Monday, September 08, 2008

Back to School

It's quite a day: Bud turned two, and started preschool. It's hard to imagine that just two years ago yesterday, I was trying to fall asleep on a hospital floor while awaiting Bud's first appearance, and today, I was sitting in a mini-classroom, trying to squeeze my ass into a bright yellow kid's chair. Neither was comfortable...and I wasn't ready for either. But, like life and parenting, you've always gotta keep moving forward.

6:40am, and I was still feeling the effects of yesterday's second birthday party. No, not a hangover, not from alcohol, at least. Running around chasing kids, while manning the camera, and putting down pizza and cake (more than I should in an attempt to justify what I was paying for!) followed by opening and assembling the new toys will take its toll on anyone. By the way, the toys have moved from music-y, block-y, plastic-y baby toys to girl-y, princess-y, ballerina-y girl toys. Newmommy wakes me up. I'm taking today off from work, but yet, I'm waking up at the same time.

7:35am, we wake up Bud. The wake up routine is somewhat easy: we look at her, she looks at up with a big "Hiiiiiiiiiii. Have good dre-ams." We sing happy birthday.

8:25am. We give ourselves an extra 15 minutes before the trip to the preschool for pictures. What is this, a friggin' wedding? Bud alone...Bud with mommy....Bud with daddy. Daddy with the backpack....Mommy with a bagel, etc. 30 pictures total..what did they do before digital photography?

8:55am. Bud's running through the school towards the classroom, not realizing that her two-decades full of studying, tests and state capitals are awaiting her at the other side of the door.

9:00am. Studying, tests and state capitals are obviously a long way off. This year it's dress-up, blocks manipulatives and art. She begins playing with an animal/barn set very similar to what she has in her own playroom. She seems to like it.

9:15am. Bud shows little interest in the art project, but seems to be slowly acclimating to the environment. A bit hesitant, until the teacher announces that we're heading outside to the playground. She said the magic word.

9:30am. Newdaddy asks his first neurotic-parent question of the teacher: "How can you watch 12 kids in such a big playground." Answer: we're more spread out than usual because we have the parents here...but we usually focus on a smaller area. When more classes are out here, the teachers take "zones." OK, acceptable answer.

9:45am. Snack. Bud is very interested in Cheerios....and drinking water out of a cup. She got about half in the mouth and half on her dress. That teacher better improve that ratio before June! 10am. We leave. It's a short session today, parents admitted. On Wednesday, it's a full day, parents optional.

When Bud gets up from her nap, we're going to celebrate in a more traditional style: with some ice cream. All in all, I think Bud did great. Newmommy...well, she has more adjusting to do! I'm sure she'll do great too. That is, of course, until it's time to drop her off at college. But that's a few years away!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Things I Learned in Pre-School Orientation

Bud starts pre-school on Monday, which also happens to be her second birthday. This past Thursday night, I attended pre-school orientation. Here are some things I learned.

1. "Peanut Free" is different from "Peanut Aware." When asked if the school is "Peanut Free," the administrator responded, "no, but we are peanut aware, meaning that we don't serve peanuts or anything with peanuts, but don't control what kids bring to school." Nobody I knew growing up had a peanut allergy- how is it that this has suddenly become such a huge issue?

2. Pre-Schools have their own "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. If you kid gets bitten, you are notified, but they won't tell you who bit your kid. Isn't that unconstitutional...isn't there something in there about confronting your kid's biter? The administrator did point out, however, that the kids usually tell their parents who the culprit was.

3. Toys are now called "Manipulatives." The pre-school gives kids the opportunity to stack, sort and play with "manipulatives." Back in my peanut-loving preschool days, they were called "blocks."

4. The kid of the parents in the row behind me is potty trained. Honor student. I hope they grade on a curve here.

In all seriousness, this school looks like it's going to be really fun for Bud. If you were to close your eyes and picture a nursery school teacher...her new teacher is what you'd come up with. The place looked to be run very professionally (much more than I expected from a nursery school), which made me feel like we made the right choice. On Monday, Bud's formal education begins...and I'll be taking the day off.