Monday, 12 September 2011

Day one

Yesterday was Caleb's first full day of Kindergarten. Of course, with graduated entry, it means that he doesn't start in every day until this coming Friday. Yesterday it was just him and one other boy with the teacher, all day, to help ease them into their new surroundings.

I will admit, I did feel an odd little twinge when the school bus drove up over the hill and down to our bus stop. I was fine all morning; in fact, mornings are such a rush to get up and out the door that there is little time to emote over anything. But as I gave Caleb an extra push up each HUGE bus step, and watched him bounce after Colin to find a seat, and then as the bus driver drove away before Caleb could really get properly seated, a felt a little twinge.

I didn't have long to dwell on it because James was late for work and Benjamin was still in his pyjamas and the kitchen was a disaster zone. I worked away for the next half hour until it was time to leave for my workout. Only then did the thought cross my mind that maybe I should have followed the bus to school, or at least I could have driven over to the school before my workout to see Caleb get off the bus and into the school. But by that point it was too late - the bus would have already arrived and the kids all go inside right away. So with very little fuss, it was all over.

I will say, I am relishing the time with just one of my babies. First we worked out at the church, and Benjamin ran around with the other children. Then I got some gas, swung home for my cell phone (I actually charged it and gave the teacher the phone number, which I had to retrieve from somewhere inside the phone, since I don't know the number myself!), and then swung Benjamin up into my baby carrier and walked up to the Early Years Centre to meet up with some friends. But amazingly, I actually followed Benjamin around for a lot of the time, playing with play-doh and doing some painting. In the past, the Centre was always about a little break for me, some adult conversation and a distraction for the boys. But with just one kid, I felt like I could engage in some of the activities with him and it didn't use up every ounce of available energy in me!

Lunch with just one is also peaceful. Then naptime for Benjamin - and cleaning and small projects for me. I've had trouble getting to sleep at night, so I'm trying to cut out my afternoon nap. Again, with just one kid to see to, I'm hoping I'll have a reserve of energy to get me through the day. After nap Benjamin and I went on a lovely aimless walk - where I let Benjamin dictate which way we go.

When it finally came time to pick the boys up (and the bus was 30 minutes late!) two very tired boys descended the tall bus steps and made their way home.

"So, how was your first day? What was your favourite part?" I queried Caleb. He paused for a moment to reflect.
"Mom, the ham sandwich you made for me was AWESOME!" came the reply.
"I'm so glad you liked it," as I muffle laughter. "What else about school did you like?"
"The banana was so good. And the cucumber."
"But what about your teacher? Did she do anything neat?"
"Yes. When it was recess, I was so hungry and she got my granola bar out of the wrapper."

I did manage to get out of him that he also really liked playing games on the computer, which he all he has been talking about since last Tuesday when he had his meet-and-greet with the teacher. He didn't get to play it then, and she promised he could play the computer when he started full days.

The only other thing Caleb mentioned is that he wasn't tired at naptime and kept getting up from his mat and the teacher kept telling him to lie down. I sort of did that on purpose. Caleb had been up late the night before and woke at 5am that morning, so I knew by 1:30 he would be beyond tired and acting up to boot. I hope it was a good demonstration to the teacher that it would not be a good idea for Caleb to stay at school and skip his nap.

Now Caleb has the next three days off, and will officially start full time on Friday. Of course, I'd already planned a trip out of town, so I'm picking the boys up at lunch. And there is a big back to school celebration parade and picnic Friday morning, so it should be a good day.

I got a call from my friend today, who was Colin's teacher last year. Apparently Caleb's teacher shared this anecdote with her at school today: yesterday while Caleb and the one other boy there were sitting on the carpet at "circle time" Caleb, exasperatedly exclaimed "Are we going to do this all day?!!!"

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