Melody started pre-school on the 12th, going Monday through Thursday for the afternoon. The first day we both dropped her off. My wife was way more nervous, but as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse she has many reasons to be nervous. Letting her baby out the door where she can’t protect her is scary shit! She definitely cried more than me, which was a nice change.
At drop-off I went into the classroom with her, showed her where her cubby was, and got her settled because she was confused. And then it was time for hugs and to leave. She didn’t cry. I teared up a bit outside, but it wasn’t bad because I had ‘things to do’, namely, visiting the nurse. It turns out Hep B is a required vaccine for school and we didn’t get it. She’s in process but she just needed that confirmed.
It’s already blurry, but I don’t think my wife was with us for pickup because she’s struggling with health things. Melody told me about her day. The video is somewhere below (from the 12th obviously) thanks to Instagram. She was beyond exhausted. Our guides said part of that was from working so hard to focus at school and listen to the teacher. The other part was all the adrenaline from her excitement.
Tuesday she did great. Before school she walked on the larger rocks they use for landscaping. My thought process was to engage her brain and body, allowing her to focus better in school. If I ask her to stand in line she’s burning through her willpower for no reason. Besides, it’s good for her brain! Yet the number of parents who were pissed because they then had to yell at their kids to get off the rocks was probably about 50% of those there. I don’t care. I know a bit about neurology, my daughter, and rocks. There’s no downside to this approach. I dropped her off, only briefly got her settled, got my hug, and she was off. She was far more energetic after as well and was excited to have done art and played in the kitchen.
She was sick Wednesday and Thursday and since she has a special needs kid in her class we definitely wanted to be responsible parents. So this week is really getting into the swing of things. First off, I suck at time management. So Monday we were a few minutes late (not a big deal though, and not the only ones). But she ran into the room without a hug until I reminded her. I have to admit, I love that my daughter loves school like I did.
Monday she was excited to tell me she learned a kid’s name. I’ve asked her this every day. On day 2 she learned the teacher’s name. Then she learned this girl’s name because she was out sick. Today I got to meet her and she’s adorable of course. Today she learned a boy’s name, though I’m not sure if Needo is his actual name or not. I’ll check the roster tomorrow. Also, on Monday they got to play basketball in some gym we didn’t know existed. She got to have art class and draw herself. It was a good day for her.
Tuesday I managed to get her there just a few minutes early, so less time on the rocks. But she did meet kids from the next classroom over and they talked a little. After school went to leave and I forgot to buckle her into her seat. Thankfully I taught her early to tell me so we didn’t leave like that. I was really running at C- level of parenting so far.
Today we managed to get there early and I ended up being ‘me’. Who’s that? That’s the butch parent who is sitting on the ground with 4 year olds sorting through rocks and finding pretty ones or neat ones. The one talking to them, listening to their stories and trying to engage. The one explaining that spiders are afraid of them because they are bigger. It’s awesome and I hope it’s breaking down a few more walls. Who knows, maybe I’ll befriend some parents this way? Yesterday I talked to one of the mom’s in the next classroom. Her kid keeps crying. I made sure to chat with her not only because she’s a fellow parent, but because I know as a black woman who wears a headscarf she gets too much racist bullshit from people and I wanted to make her day a little better. She seemed nice. I didn’t see her today though.
Here’s one of the best parts of preschool from our perspective. White kids are the minority. Easily. There are kids of all different colors, with different languages being spoken. The families range across socioeconomic classes. The kids with disabilities are in the classrooms, not isolated. They go out and do their own things for the IEP, but there’s still that interaction. One kid in her class is in a wheelchair. We aren’t sure if he’s verbal, but we watched him get to show his teachers how good he was doing with a walker and I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone happier. He was ecstatic! And I’ll say this without any intention to sound like inspiration porn, but I don’t know the right way to say this. I’m glad my daughter and all those kids are seeing a kid in a wheelchair in their room because he belongs there. It shouldn’t be abnormal for them. Hopefully this sets their synapses to see different types of people as just like them instead of scary or something.
What other thoughts? I set an alarm on my phone because I keep almost forgetting to leave on time. Even with the reminders it’s hard because the time goes by so fast!
I’m super proud of how much she loves school and looks forward to it. I wish I knew what happened more, but I have to let go of that right? Next year it’s way worse since she’ll be in full day kindergarten.
I really hope she ends up making friends so she can have a birthday party this year. She’s never had one. Five is a good age for that I think.
I guess those are all my thoughts for now. I’m so glad we got her into free pre-school. It’s destroyed my schedule but it’s so good for her. And I’m learning to focus better for work because I have to. Hopefully we can keep making this work.