Posted on September 11, 2009


for months now, silly monkey has been talking about school…

we pass daddy’s house.  we pass mandie’s house.  we go over the hill.  we pass the sheep.  we go to preschool.

in fact, it’s pretty much all he’s been talking about, with the exception of planes, trains & automobiles.  oh, and lollipops.  he’s been so excited to go to school that we spent a good part of the night before last picking out his first day of school outfit (he chose his dark jeans and his star wars t-shirt). 

i’ve worked myself into a tizzy hoping he will enjoy it and have a great early educational experience.   i’ve gathered advice from friends with children.  i’ve read article upon article in parenting magazines.  but nothing, and i mean nothing, will prepare me to let my silly monkey into this frightfully unpredictable world. 

yesterday was a “mini class”.  sort of a get acquainted with the other kids and classroom and teachers and playground, etc.  when we arrived to the parking lot, silly monkey exclaimed “this is my preschool!” and then eagerly hopped out of his car seat and out of the car.  however, with our slow steps to the door of the school, his eagerness turned to fright.  he stopped in his tracks and yanked me back. 

mommy, this is not my preschool.
of course it is.  see the red door?
but… i’m scared.
oh, silly monkey, there is nothing to be scared of.  you’re going to make lots of new friends and learn lots of new things.  like building and painting and writing and singing.
i like painting.
i know you do.  are you ready now?
do you want to wait for daddy to get here, to go inside?

we waited about 5 or so minutes for M to arrive.  i attempted to take the first-day-of-school photos, but silly monkey refused to cooperate, so instead we compared the flowers on the doorstep to those at home.  and when M arrived, silly monkey let out a shriek.  i don’t know what for, but he still wasn’t ready to go in.  i asked M to have a little man-to-little man-talk with him, but silly monkey wasn’t having it…

when we were finally inside his classroom, he promptly sat down with some other children to play with some block/comb thingies.  every few seconds he would look around for me and if he didn’t see me, he would yell for me.  so i sat near his table and let him play. 

after table play came story time.  normally, silly monkey LOVES story time.  in fact, we have story time at home every day – most days after i arrive home from work and then again, every night, at bedtime.  he sits patiently and points to each picture as i read aloud.  sometimes he reads along with me.  but somehow, this preschool story time was much different.  he did not pay any attention.  instead, he decided to disassemble the wall calendar and put all of the numbered cards in one pocket.  i looked over at M to see if he felt as mortified as i did.  and then i looked around at all of the other children who were sitting patiently on the carpet listening to the story.  i resigned to feeling like the only parent with the only child that was not cooperating, until i noticed a little girl with a pained look on her face.  she was walking aimlessly around the room with her shirt pulled up to her neck.  strangely, i felt better.  i looked over at silly monkey, gave him a head nodding “stop-it” and we smiled at each other. 

after story time, the kids were sent back to playing, this time with wooden blocks.  he did well with the block sharing and even the block cleaning up.  but, he wasn’t ready for block cleaning up when he was instructed for block cleaning up.  and the fact that he wasn’t able to touch the noodles in the sensory tub almost sent him over the edge, as some monotone & expressionless lady, who was not a teacher, covered them.  silly monkey gave her a disappointed face, and then gave me a sad face.  but, it was time to retreat to the outdoor playground, something i thought silly monkey would enjoy.  alas, he didn’t want to go… unless i was going, which i was, but he somehow had it made up in his mind that i wasn’t going, which was weird b/c i told him i was going when he asked if i was going. 

outside, he played a bit by himself, until a couple of other classmates joined him in making mounds of mulch near a little dump truck he found.  and when it was time to go in… he didn’t want to go.  one of his teachers let M take care of the little non-situation, but assured me that he would be fine next week and they would take care of everything.  i gave her a half-grin b/c her assurance wasn’t very convincing. 

back inside they sang a good-bye song and we were free to leave.  silly monkey found some magnifying glasses and we stayed a little longer to play with them.  and when we left, he made a run for a larger, more grown up classroom with cooler toys and more space, where M had to fetch him.

on the way home, silly monkey exclaimed that he liked preschool, but wanted to go to regular school.  i told him not to grow up so fast.

i know some kids take change a little easier than others, so i’m not expecting silly monkey to jump head-on into this new endeavor.  in fact, i’m SO glad that this preschool is only twice a week b/c with all of the changes in his short three years (divorce, moving, overnight stays without his mommy, etc), it’s best to gradually transition him into these new things.  if we had to throw a new babysitter or another move into the mix, i know, with absolute certainty, that silly monkey would have a change-overload and/or meltdown. 

last night, before bed, silly monkey and i talked about his first day of school…

where did you go today?
i went to preschool.
did you have a good time?
what did you do?
i played with blocks. and i read books. and i played outside with a giiiiiirl. and i saw a magnifying glass and some noodles.
oh, yea? that sounds fun.
i will go to preschool tomorrow.
hmmm… how about on tuesday?
yea. i will go back on tuesday.

and with that, i feel a thousand percent better.