I remember the first day of parent/child class last September. Isabelle didn’t play with the toys. Instead she opened drawers and got a hold of things she wasn’t supposed to touch. She put her hands in a bowl of water and spilled it all over the floor. She didn’t participate in circle time, refused to eat the snack, and ran away from story time. Truth be told, I was a sweaty mess by the end of the morning since I was busy chasing after her and trying to keep her safe!
Today, I walked out of the building as refreshed as I was when I arrived with Isabelle in tow this morning. Isabelle knew where her classroom was and walked there immediately. She took off her own shoes before playing. She got reacquainted with her classroom’s toys while I caught up with her teacher and met some of the new moms. She engaged in pretend play with trucks, the classroom kitchen, and the baby cradle.
But more than those things, she helped her teacher prepare the morning snack alongside her best buddy, Jack. The two of them were the youngest kids in the class last year. Now they’re practically the oldest. Together, they helped clean up the bakers’ table and even did the dishes together once the class finished snacking. That never happened last year. What a difference a year makes!
Besides being a year older, I think the predictable rhythm of the parent/child class helps. Isabelle knew what to expect. She knew her job was to play. She knew she could help at the bakers’ table. She knew the dishes needed to be cleaned before story time could begin. I was so impressed with the way she just flowed through the classroom (and right out the door to recess).
First days of school become less and less predictable as kids get older. Teachers change. Classrooms change. Sometimes buildings change. But for now, just a few of the faces have changed in her classroom. For the most part, everything has stayed the same, which works for us.
In the car, as we drove home from school, I asked Isabelle, “Did you have fun at school today?”
“Yes!” she replied with delight.
It is my hope her enthusiasm and love for school continues as she continues on her educational journey!