|1st day of preschool|
Well, after chickening out last week, I finally got up the courage to actually take Marshall to the Montessori preschool we enrolled him in :)
I made Jerad come with me so that if the drop-off was traumatizing I would have some moral support. We dropped him of at about 8 in the morning. He was excited and kept talking about "going to the little blue school," which by the way is white but has a blue house next door, and "seeing some new friends."
When we got there we walked inside, and after saying hi to the teachers Jerad and I turned to leave. He tried to come with us and I told him he was going to stay at school and play with friends and I'd be back to pick him up later.
He made a face that was basically the toddler equivalent of a shrug, and went and got out some puzzles. Jerad and I had a few more papers to sign in another classroom and after we were finished we peeked in the window on the way back to the car. He was just sitting and quietly playing. Score!
All day I worried about if he was asking for me, or crying, or scared, or just being traumatized in general. Because Jerad and I both work, he's used to spending large portions of time away from us but its always been with either my mom, or our Nanny (who started when he was around 5 months old), and not in a childcare setting with multiple teachers and children and schedules etc. The program is over at 3:30 (the "preschool portion" technically runs 9:30-3:30 but is open from 7-5:30 to accommodate working parent's schedules). The plan is for him to go Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7-3:30ish. My mom will pick him up on Mon and Thurs when she can, and when she can't he'll be there till a little after 5. Wednesday he'll stay home with Miller and the Nanny, then I'm off Friday.Its just sooo long! I'd never send him to "school" that long at this age if I was staying home.
I got there to pick him up right at 3:30 and.... he wasn't even excited to see me or Miller. He was outside playing and just wanted to show me a big firetruck toy like it was no big deal I'd left him in this new place "alone" for 7.5 hours. Every teacher came over to tell me that he did AMAZING and the director couldn't believe it was his first day. They said he didn't cry or ask for us once...which kind of hurt a little honestly, but they assured me it just means he's well adjusted, confident, and securely attached to us so he doesn't have to worry that we won't be coming back. He played, and shared well with the other kids, followed all the directions, had fun with the different works, ate all his food, napped (on a mat?!?), comforted the kids who were sad, and acted like he'd been going there for years.
When we left he turned around and waved and said "Bye Miss Amy, Bye Miss Tiffany, bye friends, see ya later!" Then on the way home he kept asking for "more school." So I guess he had a good time and wasn't traumatized after all.
On the way home we stopped and got a "Jamba" for a treat. The whole ride he was singing songs and talking about different things that I'm guessing they did in class. When we got home he asked if we could watch "Teacher Blue" which is a Blue's Clue's episode where they are in school and Blue is the teacher.
This morning Jerad dropped him off and he walked right in, said hi to everyone, told Jerad "I love you Daddy, see you later!" then walked over and sat down at a table. Which is extra nice because they told us that day #2 would probably be the hardest day because he would realize that we would be leaving him.
I'm so glad. SO GLAD. Like I said before I've really struggled with this decision. Its pricey. Its a long time. But so far it seems like he loves it. Here is a really great description and list of some of the benefits of a Montessori education for children ages 0-6 if you aren't familiar with the method: Benefits of the Montessori Method.