Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First Day Recap

I sent my little petunias off to preschool/pre-k this morning and then did a happy dance. Well, in the form of a 4.5 mile run, but yeah. It was glorious(ly hot). But the rest was...weird.

The whole day was a little off, to be honest. The morning with the kids was great. After a full day of 4yo tantrums Monday, this morning was a breeze. Special toaster waffles with chocolate almond milk for breakfast, dressed in cute clothes, teeth brushed and even a cute picture in front of the house before hopping in the car for school.

Benjamin's drop-off was first. Apparently his school director sent out an email about an open house last week, but only some of the parents received it. I wasn't one of them and missed the open house. I was pretty bummed about that because I like to be informed. Plus, I want to know what the standard procedures/instructions are for the school. When I expressed my disappointment to the director, she told me I couldn't "do preschool wrong" (but seriously, couldn't you have called if you were concerned about email issues? Or text? I did sign up for text messages!).

We show up at 8:25 (for an 8:30 start) and not another parent is in the parking lot. Were we late? Early? I didn't know. We rang the doorbell and then rang it again. No answer. I knew people were inside, because I saw a teacher walk in a few minutes prior. I looked inside to see the director in her office with the light off. I picked up the phone and started calling. Just then, she opens the door. We were the first ones. Apparently drop off begins at 8:30 and they are really flexible about times. Weird. Benjamin's first two preschools were very prompt and had a set procedure that is necessary, IMO (and also the bonus of car drop-off and pickup).

We walk in and were then informed that they received his medical records and we weren't up-to-date on his shot records. Huh? We switched to a new doctor for insurance reasons at the beginning of his 4th year and apparently they didn't administer the shots he needed. I remember him having none, so it looks like we have to shell out a co-pay for shots. Ridiculous. Not her fault, but the delivery was off. I was just not getting the SUPER SUGARY SWEET INVITE you'd expect from an early school experience we are choosing and paying for. Anyway. I mean, you knew I missed the open house because your email system didn't send to half of the parents. And so at the very least, open the stupid door a couple minutes early on the very first day, you know? Turns out I could "do preschool wrong" at this point.

Pickup was just as odd. I walk in (after waiting for other parents to arrive... I learned), sign him out and then head to his room to pick him up. He's standing next to his teacher, washing his hands. His teacher is digging in a cabinet for changes of clothes and informed me that Benjamin did not have to use the bathroom at the designated time (stupid) and she thinks he "may have had an accident" but said she could be wrong. I look, I feel. I do the crotch grab mom move. Not a drop of water or pee or any type of excrement on him. So exactly what kind of accident? I told her it didn't appear so and then she told me I can bring a change of clothes to leave at school (which is when I told her that change of clothes she requested was in his backpack). Perhaps she could do a little checking.

I'm sure it's a good school. I'm not over the moon just yet. His school in Chicago was just really great. Other than the short hours, it was perfectly ideal for Benjamin. So we'll see. He was his usual self of not telling me anything, but that's not school specific; he never does.


Claire was through the moon about going off to her school. We dropped Benjamin off and then were early for her school, which I'm convinced might be run more like a daycare (some kids dropped off hours earlier) than a preschool. But our goal was social time and getting her into a structured environment. I'm not really counting on much more than that. And for $53/week for 7 hours, I doubt we'll be getting more than that. I think I'll just let her binge watch LeapFrog videos and practice her fine motor skills cutting things she isn't supposed to (because she does anyway) to fill in the gaps. At this age, Benjamin was definitely legit spelling his name and knew most of his letters.

We arrived early but Claire couldn't contain her excitement any longer, so we headed inside so I could learn where to put her things, etc. We put her stuff in the designated cubbies and it was off to play outside with her classmates. I signed her in 5 minutes early, hoping they don't charge me by the minute extra for first day excitement. When I arrived to pick her up, my iPhone read 2 minutes early. Their clock read 2 minutes late. The director sat nearby and didn't really acknowledge me. I stood there for some moments before asking if I was to go back and get her myself. I headed back to find her in the middle of about 15 cots (with hardly sleeping kids) just reading a book. I think that's what happens after lunch is over. Rest time or book time before pickup. All was fine, but I was expecting more of a verbal update on how things went and perhaps some parent coddling for first day dropoff and pickup.

Neither kid appeared to be phased by the transition to their new school environments and headed home like usual. The afternoon brought a short nap for Claire and lots of book reading with Benjamin before heading to the park. Claire cried her eyes out as we left because she was leaving behind new "friends" at the park she had just met. The usual evening routine and the day is over. From here on out, I will never have a kid who won't be in "school" of some kind.


Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I cried in the office at the school when I found out my 4 year old would be in a class with first graders. I cried every morning the first week of school for kinder and first. I managed to keep my shit together this year because I work there. But there was a struggle. All of this would have thrown me off the deep end. So odd.

Kari Wagner said... [Reply to comment]

I would have been pretty upset.
I mean, they are taking care of your children.
They need to inform you of their day.
Plain and simple.
I hope it goes smoother the rest of the week!

KMG2010 said... [Reply to comment]

how weird was all that?! Your paying these people good money and they basically ignore you, give you confusing answers, and and otherwise make you feel that you did something wrong? They really need to work on their communication skills! If it doesn't get better, I'd find a new school, at lest for B

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, lame. I hope both preschools prove to be wonderful and the first day weirdness was just a fluke.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sorry it didn't go as you hoped. But I'm glad they still seemed to enjoy their new environments and hope it becomes a place you all feel excited and happy about

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

Reading your account brings back memories of my first drop off for Sal at our current program. No interaction between teacher and parents. Drop at the door and then wait til they open it at dismissal and they send the kids out one by one. Give it time. It got better for us but that first month I was a mess wondering what the hell I signed us up for.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

That does seem weird. We get calls or texts with pictures every day the first week! But both girls go all day. Still, preschools are competitive around here and relationships with parents matter! I cried the whole morning after I dropped off Coco. I needed reassurance that she was doing fine. And I would at least expect a friendly greeting at the door!