Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Aaaaand....They're Off

Em was a little disappointed this morning when she found out she has the 'new' teacher for fourth grade. (There are two teachers per grade, and the other regular 4th grade teacher is on maternity leave for the year, so the new teacher is an unknown entity.) She was even more disappointed this morning when she found out that her best friend is in her class. Yes, that sounds counterintuitive, except to those of us who know C. C and Em make a really great team, one on one. But in a group? Not so much. C prefers to have just one, very intense, friendship. Em likes lots and lots of kids. When C is around and Em is being friendly with other kids, ugliness occurs. So, yeah. We may have to have a sit down sometime early in the year to get things straightened out. We'll see what the first few days bring.

Still, despite the disappointments, she went off to class with a huge smile, squealing each time she saw another of her friends. She'll be fine. She always is. She is my Easy Child.

And then there's N. N did remarkably well in the lead-up to school. He put his clothes out last night, we packed his lunch together, he talked excitedly about what was going to happen the next day. And, oh, I wish I had a hidden camera for the part where Em took him into his room for a "sister-brother talk" about what to expect in kindergarten. Could you not just die? After that, every time I tried to prepare him for something, he just rolled his teeny little five-year-old eyes at me and said, "I know dat already. Emmy told me 'bout dat." Well, excuuuuse me.

Walking to school was fine; he even let us take first-day-of-kindergarten pictures in front of the school sign, like we did when Em started there. He held onto my hand as we walked up to the kindergarten building after dropping Em off, and even smiled as he found a hook to hang his backpack on.

And then his teacher said, "Come on in, N, and sit on the rug," and panic leapt into his eyes.

"You're going to come check it out with me, right Mama?" he asked.

"I'm going to peek into the room as you go in, but I'm not allowed in that room any more, remember? Only the teacher and the kids are allowed in."

"But I need you to check it out!" His voice rose, panic in it as well.

"I will. But from out here. You go sit on the rug."

"No! No! No! I don't wanna sit on the rug!"

It was as this point that Mrs. W--who simply cannot be getting paid enough for the year she's about to have--took him by the hand and said, "I'm going to hold your hand now, N, and we'll go over to the rug together."

N started to pull away, yelling, "No. I need my Mama! I need my Mama!" Mrs. W gave Baroy and I a firm but sympathetic look, and closed the sliding glass doors through which the children enter so that N couldn't escape. Baroy hesitated, but I took his hand and pulled him away.

"Oh, that was exactly what I was most afraid of," Baroy said, his eyes a little moist.

"That was exactly what I was expecting," I said, my eyes even moister.

Of course, we couldn't leave well enough alone, right? While I attended the Howdy Coffee/PTA meeting (I'm the recording secretary, so I had to be there), Baroy went skulking around outside the kindy classroom. Apparently, however, Mrs. W was on to us, and had the shades pulled tightly out front. Damn her.

I was not to be deterred, however. At one point, after the coffee klatch had broken up, I saw the principal head up toward the kindy classrooms. A little while later, I saw her head to her office again, so I ran to catch up with her, ready to beg for info. I didn't have to.

"So, you checked in on the kindergarten, huh?" I said, trying to be nonchalant.

"Yup," she replied, smiling at me while simultaneously seeing right through me. "N even remembered me; he pointed to me and called out, 'Hey, I know you!'" (Thank goodness we have the World's Sweetest Principal; she found that cute.)

"So he was OK?"

"Oh, yeah, he was fine. Can you believe Mrs. W already had them at stations, and he was at his station with everybody else. He did have his shirt up over his mouth," [his newest anxiety outlet is chewing through every single shirt that touches his body...sigh...] "but he wasn't crying or anything, and like I said, he wasn't shy about pointing me out!"

So, that's good, right? He wasn't hiding in the corner, and he wasn't being mute. That means he's already doing better than he did during most of his time at preschool. So everything's going to be OK, right? Right?

I'm assuming that 11 am is too early in the day to take a Xanax. Damn it.

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