Tyoma had his first day of kindergarten yesterday. The sheer excitement left me quite sleepless, but he slept like a champ.
We actually started preparing Tuesday. I made an appointment so we could meet his before Open House Day. The quiet environment would allow him to explore and get comfortable.
I was a bit worried when we arrived. Tyoma had already cried on the way here, and was still borderline upset. Plus, we had to wait in the office until our escort could be located. Nearby, workmen drilled, hammered and shouted as they put in two new entrance doors. I imagined both Tyoma and I going on a rampage in the office, tossing paper in the air and flipping light switches.
Instead, I asked to close the office door. Heh. Every person who came in afterward, chocked it open again. So I closed it–again. After the third time, I realized why people continued to wedge the door open–the lock was broke and the door could not be opened from the outside. D’oh!
So, I stood guard over the door and eyed Tyoma. He discovered the copy machine and was delighted by the multiple buttons. After my fiftieth “Look but don’t touch!” reminder, Karen the Special Ed coordinator, arrived. Everyone was glad to see her!
The summer remodel of the school glimmered. Tyoma happily exclaimed, “This looks just like Reed’s Ferry!!!” He danced down the hall happily, looking for room numbers.
We met Ms. St. G first. Apple cheeked and young, T liked her immediately. I can’t remember a word of what was said except that Ms.G had a family member with Asperger’s. This soothed me. I appreciate the zest of a young teacher, but experience tops my list.
Next, we went to see Ms. L. Mellow and kindly, she had the air of a veteran teacher. I was shocked, however, when she asked me how I wanted Tyoma to write his name. I forget that other people don’t know he can write! Tyoma relaxed even more, especially when he found the place value magnets.
After a pleasant exchange, Ms. Karen escorted us to the door. I was impressed by her sweetness. She seemed so professional at meetings. I could now imagine myself sipping tea and eating tiny pastel cookies with her.
Wednesday, we had our haircut and made “menus” (choice lists) for the big day. Before daycare in the summer, Tyoma would quibble over clothes, food and cartoons. So, we made our choices early to spare us the drama.
Thursday morning Tyoma woke up in good spirits. Our morning routine went smoothly, well, almost. The bus arrived 15 minutes early. No problem, we were ready!
When Tyoma returned in the afternoon, he raced off the but shouting, “I need to make a list of friends!!!” His hyperactive joy was an indicator of the fun he had at school. The structure and stimulation seemed just right. Success!
I need to remember that I must prepare him all over again Sunday, and that the first few days are always easier. I hope this fall is filled with minimal viruses and fortuitous family visits. I feel grandly optimistic!
Digital elements: Tumblefish Studios, Holliewood Studios. Original photo of Tyoma with the camera is here.