06 September 2011

Ode to a New School Year

Today was the first day of pre-kindergarten for Mirai. And we were on time. ON TIME. This is key because I am one of those people whose ancestors came over on the Juneflower because they missed the Mayflower. I will be late to my own funeral (and it was MY idea first, regardless of what the press and Elizabeth Taylor had to do with it). But she was in her room at 9:28am this morning for a 9:30am start. And she wasn't the last one there - there was one more boy who came in after. I'm seriously surprised this wasn't on the news tonight because this is HUGE! If you doubt me, there are two teachers from last year who, for a fee, will fill you in on my world record for "most successive days late" for the 2010-11 school year. And now I suspect that, precedent having been set, they'll always expect her to be on time.

Perhaps I didn't think this through all the way.

But Mirai had a Grand and Glorious first day of school. She took the opportunity to tell me, not once, but several times, just how much fun school was today! And, she solemnly announced that she had ALSO gone 'tee-tee' at school. Hey, I have realistic expectations of what goals are to be met for pre-k which include:

1) Waiting patiently in line for water fountain, playground equipment, lunch
2) Not eating any Crayola product nor autographing any walls, desks or clothing items
3) Going potty (both "big" and "small") in the appropriate restrooms
4) Not interrupting the teacher(s) with "You know what? (fill in the blank)" while they are attempting to impart knowledge to the class

And if she knows how to write the entire alphabet and her numbers by the year's end, BONUS!

Seriously, the difference between her abilities this year and last are huge. She has a much larger vocabulary and isn't shy about using it (see #4 above). She knows many of the children in her class because they were either in her class last year or attend Bible class and Bible Hour with her now (or both!) She has more confidence in herself and is very social and outgoing. And she's pretty much potty-trained now (okay, working on Big Potty, but we're on it...yes, this blog may have Too Much Information but get over it).

After I picked her up from school, we celebrated by going to Dairy Queen (yes! they still have one here in Katy) and got ice cream which is a big treat. She insisted on having her backpack on her lap on the drive home, took out her 'take-home folder' and proceeded to 'read' the papers inside. It was obvious to me that this was Important Big Stuff. I told her to just be sure and keep it all together so I could read it too when we got home.

I'm finding her tastes in literature have broadened greatly. We've graduated from Knuffle Bunny (although Big Knuffle and Baby Knuffle are still bedtime companions along with Blue and Eeyore) to the volumes by A.A. Milne and the Glorious tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. She also wants princess stories now that we've returned from Disneyland and the-oh-too-numerous-to-count rides through The Little Mermaid in the California Adventure. It helps that moi is able to mimic the voices from the movie (I do a mean Ursula and can do the singing of Ariel - hey, don't hate me; it's a talent!) And she's starting to do Bible story 'requests'. We have a children's Bible that we've read out of "like forever", having gone in order the first couple of times through and now try to reinforce whatever is being taught on Wed and Sun Bible class by reading those stories. Tonight I picked it up and started to read and she put her hand on it and said, "I think I want...Moses tonight". Bible On Demand - got one over on you, Comcast! :)

The combination of first days and cooler weather puts me in a fine mood. One that recalls Pumpkin Spice Lattes and zucchini bread. One that sends me to the Home Goods store looking for Halloween decorations (and finding them - oh, did I ever find them...) Even gets me thinking about perhaps cleaning out closets and Christmas decorating. Okay, I squelched the "cleaning out closets" idea pretty quickly. And the 'cooler temp' was mid-80's. But when you've lived through triple-digit temps for the I-don't-remember-how-many-months summer, mid-80's is almost arctic in comparison.

So here's to the New School Year. Here's to new backpacks and lunchboxes. To the smell of new Crayons. To new clothes and matching hair bows. To "Look, Gramma, I did it all by myself!" artwork. To leaps and bounds of learning. To the teachers who make the Magic for the children.

And, lest we forget, to a few hours to get much-needed-maintenance (read "mani-pedi" here), browsing the shops a little and regaining a little sanity.

Because frankly, if you're gonna be late, you might as well look as good as you can doing it!

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