I got up early this morning, before my alarm even went off. The baby woke up full of sunshine and joy and wanted to nurse. She fell back asleep, so I got up and wrote for a while. All too soon, it was time to wake up Miss M, who was still snoozing away. I crawled into bed with her and slowly woke her up for her first day of school.
She agreed to get out of bed and watch cartoons, but was slow to wake. When I came back from my shower, she was eating a whole grain Eggo waffle while watching cartoons. T dressed her in the clothes we had laid out the night before: skinny jeans and a trendy striped Gap sweater, with a pair of slip-on Merrill's, and capped with an adorable red wool Gap coat. When I finished getting ready, she was finally raring to go off to school, and we all loaded in the car.
At every stoplight, she wanted to know why we were stopping. She wanted to go to school! When we got there, T gave her a hug, and I took some "first day of school" pictures of her and daddy. He stayed in the car with SB while I brought her in. I tried to take some pictures of her in front of the school, but most are just shots of her back as she is walking in, because she was ready to go.
I signed her in and took her to her classroom, and as we walked there, she told me that she "loves this place." I have to say, it was really nice. We hadn't visited before, given that we applied from Europe. In her classroom, kids were already playing, and she had her coat off and melded in with the rest of the group before I knew it. I spoke with the teacher for a brief minute and put her things in her cubby, and by the time I turned around, she was surrounded by a bevy of new friends, playing away. I told her that I was leaving and that I would be back later, and she said goodbye while barely looking my way. This, from the child who has never been to daycare, never even been babysat by someone who was not very, very well-known to her. I teared up a little to see what a big girl she is.
When I picked her up this afternoon, she seemed a little sad as I walked through the door. She rushed over to me with open arms. "Mommy," she said, "you came back!" I think she had started to be afraid we would not return for her, which broke my heart. She perked up immediately, so much so that when we reached the front door to leave, she started getting upset that she had to leave, and wanted to stay. I had to promise that she could come back tomorrow. I think she needed me to come visit, and then wanted me to go away again!
On the way home, she chattered away about her day. She claims she had cookies and bread for lunch, and juice and milk in real cups, which she said she spilled. She said a girl cried, and they played on the playground, and she didn't get to paint. She was sunny and full of joy about all of it, and seems unscathed. I am so relieved.
I picked her up a little early, so I didn't get a chance to talk with the teacher to see how she did, and how she ate, and whether (and what time) she napped. I hope to get in there early tomorrow to try to talk with her, to get her perspective. Things were so hectic this morning that I didn't get a chance to warn them that she doesn't eat much, or that she only likes to drink milk, or that she isn't potty trained but I think we are close. I suppose those aren't necessary things, really--her backpack was full of diapers for her cubby, and everything else was obvious (or she'd make it known). I probably need to let go a little bit, anyway.
Oh, and my first day back at work was fine, although it was hard to sit still through boring meetings. And I easily met my target word count for NaNoWriMo, and it's not the worst thing I have ever written. I think this is going to be a fun month.