I was soooo worried- for lots of reasons...
1) He is a clinger to his momma
2) He cried every time I ever dropped him off ever at his school last year
3) We are at a new school this year
4) I am a mom and I worry. That's my job.
We moved to a new school this year because I only wanted Jay in a half day program. Last year it was all day and he took terrible naps there which consequently led to snarky afternoons which led to a worn out momma. I actually ended up picking him up from school at noon last year just so he could nap at home!
This school is closer to our house,
Two weeks ago, his two teachers actually came over to our house to meet him there. I LOVED this concept. They met him in HIS environment, with HIS things, on HIS terms. Nothing scary. Just some new friends coming over to play. He was initially shy (of course), but opened up to them in a matter of minutes. He then went on having full conversations with them, showing them his iPad and his toys, and making them watch YouTube videos of himself. Then he started showing off- doing tricks, being silly, and just basically flirting! When they left he asked repeatedly for the next two hours, "Where my people go? Where my people go mommy?" For some reason, his teachers are now his peeps. Nice.
The teachers were absolutely beyond incredible. They are the sweetest, kindest women and I'm SO thankful for them. They are patient and loving and interested. And they make you feel like your kid is the most important kid in the whole world. Can't ask for better than that! The home visit also allowed them to see what he was into (ANIMALS), so they could have some special things set out for him when he got there.
I was still a little nervous about starting him AT school, though. The first week of school, they divide the class into two groups. One group comes for a shortened day, and then the next group comes for a shortened day. They encourage the parents to stay for a while the first day, then gradually trim down the time they stay in the class the next day. They are also totally willing to let the parents stay all day if they want! Seriously, dream school!
So we got dressed (Jay picked out his outfit), and headed outside for a photoshoot! Mr. wasn't really in the mood to take several pictures, so this is what we got... I actually love love love them!
SO cute in his elephant backpack!
This is Jay! Fun, cheesy, silly... I absolutely adore this picture!!
Charley got all dolled up for the occasion, too! :)
My sister kept Charley for me so I could focus solely on Jay. We talked it up- we were going to see his people! At his new school! With new friends! And I convinced him they had animals to play with (please JESUS let them have animals). And he wanted to play puzzle pieces. Animal puzzle pieces he told me! Oh my....
We walked into his class and there were LOTS of animals! Animals on the walls, animals on the windows, animals in the sensory table, animal puzzles out, farms and barns on the floor for animals! Even the art of the day was animals! Turns out, the first month's unit is FARMS! SCORE!!!!!!
A pig in the mud. How perfect! It's already on our fridge (with the animal magnets of course!)
To say Jay was in heaven is an understatement! He was so so so happy! He moved from one thing to the next. And he talked away. He didn't stop talking. The teachers were cracking up (he's the only "talker" so far in his class). The other moms slipped away. I took it as my cue to head out, too. But then one boy started screaming crying. And Jay got a little stressed. "Why Jackson crying mommy? What wrong with Jackson mommy?" So I stayed for a few more minutes until the teachers got the little boy calmed down enough. Then I told Jay I was going to run to the store for a bit. He said ok and I left. No tears, nothing. I peeked back in because certainly he was going to be so upset when he realized what happened, and he was FINE. Playing animals, talking with his people, looking around.
And I realized that I was thankful. As selfish as I wanted to be thinking how much he would need me, I am even more thankful that he didn't need me. I was so thankful that his teachers were loving and caring towards him. Thankful that they created an environment that was so happy that he wanted to stay and play. My little boy. Growing up. How in the WORLD am I going to handle college one day?!
When I went back to get him, he was SO proud to show me everything he had done! When I told him it was time to go leave, he started crying. Ha! Shows me! He didn't want to leave- "No go bye bye Mommy!" I even tried to coax him out telling him that we were meeting up with JJ and Jill at Costco (three of his very favorite things) to have Costco Pizza (his most favorite food in the world and the one thing he requests every. single. day.). "No go Costco Mommy! No have Costco Pizza! Stay at school and pway wif my people!" Ha!
Needless to say, day 1 was a success.
And then there was day 2.
I know that sometimes the excitement wears off and the reality sets in after the first day of school.
Not for this guy. He ran in, started playing, and cried when I came to pick him up.
Way to go, buddy. Way to go!
I prayed so so so hard for a positive school experience for Jay. I am still praying that it continues to be a happy, positive, loving experience for him. Sometimes I wonder if teachers know how BIG of a role they play in a child's life. I am guessing Jay's teachers this year know- we are so blessed!
PS- His teachers kept me after the first day to talk a little. They were impressed with his speech and vocabulary, but more than that, they were shocked at his love for animals. They couldn't get over how OCD he was with them, how he hoarded them all over, and how he lined them up and played with them. Needless to say, I am directing them to my blog. And they have NO idea what they are in store for with his love of animals.... heeheehee