Sunday, September 13, 2015

First Day of Kindergarten

It seems like it's been such a long time leading up to this day. I can't believe that we have a kindergartner in the house. We've been talking about it and preparing Riley for it for some time so I'm glad it is finally here. The Friday before Labor Day we had to drop off school supplies at Riley's school. This was Riley's first time meeting her teacher and seeing her classroom. She's always expressed excitement about going to kindergarten (with a couple comments about how her best friends are not going to her school), but we weren't sure how she would react once she actually had to attend. She was pretty quiet the morning of the visit so we assumed that it was all starting to sink in with her.

Later that same day her teacher, Mrs. Carlson (who has been teaching for 43 years), came to our house for a brief visit. It was nice to have some one on one time before Riley started school. While the rest of her school started on Tuesday, the kindergarten class didn't start until Thursday. 

We made some last minute changes in Riley's transportation so we ended up driving her to school on her first day instead of putting her on the bus as we'd planned. Our work schedule will only allow us to be at the bus with her two days a week so we were going to drop her off at a friend's house a few blocks away on those other days, but we felt like we were imposing on them (even though they assured us a million times that we weren't). Then their daughter (Riley's friend) got in to the Spanish Immersion school nearby (her brother would still be at Riley's school) and it felt even weirder. So now we plan to drive her each day, but will drop her off at the before school child care for a few days a week. She will take the bus home each day so she will still get that experience. On her first day, grandma Suzie came over and we took a bunch of pictures before heading off to her school.

Once we got to the school we met up with her teacher and her class outside. We wanted to bring grandma into the classroom and I wanted a picture in front of her locker, but we were told the room was locked. The plan was to wait for all the kids and then bring them in for breakfast in the cafeteria.

Chasing bubbles while waiting to go inside.

We saw one girl from Riley's preschool class so it was comforting to know that she will know someone there. They weren't close friends, but I wouldn't mind if they became friends since this other little girl seems so sweet and we like what we know of her parents. Anyhoo, the teacher finally said they would go inside and stated that the kids should get in line behind her. I didn't think Riley was paying attention, but she got right in line without giving us a look. She was on her way!

We did decide to walk inside and watch her get settled with the other kids. A few minutes later we said our goodbyes. She did looks a little nervous, but she'd never admit it if you asked her. Oh, at one point while we were just hanging out outside I crouched down to talk with her and she came over to give me a hug. I was totally cool, not even thinking about crying, until she did this. I think grandma might have made some "awww" noise too and there I was fighting back the tears.

So then Jesse and I went to work and were all like "what do you think she's doing right now?" and "what if my phone's not working and they tried to call? You better check your phone." sort of nonsense via emails during part of the day. 

I have a new work schedule which allows me to get off work at 4:00 and her bus is supposed to drop her off at 4:07 at the end of the block so you can bet I bounded out of my basement (my office) to get to her bus stop even though I was prepared that the buses would likely be late the first week or two. I didn't care. I didn't want to miss seeing her get off the bus and wanted a picture as well. About 15 - 20 minutes late she arrived...

She was neither quiet nor overly excited about her day. She said she enjoyed it and that her favorite part was music class, but later said she liked lunch and playing with blocks and cubes. She didn't have a lot to tell us, but said she wanted to go back.

About a half hour after she got home we turned around and brought her right back to school since they were having an all school BBQ. Sort of seems like an odd time to have it since I'm sure many of the kindergartners were beat. Earlier she exclaimed "we didn't even have rest time!" so I wasn't sure if she would be extra beat or not. She didn't seem too tuckered out and played pretty hard at the BBQ. Her summer preschool program was filled with tons of activities, but they still had nap/rest time and it was my understanding that Riley was still sleeping during that time. She used to go to bed at 7:30, but often stay up reading until 9:00, but this summer she started going to bed at 7:30 so perhaps we were already seeing some of that change so it didn't seem significant with starting kindergarten.

We ran into Riley's friend and her family (the ones that were going to take Riley three mornings a week) so Riley was excited about that. She and Sylvia get along so well we plan to continue play dates even though they won't be at the same school. After getting our fill of food and the playground we headed home for bed. Surprisingly, Riley stayed up and read a couple books this night, but probably crashed by 8:00.

Overall, a good day. The next day she even shared that she played with a new girl, had Spanish class, and got to play on the play grounds twice! Our only hiccup was when waiting for her to get off the bus on day two she didn't... well, not right away. It was a long enough wait that I thought my kid might still be back at school, but this was a different driver than the day before and she still needs some prompting. All was good... we had our kid and we know that she (and us) will get a hang of this kindergarten thing.

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