Monday, October 1, 2012

Back to School

Georgia started kindergarten!  Thank you so much, by the way, for your outpouring of support for my palpable angst over the subject as revealed in this post.  I'm joking.  The only comment received related to June's choice of socks.

There were no tears on the first day (can't say the same for the days leading up to it), but enough about me.  Georgia's doing great.  Same classroom, same teachers, same hours, just more days per week plus the pride and responsibility of being one of the older kids in her mixed-ages room. So despite her adjustment troubles in prior years, we were not at all worried this time around.  While I take no pleasure in anyone else's stories of kindergarteners having a tough time, I've been really struck this month by how commonplace those problems are amongst my friends with little ones, and the realization that, oh my gosh, it's not us for once.  Did that sound callous?  I guess I'm having a hard time articulating my feelings, but what I'm trying to get at is how grateful we are for the progress Georgia has made. 

Georgia's school was unaffected by the CPS teacher's union strike that garnered national media attention, because she attends a private, Montessori, Catholic-affiliated kindergarten.  I just needed to type that sentence because, prior to having children, never in a million years did I think I would have a child in Catholic school.  Or any private school.  This is why "never say never" is the best parenting philosophy one can espouse in my opinion.

Anyway, the place is fantastic, it suits our needs for now, and most importantly, Georgia seems to like it.

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{This is only 1 of about 40 kissy pictures that I have like this.  Suddenly they got very passionate about their goodbyes!} 

{June and Georgia became such tight playmates this summer that I was a little concerned that June would be upset by Georgia leaving for kindergarten.  As it turns out, June instead threw a very unexpected and out of the ordinary fit about Joe leaving for work that morning.  Displaced emotion maybe?}

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{In case you're wondering, he changes shoes when he gets there, a la Mr. Rogers.}

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{The Civic, still going strong!}

June started two day a week preschool in the three year olds' room at the co-op that she attended last year and is loving it.  Waylon is also enrolled at June's co-op in the nursery room, which allows me to get a few hours of childless freedom each week to get things done.  His room is more of a "Mother's Day Out" type of care setting, since there is little to no structure and zero academia involved.  Hello, he just turned turned one and does not yet wear shoes to "school", seeing as how he is not regularly walking.  I nearly freaked out and un-enrolled him when I realized he would need a lunchbox.  Babies do not need lunchboxes!  (Clearly my perspective is colored by my prior life of having a nanny.)  For the time being I've assuaged my guilt about the whole endeavor by putting him down for his morning nap as soon as we get there, so he currently sleeps through half of each school day. 

But back to June...  It has been such a delight to see how happy she is to go to school, and dare I say, I feel like maybe we deserved that kind of a break!  I am really freaking insecure, people, and with all of Georgia's separation and social struggles, I constantly imagine the judging eyes of others who must be convinced that we "did something" to "make her this way".  I know that's not true and that I should be more confident, but it sure doesn't hurt my psyche to have June to point to as a counterexample.  Temperamental differences between siblings may be one of the best ways to make parents chill out and realize that many of the choices we're making aren't half as significant as we make them out to be in our own minds.  But then again if you can't take blame, you also can't take credit! 

I've already used more than my fair share of words here, but I have to share one more story to illustrate how striking the differences between Georgia and June can be.  June and Waylon's school day is a four hour affair that I've shortened to three hours by picking them up early everyday, in order to get them home in time to take afternoon naps, only to then later wake them up and throw them in the van to go fetch Georgia from her school's dismissal.  (If you didn't follow that, it doesn't matter.  Suffice it to say, it's a well-orchestrated ballet that will disintegrate as soon as Waylon drops his morning nap and fouls up the whole routine, but I'll deal with that when it happens.  For now, this is our system.)  Anyway, the point is, June gets pulled from class early everyday and lately has been crying when it's time to go home. First child cried about going to preschool; second child cries about coming home!  Amazing.

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{I have since cut his hair, but I think it already needs it again.}

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Off we go!


Danni said...

Your kids are so cute, I can't get over it. Their little personalities crack me up. I'm glad you share this.

TomT said...

Darling kids!! They are all amazing in their own way. Love to hear how they are each developing, so all the details and stories are GREAT!!!

(ps - What kind of shoes does Joe where for commuting? I WANT SOME!)

Me? A Mom? said...

you have the cutest freakin' kids. Seriously.