We had a great Easter weekend at Grandma Mickey's and Grandpa Bud's house, and I will put up some pictures. I know I have a lot of catching up to do. But for those who know how nervous I've been about E transitioning to kindergarten, I have a positive development to report. Today's events were nothing like what would have happened when "the K word" was mentioned months ago (fear and loathing is the phrase that comes to mind...).
E will be going to a Spanish Immersion program at a school near our house. As with most schools in our county, they have an after-school child care program on site, called "ACES". I'd heard that the slots fill up quickly for it, so I told E last night that we were going to stop by her new school this morning and pick up a piece of paper (the ACES application form), and she would get to see what her new school looks like, just for a quick visit. She said, "Hmm. That sounds good." I wasn't sure if what sounded good was seeing the school, or that it would be quick.
This morning she asked me to tell her a Scooby Doo story about herself starting kindergarten and making friends with Everett (you may know who he is...), and the Scooby Doo gang had to come and help the teachers out with something. So I happily obliged on that, feeling hopeful.
When we went by the school, the two parking lots that were visible from the main road were gated off, so I didn't know where to park and I told E maybe we could come back tomorrow. She started to throw a fit, and I interrupted to say, "Don't cry - talk to me! Do you have another idea of what we should do?" She immediately calmed down and suggested I park on the street and go in to ask them where the parking lot was. She did not want to wait another day.
I had gone past the school and wasn't sure where I was but I realized I could call the school and ask - E's interest was worth the 411 call charge on my phone. I learned there was another lot behind the school. So we headed back. E asked me to tell her another story, but I said I had to concentrate on finding my way back to the school. She was quiet, and when we finally pulled into the lot, she said, "Did you like how patient I was, with not talking?" I said, "Yes!" She unbuckled her seat belt and said, "Just like a real kindergartener!" (wow.)
We saw some children playing outside, just a small group, and the halls were quiet when we went in. E wondered where all the people were. In the office the receptionist made a fuss about wanting to see E's pretty face, so E hid her face under my shirt. A kindergarten teacher was called over to meet her, and Senora C spoke to E in English, with an effective, engaging tone, and got E to "gimme five". She welcomed her and said, "Are you ready to learn some Spanish?" E didn't answer, but I'm pretty sure she was smiling. Then Senora C asked E in Spanish what her name is, and after a couple of repetitions, I asked E, "Can you introduce yourself?" E hid her face, saying "I'm too shy". So I asked the teacher how to say shy in Spanish. I expect E will learn to say "Yo soy timida" (I am shy) as one of her first sentences. But I'm delighted with how it went. She was happy going back to the car, and asked me to play Follow the Leader.
I could tell it was a big deal for her even though she didn't talk about it any more, because at the preschool drop off she was very clingy. But she didn't cry, and she seemed more happy than grumpy. She wanted me to tell everyone not to talk to her, but I said she needed to speak up for herself. So she bravely announced to the friends clamoring for her attention, "I don't feel like talking!" And the teachers said, "Give her some space, let her get settled."
Next week we'll have a kindergarten assessment at the school. Not sure yet what it will entail, but I feel better today about how that might go.