Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another First

Shea started part-time preschool last week.

Despite the fact that she had been excitedly talking about going to big-girl school for months, that she had a brand-new backpack and lunchbox ready for the occasion, that she had her own cubbyhole with her name on it (with stickers, even!), and that I had stayed for nearly three hours of orientation on our previous visit to help her learn the ropes, she had a pretty little princess MELTDOWN when it was time for me to leave her on her own.

Here she is just moments before my departure, composed and eager for the day ahead. Or so it seemed.

The last thing I saw when I left Shea's classroom was her fitful body squirming on the ground in protest of my unfeeling abandonment, as her patient teacher tried to redirect her attention elsewhere.

Her screams, however, could be heard all the way into the corridor -- and even out in the parking lot.

All morning I kept my cellphone in my pocket, expecting the inevitable call to come collect her and rid them of her dramatic shenanigans. But the call, surprisingly, never came.

At the regularly scheduled pick-up time, I tentatively approached the classroom, half expecting to see Shea huddled in a corner, pouting or sticking her tongue out at her classmates. What I saw, however, was my nearly three-year-old daughter depositing her lunch trash in the rubbish bin by herself on her way to the bathroom to wash her own hands. She even had a smile on her face.

"Fifteen seconds," was the definitive pronouncement the teacher made when I entered the classroom. "Fifteen seconds after you left, I asked her if she wanted to go play with her friends outside and she said, 'O.K.'"

And so, with a sigh of relief and further appreciation of the refined art of distraction, begins another child's scholastic journey.

All's well that begins well, I say.


Janice said...

She is SO cute! Now Mommy gets a bit of a break during the day too...Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

She looks adorable! I bet she'll ace preschool in no time...

Grandma said...

Like Uncle (Eddie) like niece.... just a few seconds, I guess for affect!

Karen said...

I started reading this blog when Shea was still a baby. Amazing.

How is life in Hawaii? I have a small proposal for you regarding a small plastic duck, the mail service, and a school project from a class in Iowa. Email me! :)