"School"

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{Ready to go!}

Today was a big day here... Spencer started "school" (aka daycare) two days a week this morning! I've been wanting to [seriously] get back to work for a couple of months now (more on that in another post) and in August, we made the decision that the only way that was feasibly going to happen would be to send Spencer to daycare. We knew we really wanted a setting that was "school-like" for him (not a home-run daycare) where we could enroll him for only two full days. (That's all the time I want to be apart from him for at this point.) We also really wanted to have someone he already knew in his class for transition purposes. After talking to several friends, and researching a few different options, we settled on this particular one a couple of weeks ago after a very successful visit. He's in the same class as the daughter of one of our friends, and Spencer happens to really like this girl. It's a win-win all around. We felt really good about our decision... and we were really excited for Spencer leading up to today. We also had nerves, but who wouldn't?!

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{Checking out his new "engine" lunchbox}

So how did it go?! Overall, really well! We've been preparing Spencer for this, and talking to him about school for a while now. We bought the book "Llama Llama Misses Mama" and have been reading it to him. (We LOVE this book.) His friend, Miss A, has been telling him how happy she is that he's going to be in her class. We've gone shopping for "school supplies." My parents sent him a package filled with "school clothes." (Since this Mama does not have a wardrobe I want ruined with paint, dirt, etc. I've just discovered the first downside of having a fashion-conscious kiddo.) It's been good, and he's been really excited.

School

{"Let's do this thing Mama!"}

When we pulled into the lot and I asked him if he was ready for school, he enthusiastically responded "YEAH!" He barely gave me a second glance after walking in and seeing his friend, and of course, the toys. {Our friends were awesome, and had their kiddos all excited for Spencer's debut at school. It was really nice for me to see them taking him right under their wings during open play.} It was all I could do to get a goodbye from him. There were no tears, on either of our parts. Success! I called and checked-in right before lunchtime and heard that he was doing "very, very good." He was participating in the circle time and the group activities, as well as listening really well. When I heard the words "he is having an excellent first day" relief flooded my body, and I finally felt a few tears prick my eyes. I was told to call again mid-afternoon and they would tell me how lunch and "quiet time" went. (The two parts I was most dreading.) When I called this afternoon, I again was told that he was doing "really, really well" and having a "great first day." He ate *all* of his lunch (which was shocking since I put in double what I normally give him, half of which is usually left behind) I guess he really worked up an appetite with all that playing and learning! He did struggle with nap time (not shocking at all), but his teacher sat with him until he dozed off. He slept for an hour and when he woke up, asked if he was allowed to get up off his cot. (How cute is that?!) At this point, the director told me how charming she found him, and how he had such a sense of humor. I laughed out loud at that point. I had assumed he would work his charm and utilize his "class clown" personality... but I never would have guessed it would have started on the first day! I hung up the phone feeling really good about our new situation. Before I knew it, it was time to go pick him up!

I headed over a little early and knew it had gone downhill as soon as I got through the door. I found Spencer in a teacher's arms sobbing "Mama! Home! Too!" He was  hiccuping as well, which meant he had probably been crying for a little while. It turns out that as soon as the pick-ups started happening, he got upset. And was crying on and off until I got there. As soon as I walked in, he dove into my arms and repeatedly said "Mama, home!" and "Mama, Go." I happened to walk in about fifteen minutes after his friend left, which was the catalyst for the big cry that I was witnessing the tail end of. The two teachers reassured me (and I held it together really well, I might add) that even though he was crying, he did much better than most do on their first day and that these were really his first tears. I realize that it was the end of a loooong day for him, and that there were probably a lot of nervousness on his part, but that was a little hard to see and hear. I guess I wouldn't be human if it weren't - right?!

His grief didn't last long, and by dinner time he was already talking about going back to school again! I'm really happy that we've arranged it so there is a day for him and I in-between. I think that will help (both of us). And I really do think he will be a seasoned pro by the end of this month... but whew, that was a hard pick-up.

Now to end on  a happy note, look at what I found in his bag! His first piece of school artwork! (Please note that his favorite color is "Barney" purple, even though it's hard to tell here. Oh, Spence.)

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