M. Giant's
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Monday, May 05, 2008  

First Day

M. Small picked out his own lunchbox for school. It's plastic and shaped like a ladybug. If a kid makes fun of M. Small's lunchbox today, I will bury it in that kid's head. Which will be okay, because M. Small will probably want a different lunchbox anyway.

Yes, it's M. Small's first day of Montessori school. We knew this day was coming, and so did M. Small. That didn't make it any easier for us. Trash and me, I mean. M. Small was just fine.

We went together to drop him off, because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to handle it. It was hard enough watching him jauntily snag his lunchbox off the center island without being asked and trundle towards the car like he's been doing this every morning.

"Look at him!" Trash and I whispered to each other. "Doesn't he realize this is killing us? Couldn't he take pity on us and act a little worried?"

I'm not sure why this feels harder than his first day at day care. Maybe we just don't remember that as well, because it was three years ago and we were sleep-deprived. Or maybe it was because back then he was a powerless blob who experienced the world as one might experience a particularly chaotic screensaver and today he's a person who can walk around and tells us what he's thinking about and what he's feeling and what each stage of a Saturn V rocket does.

He chattered happily in the car the whole way there. He did ask me to carry his lunchbox into the school, but while we waited outside to be let in, he told us he was excited.

And then, inside, he kind of wandered around quietly, not sure what to do with the three or four other kids who were already there. The early-shift teacher showed him his new locker, into which he wanted to put everything he had. He put the toy jet he'd brought in there. He tried to put his lunchbox in there. He took off his sweatshirt and put it in there. I think he would have happily gone home to get more stuff to put in there if we'd offered. He'll probably want to pack a suitcase tomorrow.

While Trash talked to the teacher about logistics and business stuff, I squatted down and quietly talked to M. Small.

"Are you nervous?" I asked.

"Yes," he said, barely audibly.

"That's okay. New situations are always nervous, and this is really new. I know you'll do great. I'm so proud of you."


He wasn't crying when Trash and I left, but his solemn blue eyes were fixed on us as the door closed behind us. The crying took place after the door was shut. And I couldn't even tell you if there was any crying on his side of the door. It was 8:00 a.m. It was going to be a long day.

Trash called me on my cell phone at 8:15. "I'm going to go get him," she said.

"Not if I get him first," I responded.

Eventually we talked each other down. But it's still going to be a long day.

posted by M. Giant 11:20 AM 14 comments


Hang in there guys!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM  

Hey, we're in sync...today is Miss Kelly's first day of daycare. We're where you were three years ago! Hugs all around.

By Blogger Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, at May 5, 2008 at 12:16 PM  

"That's okay. New situations are always nervous, and this is really new. I know you'll do great. I'm so proud of you.".....these are words you will utter for the next 12 years! I am a longtime reader, and love reading your blog, and this post made me cry. My "baby" graduates high school in 3 weeks; it does not get any easier! Best of luck and congrats on this newest milestone in his life!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 5, 2008 at 12:20 PM  

Ohhh man, this made me cry. Beautiful post.

- JeniMull

By Blogger Williams Family, at May 5, 2008 at 1:49 PM  

Don't worry--I've got a friend with two girls in Montessori pre-school, and the girls LOVE it. (You're in MN, right? It's the one up in Shoreview.) They come home talking about the "work" they did that day and the kids they played with and the songs they sang. It helped my friend get over the separation anxiety pretty quickly, knowing that her kids were having such a good time.

The only drawback is, now my friend and her husband love Montessori so much, they want to keep the kids in the system forever, which is more than a little detrimental to their finances.

By Blogger thesourapple, at May 5, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

Our 5 year old basically left us in the dust when she started pre-k 2 years ago.
We had to call her out of the classroom to say goodbye!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 5, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

If he's in school isn't it about time to upgrade his nickname to M.Edium?

By Blogger Unknown, at May 5, 2008 at 8:00 PM  

Awwwwww mannnnn... I just had a flash.

In no time, he'll be over to your house for dinner, and explaining his team's ideas for terraforming Mars, and you'll think, wait, weren't we just talking about rockets in the car on the way to school?


By Blogger Febrifuge, at May 5, 2008 at 8:27 PM  

I hope you all survived the first day and had a tearless morning. I of course having just read your blog of yesterday have done enough crying for you and the Mrs.

By Blogger me, at May 6, 2008 at 6:02 AM  

Add my tears to those of "me at 6:02am". Now, please to post and tell us how it went!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 6, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

Aw I was all set to be melancholy and sweet with you and then I saw KG's comment and I can't stop giggling!
Dang it! :)
I hope your day went well and HUGS to you all for being so brave!

By Blogger naginata, at May 6, 2008 at 5:38 PM  

Aw, he'll do great, and so will you!

It had to happen. Think of how he's going out to spread his awesomeness with the world! More people benefiting from how amazing and funny and great he is can only be a good thing. Love to everybody.

By Blogger Linda, at May 7, 2008 at 9:21 AM  

I remember the first time the wife and I left our daughter with "strangers"...
It was horrible.

Now, she can't wait to get away from us and play with "her friends"

By Blogger Creative-Type Dad, at May 7, 2008 at 10:28 AM  

I didn’t go to daycare or any pre-K school, so I was very excited for Kindergarten. I got up that first morning and put on my dress, but couldn’t zip it up in the back. So I just put my jacket on over it and decided I would ask my teacher to help me. I went next door to meet up with the kids who were going to walk with me to school, but they weren’t ready, so I carried on alone. I was just getting to the school when my mom showed up, opened the car door and growled “Get in the car.” I guess Kindergarten didn’t start at 6 a.m.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM  

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