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Friday, April 18, 2008  

School's In

Friday was M. Small's first day of school.

Okay, not really. He was only there for a couple of hours. And it was Montessori school, not kindergarten or grad school. But we thought it would be wise for use to make a gradual transition, to minimize the shock. Plus it might be easier on him as well.

You know all the clich├ęs about the mom walking the kid, in his Sunday best, to the bus stop or the school's front door early in the morning and having a tearful separation. Well, that wasn't exactly how it happened.

While I was at work, Trash took M. Small out for breakfast, and then brought him by the Montessori school he'll be starting next month, just for a two-hour visit. "So what are you going to be doing?" I asked Trash. "Are you going to be, like, doing activities with the kids, or just sort of watching from the sidelines?"

"I don't know," Trash said nervously. She figured she'd leave that up to the teachers, and to M. Small.

"Well, either way, you're going to get pretty bored in two hours," I warned. And that was the last time I talked to her before she got to the school.

When they arrived, Trash brought him in, where he quickly joined the circle of twelve or thirteen kids sitting on the floor and singing songs. He felt a little off-balance because they weren't songs he knew -- nothing from the Cars soundtrack or Amy Winehouse, as much as M. Small loves singing the "noooo, noooo, no" part of "Rehab."

So the singing went on for a minute or so. He remained a bit shy, until he noticed a rocket picture on the wall.

"Do you like rockets?" the boy next to him asked.

"Oh, sure," M. Small said.

"We can color pictures of rockets," the boy informed him.

"Okay!" M. Small said happily.

"Well, goodbye," the teacher said to Trash.

"You totally got the bum's rush!" I said to Trash when she told me this from her car as she drove away, five minutes after she and M. Small had walked into the place. She told me about all the well-behaved other kids listening and doing exactly what they were told and being good, and we fretted about M. Small, with his high energy and low tolerance for structure, being a chaotic influence or having an accident or having some kind of social anxiety attack and freaking the hell out or just peeing his pants.

But when Trash picked him up a couple hours later, he was fine, and happy, and looking forward to his next session. There had been a time-out imposed during his visit, but not on him. And even the staff was hoping to see him again soon.

So there we are. He wasn't traumatized at all by spending two hours with strangers. It was an unqualified success.

He's growing up, in other words.


posted by M. Giant 9:10 PM 7 comments


Reminds me of my Mom's story of my first day at school. It was also a 2 hour getting to know you session. Aparently, when she picked me up at school to take me how I started to cry and spent the entire way home crying, "Mommy please don't make me go, please let me go back, please let me go back!"

Apparently it took me a week to realize I could go back every day, just like my brother.

By Blogger Grunt, at April 19, 2008 at 9:12 AM  

Aww. Somehow, I'm not surprised. Congratulations on a great kid, you guys.

By Blogger kmckee7, at April 19, 2008 at 5:53 PM  

First of all, having read for some years now of M. Small's social abilities, none of his responses to Montessori surprises me. That strikes me as the sort of atmosphere that was MADE for a boy such as yours.

Secondly, I'm right there with you. STOP GROWING UP SO FAST, DAMMIT!!!!!!!!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 19, 2008 at 6:32 PM  

Wow. Yeah. How can this be happening already?

By Blogger Febrifuge, at April 19, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

I must say, if you're going to be heartbroken by M. Small's social facility and general awesomeness, you're going to be sad a lot. In many ways, it's really your own fault. I say buck up -- he could still become a bitter misanthrope someday. Fingers crossed!

By Blogger Linda, at April 19, 2008 at 8:05 PM  

My son started riding the bus by himself at 2.5 (he's autistic and was in special ed preschool). It broke my heart putting my tiny little boy on that big bus, but he loved it. He didn't mind riding a strange bus to a school he had visited only a few times to hang out all afternoon with total strangers. Nope. It was all way too cool to him.

Very hard on Mom. Not so much on the kid.

Hugs to you, Trash, and M.Small. It'll still be awhile before he's M.Allgrownup

By Blogger Bunny, at April 20, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

Yeah, I had a hard time letting go when my boys started going to preschool. Up until that point, I could get a daily report from the babysitter or my husband, or whoever was taking care of them that day. And then all of a sudden, you have to rely on the kids to tell you what happened in their day at school. Four-year olds aren't the most expressive when you ask them "How was your day?" and "What did you do?" We had to get very specific in the questions we were asking them, and even then they weren't giving up much. I remeber asking my younger son who he sat next to at circle time, and he replied "Nobody." He went on to concoct a whole story about Nobody. Nobody is a boy in his class who likes to play chase at recess, etc. etc. While we loved the creative expression, we did't get any closer as to what actually went on in school that day....

Best wishes to M. Small as he begins his academic career....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 20, 2008 at 11:14 AM  

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