Very often, the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups - playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day

This morning Oliver got up at 7:00, and by 7:30 he was dressed and had finished breakfast, setting what must have been an official record around here.

This waffle started out plain (his choice), but had a secret, sticky ingredient
added when he wasn't eating it very quickly.
Then it was off to finish getting ready, which he did more quickly and willingly than usual.  At a few minutes before 8:00, we were outside and Oliver was ready to get in the car with his lunch box and backpack - then I asked for a few pictures.  He's not too interested in having his picture taken these days.  But, with a little help from our friends - one monkey and one human (thanks Miss E!) - we got a decent shot on the front steps.  (There are traditions for a day like today, and they must be followed even if three-year-olds don't like it.  They will appreciate it later, I tell you!)

The lunch box (for a snack) is new - it matches the backpack.
This just adds to the fun, fun, fun.

Miss E took care of Jonathan for us so Oliver and I could go on a special drive just by ourselves.  So, we took off in the van and our next stop was here.  This time he was excited about his picture.

I know it looks like his eyes are closed, but it was bright.
I only had a chance at one shot, and he was ready to move on.

We went inside and this is what Oliver did next:

He put his lunch box on a shelf and
hung up his backpack on a hook.

He sat on his carpet square.

He tossed a bean bag and said his name.

He listened - intently - to a story about "The King's Pudding."

He colored a bowl of pudding and decorated it with paper "sprinkles".

They call this "preschool."  But I'm not sure that's the right name for it.  

There are teachers, students, a class, a classroom, backpacks, lunch boxes, carpet squares with names on them, name games, and children following teachers instructions and doing things their parents can't get them to do at home.  I don't know about you, but I think that is just plain "school."  It may be only two mornings a week, and the class may be group of three-year-olds who get to spend a lot of time playing, but in my book, this is school.  

And that's ok.  I'm happy to be the mommy of a preschooler.  Although I admit it felt a little strange to drive away with just this guy in the van with me.

When I picked Oliver up later, he wasn't interested in sharing too many details about the rest of the day.  He did say he wants to go back tomorrow.  Sorry, buddy, but you only go two days a week.  Well, maybe I'm not sorry about that.  I want to hang out with him a lot yet, too, but I'm willing and ready to share him with school.