Seems fitting that after closely documenting Josie’s first year of life and then taking a very long break that I should begin again with a Josie update.
She is 3, almost 3.5 somehow.
She started preschool two weeks ago, in the last week of August. She attends two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she is in a 3’s class of about 20 kids. She was, and still is, very excited about being in school! The whole summer one of her favorite games to play was “school” – however in all her simulations she was the teacher and I was the student. This is important information.
On her first day we all woke up in a bit of a tizzy: Zach was getting ready for work, I was not used to having to wake up at any certain time therefore had no inkling of what kind of time window I should work with on preschool mornings. Josie was not used to having to get dressed right away, actually eat her breakfast, etc. We managed, though! Drop-off was wonderful, Lindy and I enjoyed a nice quiet morning and then at 11:15am it was time to pick her up again!
Josie came running out the door all smiles, happy to see us and gave me a big hug and said “I was not a good listener and I made bad choices!!!!!” My heart sank. Her teacher asked to speak to me after all the other kids and parents left and let me know that Josie had had a rough first day. It turns out that when you fully believe you are the boss of everyone else in the entire world, it’s hard to be told otherwise! We face this challenge at home of course but on a much smaller, less overwhelming scale. Josie’s teacher was very encouraging and assured me that it was going to be a transitional period for the first several weeks for all these kids, especially the ones new to the classroom environment like Josie. Man, I was so disappointed and sad. I was so nervous all morning and even mornings leading up to that morning just hoping and praying Josie would have a good first week at school. We had enjoyed a really positive orientation morning the week before where she was so excited and well-behaved, it had really put my mind at ease! But still we were standing there having chats with the teacher on the first day about not kicking someone off the letter J on the alphabet carpet, just because our name starts with J!
The rest of my day was hard. I struggled with Josie going about her day like nothing had happened meanwhile I was so frustrated that she didn’t seem to care that she had made me feel like a horrible mother on her first day of school. We got through it and had lots of pep talks in the following day about using manners, being kind, making good choices.
When Thursday rolled around and it was time for her second day of preschool I prayed fervently that she would be in control of her feelings and remember to be kind to others. I prayed the night before. I prayed in the morning. I prayed in the parking lot after I dropped her off and all through her morning. She had a MUCH better day! Her teacher said everyone had a much better day. I was so incredibly relieved and proud and happy! Since then, her behavior has been good, she’s been getting good reports and really having fun. Yesterday (her 5th day of school) her teacher asked me to hang back again and my heart sank again – but this time it was to tell me that she had been wonderful in class and was a delight! My smart girl.
I feel that I’ll be on my toes for this whole year of preschool. Maybe because of the rocky start, maybe because my baby is gone to school for the first time and it’s such a roller coaster of emotions. I’m thrilled to have Lindy to myself for awhile each week and have peaceful mornings where I know Josie is having fun and learning so much. But it also begins the lifelong worrying that comes with her being in someone else’s care and hoping that what I am teaching her at home is helping her to be a kind, respectful and good human when she isn’t around me. Thank you Jesus for picking me to be her mom and teaching me so much through the experience! So much…. soooooooo much….