motions and sang with a smile that could melt Hitler. Grace took pictures of each kid, one at a time, to go on their cubby. I finally pulled myself away when Theo saw me through the window and I could tell he said mommy. I didn't want the teachers to see me; I felt like I had gotten caught! A bit embarassed, I bolted and headed home.
When Theo got off the bus that afternoon, he was smiling and happy. I wished he could tell me all about the friends he made and the things he did. But I took comfort in already knowing the answer.
Today, since Joe was putting him on the bus, I figured Theo would cry. But Joe said he was incredibly excited to get on. Theo and preschool = perfect fit.
Posted by Elyse Orecchio at 5:00 PM