And So It Begins, The School Years

Is it really possibly that I have a child in school. I think not. But, alas, I do.
Jemma started preschool last week – a gaggle of sweet 3 year olds. And truly, that’s what they seem to be, a gaggle. Or roaming cats. I’ve also heard that term for a group of 3 year olds. 
Over the last 6 months I went back and forth on what to do about preschool. I still really want to homeschool my kiddos so it seemed odd to be considering “real” school. But, our lives needs some structure and I’m just not committed enough to do it on my own. I really want to give Max some one on one time too. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and give preschool a go. It’s just two afternoons each week for 2 1/2 hours at a time and based on Jemma’s love for Sunday School, I imagined that she would love it.
And love it she did. 
The parent child Open House, our kind of first day, almost left me in tears. Jemma fought pictures. Exhibit A …
The zebra shirt is her new favorite – she asks for it every single day. Also, she would not wear her sandals, instead, she demanded purple socks and purple shoes. FAVORITE COLOR MUST REPRESENT ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL OR ELSE. Duh, mama.
And wouldn’t participate in the mini circle time. Or listen to much of anything I or the teacher said. I felt like the parent with the crazy kid. Honestly, the pre-parent me, or even the parent I was a year ago would have judged myself. Welp, judge no more. I’m all about parental grace these days. I tried to calm myself by remembering that she’s not even 3 yet. This is her first school experience. Everyone has a learning curve. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I still felt crummy, so I bought myself an iced venti double decaf americano with pumpkin spice sauce and extra cream. And a chocolate croissant. 
The 30 seconds she sat at circle time. Before jetting back to the play kitchen to “cook lotsa food for all the people”.
Oh, and Jemma still refuses to use a “big” potty. So she’s heading to preschool in her Dora pull-ups and we’re crossing our fingers for no misses. Or even better, some kind of enlightenment that the little potty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 
Back to loving it … Tuesday was her first solo day. She scampered to class with tons of excitement. She waived me off without so much of a glance and just like that, my baby seemed so grown up. So freakin’ grown up I can hardly take it. Max and I ran errands together. And ohmygoodness, buckling and unbuckling only one child really speeds things up. I peeked at my phone and lo and behold Jemma’s teacher had emailed me a photo of Jemma and a little friend painting. Yay! Only an hour in and school was already going well!
My mom teaches kindergarten at Jemma’s school so she peeked in at one point and saw Jemma sitting at circle time. With the other kids. Looking at the teacher. Maybe even participating. Yippee! When Max and I returned for pick-up we saw Jem playing on the playground. Then, when it came time to line up, she followed directions and joined all the kids in line to walk back to class.
I arrived and she promptly had a meltdown because I told her we could take one of the classroom’s plastic dinosaurs home. She also announced at the top of her lungs, “No, I no wanna go home. No no no. I stay at schooooooooool!”
So, yeah. School is a winner and I’m obviously the lame one in her life :)
On the way home she reiterated her whole day to me … painting, stories, colors, friends, playground, slide. And her summary, “Jemma had much fun!” She’s also been chatting all about her little friend, the one she was painting with in the photo from her teacher. It warms my heart that Jemma has already found a friend :) Her and what she refers to as “the boys”.
Yep, let the school years begin. I’m not ready, but I’ll get there soon.

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