I sent my firstborn to preschool this week, and the whole experience was much more painless than I expected. I was anticipating some clinginess and a whole lot of tears, but she proved me wrong and I got none of that! I completely underestimated my daughter.
I woke up at the crack of dawn to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything I had packed the night before. Stash of diapers – check. Extra outfit – check. Extra pair of closed-toe shoes – check. Sunblock – check. Wipes – check. Blanket and bed-sheet – check. Check check check!!
I also prepared her lunch the night before – this was what she got in her first day Bento:
My bentos of choice are the two-layer ones. I usually put the veggies and fruit in one layer and the protein and grains in another. Here we have some cherry tomatoes, green grapes, peas, and some sliced up steamed dumplings. We are fans of the Ling Ling dumplings found at Costco! This Bento only cost me $1.50 at Daiso, and I got the silicone cups at Daiso too. It’s a Japanese store where everything is $1.50 unless specified otherwise. I’ve found some gems there, including some great ceramics!
When I woke her that morning I made a big deal about it being a special day and that I was taking her to a place where she’ll have lots of new friends. I kept telling her how exciting and fun preschool would be! So off we went, with everything in tow. When I dropped her off at the classroom, she was mesmerized by all the toys and the different atmosphere. She immediately ventured off and started playing. I grabbed her for a quick hug and kiss and said, “Mommy is going bye bye now and will pick you up after naptime. Have a great day and be a good girl ok?” – she hardly noticed when I left. I observed from the window for a few more minutes and still no meltdown. I was shocked and amazed.
Later, I asked the teacher how Noelle did and the response was, “She was so good! She was our success of the day! She cried a little bit at first, but after that she cooperated so well and even ate her lunch. Actually, she was the only one that ate. All the teachers here love her… plus she’s so cute!” – I can’t tell you how happy and PROUD that made me, especially since I have never seen her warm up to strangers her entire life. This is the girl who ducks her head between my legs like an ostrich every time she’s around unfamiliar faces. She is the girl who won’t even crack a smile or make a peep while out in public. She continues to surprise me.
Generally, she has always been slow to warm up to adults, but is wonderful with other kids. Maybe the preschool environment is less intimidating for her because the ratio of kids to adults is greater. My little girl is blossoming before my eyes and it is a bittersweet feeling. I am learning to release her as she moves from stage to stage, all the while knowing this is time I will never get back. She will never be as she is right here, right now… ever again.
I also really felt the many prayers covering her to make her first day a wonderful one. Truly. Friends and family have been praying so much for her and we definitely sensed it. God is really watching over my little girl and I feel so at peace knowing she will always be in good hands.
With a grateful heart… Ange