School Days

The time has finally come.  I can hardly believe it’s finally here.  Yet here I am staring it square in the face.  You think an event seems to far in the future and then WHAM it just hits out of the clear blue.  Yes, the time has finally come…to register Kaylee for pre-school.

Actually, all joking aside, we’ve been meaning to get her into pre-school for a while now.  She turned 3 back in October and has been eligible to go to pre-school ever since.  But at that time Matt was still working his second job, so we decided to delay her start date until after winter break.  Well at that point we knew Matt would be travelling out of the country and while I could have managed to get her to and from school myself I just didn’t want to change up anything right as he was leaving.

But now he’s back and believe me we are way over due to get little miss into pre-school.  I’ve been intending to call the center all week and let them know that we’re finally ready to enroll her (we paid our deposit at the end of the last school year to reserve her spot).  Unfortunately life got in the way and I didn’t end up making that phone call until Thursday.  I knew there would be some paperwork to fill out, and immunizations to request, so I figured if I could get her started by the first full week in February I would be doing good.

However, after a 2 minute conversation with the woman at the center she assured me that we could get her started right away.  Like as in Tuesday, the next day her class would be meeting.  All I had to do was drop by the center and pick up the registration packet that day and have it back by the time school started on Tuesday morning.

Wow.  Tuesday.  Just 4 days away.  But, no time like the present right?  Kaylee and I had a few errands that we needed to run on Thursday afternoon anyway so we just added that one to the list.  It was around 1:00 when we finally made it to the pre-school and Kaylee recognized it right away when we pulled into the parking lot.  She knew that Cameron had gone to pre-school here and understood that this would now be her school.

So I got her out of the car and into the building.  I wasn’t sure if the code I used to use for taking Cameron to pre-school would work but they had unlocked the door for me anyway so I didn’t need to worry about it.  We walked into the entry and greeted the ladies at the front desk warmly.  They’re all the same ones that ran the desk when Cameron was in pre-school and I remember them well.  They remembered Kaylee as well, and she enjoyed a few minutes of them doting on her.

I collected my packet and confirmed the location of her classroom (she’s actually in the same exact room Cameron was, with the same teacher even) and then turned to leave.  But Kaylee didn’t follow me.  I urged her to come along so we could head home for a nap, and she turned to me with a pained and confused expression on her face.  I called to her a second time and she quite simply said, “No mommy, I want to stay at pre-school.”

Oh.  I’ve been talking up the whole pre-school thing so much that she thought she actually got to start pre-school today.  Well crud, now what?  I tried to be logical and explain it to her, that we were just there to pick up her papers and that she got to come back on Tuesday.  No good, she didn’t understand why she couldn’t just start school today.  Then (with a little help from the front desk staff) we tried explaining that all her pre-school friends had gone home for the day and there would be no one to play with.  Nope, that didn’t work either.  She could hear kids playing and so our logic must be flawed.

I finally pulled out the oldest trick in the parenting handbag.  “Bye Kaylee, I’m leaving I’ll see you later!”  I should have known that one was going to backfire on me.  She just plunked herself down into one of the chairs and said, “Okay mom!  I’m going to sit here for pre-school.”  I guess that’s what I get for having a non-shy, very independent 3 year old.  She’s not afraid of being left alone.  Plan D then.  I asked her if she’d like to hold her pretty purple folder (the one holding all the registration papers), and she excited held out her hands to grasp it.  Once she had it and my hands were free I scooped her up and carried her right out the door.

In doing that I knew that she’d be a little upset, but a little upset doesn’t come close to summarizing my next 45 minutes.  Kaylee screamed all the way to the car and all the way back to our house.  She then proceeded (after I’d put her into her room for a timeout) to continue to scream until she finally realized I’d moved on to doing other things and was ignoring her completely.  Finally I got her to understand that she would get to go to pre-school in just a few days, and that every Tuesday and Thursday after that she’d be able to go to pre-school.

I guess I don’t need to worry that she will be shy or upset when I leave her at pre-school on Tuesday.  She won’t cling and wail like her brother Cameron did on his first day of pre-school.  She’ll be more like her brother Brendan who quite calmly accepted that I was sending him away on a van to go to a pre-school across town and that I wouldn’t be going with him.

Believe it or not I’m not too much of a basket case either.  Yes my baby is growing up and that piece is a little hard to accept, but after spending the last few months with her all day every day it has become quite apparent that not only is she ready for pre-school she’s become quite bored with staying at home alone with mom.  It was a little better last year because Cameron was home with her most of the time giving her someone to play with.

Now there’s no one but mom, and in Kaylee’s eyes mom just doesn’t cut it for a playmate, not when she knows there’s lot of other kids her size.  And so she is impatiently waiting for Tuesday to come, so she can begin her brand new adventure.

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