Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Open House, Part Two

The thing is, I used to be against preschool.

I just didn’t think it was necessary for my kids. The boys have a nanny, who I’ve known since I was in high school, and I’ve loved and trusted her from day one. The fact that she is from El Salvador and speaks no English was a huge bonus to me. It meant the boys would be exposed mostly to Spanish, and I wanted to keep that going for as long as possible. Plus, preschool for two children would be expensive, and who needs that? I watched several of my friends research schools last spring, tour them all, get on waiting lists and then agonize over the decision. Oh, hell, no, I thought.

But then Secondo qualified for the preschool class at our public school, and P and I started feeling a little bad for Primo. He would be lonely without Secondo, probably. We don’t have too many playdates, so he doesn’t see other kids all that often. And he’s such a cheerful, outgoing child that he would probably love being with other kids at preschool.

So I contacted a preschool. It’s a short walk from the house. That was seriously my only criterion. Primo and I went on a tour, and he walked into the classroom like he owned the place. My guide talked the school up. That’s okay, lady, I thought. As long as you aren’t torturing small children in the basement, really, I’m good. But I just nodded. Since this was just last month, there was a waiting list, so I put Primo on it and crossed my fingers.

I got the call fifteen minutes after Secondo’s open house was over. It was last minute, the director said. There was a parents’ meeting that night, and an open house the next day. I got the wrong information about the class would be in, so we went to the wrong open house. I was bummed—again--when I found out there were three Spanish-speaking parents there, too. Primo will be in the other class, the one for younger children, starting tomorrow. In the end, it doesn’t matter. He loved it. It will be good.

Today was Secondo’s first day. We were going to take the bus, Primo, Secondo, their nanny and I, so I could show her how to get there if she ever needs to pick him up. But the bus was late, so we had to pile into the car and rush over. P was waiting there. We all walked in, and Secondo headed for the toy school bus again. I kissed him goodbye and told him I was leaving. It didn’t seem to register. Then we closed the door behind us and I looked through the window for just a few seconds. When he looked up and seemed to realize I’d left, I quickly moved away so he wouldn't see me. Didn’t you cry? my friends asked me later. I would have. No, I said. I just wanted to get away from there to make life easier for him and his teacher.

P told me his was just fine, if clingy, when he picked him up. Ms. C told him Secondo named several foods and ate a rice cake. That was the summary of the day. I looked through his daily log as soon as I got home from work. Great first day! it read in neat script. Secondo used lots of words! Underneath was a little list: cracker, raisin, more.

That is a good first day.


Anonymous said...

Awwww... I love your preschool stories, Lady. Kisses to both your boys from my little gal, who is coming into her own at day care this week, despite having a cold. :-)


Carrie-in-TN said...

Best of luck and good things at pre-school for your boy...