Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Boy's first day of kindergarten

So it was interesting. He slept fairly well the night before, but got up early and fidgety. From his being extremely close after climbing into our bed this morning, we knew he was anxious. On the way there, the closer we got, the more he resisted so that I was more or less dragging him through the doors. We found his class list in the six taped to the trophy case in the lobby; there were a lot of kids bouncing and streaming everywhere. It turns out that his class is the smallest kindergarten section with 20 kids; the others have between 23-25. We don't recognize a single name.

We're allowed into his classroom today (and for the rest of the week), and my lovely wife, Q, and I introduce ourselves to his teacher and try to make him feel at home by encouraging him to draw or to build blocks or to read a familiar book. Nothing works, really, and by the time they start ushering the parents out, The Boy is flat out sobbing. Never a good moment when the school psychologist comes up and introduces herself.

We left him there rather upset, and made our way to the cafeteria with other parents and younger kids for complimentary coffee and pastries. After about a half hour (and after Q had plucked all the raisins out of the right triangle of scone we weren't quite eating), we went back to steal a peek into his classroom. The Boy was sitting quietly in a circle with the other kids. My wife went to work, and Q and I went to eat the rest of our breakfast amongst the ducks and the fish out front of our building.

At 11 a.m., Q and I went to pick him up. He and his classmates came out in a neat, tentative line. When he was dismissed, I took his hand and walked him back home for lunch. He talked at length about all the rules and what his teacher had told him about his class and his school. I asked whether he liked it. He put his cheek on my hand that held his and said, "I loved it." For the rest of the day, he'd insert comments about kindergarten, such as the "behavior bee" — a stuffed toy that a well-behaved student gets to take home for the night. At one point he said, "I can't wait to go to school tomorrow" and then later "I can't wait to eat lunch at school." We'll still see about that last one.

Given his glide into preschool, we were surprised by how firmly anxiety seized him this time. (It seems clear that, like his father, he lives more and more in his head. Sorry about that, son; at least you got mom's hair.) But given how much he loves other kids — and rules — we weren't at all surprised with the view of school that he came home with today. May P.S. 89 provide him with enough to keep him looking to the next day until June.

Q's first day of preschool, which arrives next week, should also be, well, interesting. Particularly for her teachers. We shall certainly see what happens when the immovable object meets the irresistible force.


Nadine said...

Kindergarten already, wow, he sure is a big boy.

Q is 3 years, right? Is 3 the regular age for children to start preschool? Here it's 2.5 years (Monkey's age) but I'm thinking it is still a bit too soon. Children start kindergarten at 4 here. I don't even want to think of it yet!

teahouse said...

Wow, kindergarten!! Sounds like the whole day went pretty smoothly.

Re your comment about in-house, I actually used to work in-house! Unfortunately, my in-house experience was awful - mean boss, long hours (working until 10, 11 at night) plus a horrible commute. I was so happy to get out of there and back to a firm!