Friday, September 16, 2011

My Daughter, The Pre-Schooler

It's official. Her first day was last Friday. She goes Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am-11:30am. The first two sessions all of the parents accompanied their new little students for the entirety of the class, but today, yea, this very day, I dropped her off and went on my merry way.

During the first session, I was a little nervous. Although she spends a considerable amount of time among other kids in the gym's childcare and she had VBS last month, she has never been in a situation that required much in the way of structured group activities. And certainly very few situations where she had to follow directions other than those barked out (or screamed) by her mother.

True to her rebellious form, she was not among the kids who quickly lined up when asked, or that stayed lined up for more than 10 seconds once there. She participated in activities as it suited her whim. And she felt very strongly that SHE should be the line leader. Let there be no confusion, she's an alpha, that girl of mine. Someday, when her high school principal calls because she's been caught doing something bad, I will be fairly certain that it was she who led the expedition.

However, it would not be fair to not point out that she boldly did all of the activities asked of her while many other children stood back timidly. She may have lost interest and moved on before some of those kids even had a chance to step up to the table, but there was no fear. Also, she was unfailingly friendly, the quintessential social butterfly.

At the second session on Tuesday, she was more willing to follow the direction of the teacher and while she still has a long way to go, I was proud at how quickly she had picked up the routine of the day and the cues that indicated the beginning of a new activity. When I went to pick her up today, her first solo outing, she was happily chatting with one of the other kids, a little girl she named Purple Dress. For obvious reasons. Reports from the teacher were positive. And she is excited to go back next week.

Myself? I spent the time running errands. It wasn't exactly pampered "me" time but tasks that normally take half a day, I accomplished in less than 2 hours. And for a busy mom, that is luxury enough.

Hooray for pre-school!

The obligatory first day of school picture.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yet Another Reason I'm Going To Hell

We here in the land of Bean are not religious folk. In fact, saying we are not religious is overstating the issue. On any given day our opinions on the topic range from apathy to confusion and occasionally anger.  I was not raised in a religious home. I was not baptized and I can count the number of times I have attended church for anything other than a wedding or funeral on one hand. And most of those were during my exploratory youth. Some kids tried drugs, I tried religion. It didn't stick.

Which is why it surprised me that I even considered the idea when Katie suggested sending Sophie to the same Vacation Bible School that Christopher was set to attend. My first reaction, not surprisingly, was a very unladylike snort. I never went to VBS as a kid and if I'd ever been asked, I would have said I had ZERO plans to send my child to it, either. But when she said that it ran from Monday to Friday, 9-12am, and cost a mere $25, suddenly it didn't seem so outrageous. In fact, I'm fairly certain my eyes glazed over as I considered all of the things I could do in those hours.

So with more than a few rationalizations, I got on the website and signed her up.

When the first day rolled around, I nervously walked in to the church. Fears of lightening striking, or at the very least, some hard stares from all of the godly church folk when they noticed a heathen in their midst. But to my surprise, they were welcoming and kind, and I quickly found myself chatting with other moms during dropoff and enjoying the special VBS music that blasted over the church's kickin' sound system. By the end of the week, Sophie and I were belting out to Jesus with the best of them. I'm not gonna lie, we've even listened to the VBS CD on a few* occasions since.

And those hours to myself. Sweet, delicious, precious time. The first day, I came home and just sat on the sofa for an hour before I did anything. Just sat there. Not reading. Not on the phone. Not playing on my phone. The second and third days, I came home and took a nap. On the fourth day, I went shopping. On the fifth day, I was lounging around at about 10:30 when it hit me how completely I had wasted a precious opportunity to really indulge myself. Why hadn't I gone for a pedicure, or to get my eyebrows done, or for a much needed massage? The answer is that I honestly didn't think of it. The glut of ME time overwhelmed my brain's processing functions. If only I'd had a few more days...

It was then that I began evolving a plan for next summer. Every church in the area has a VBS, if the signs that line the streets in front are any indication. And since there doesn't seem to be any requirement to be a member of the church, would it be so bad if we just went from church to church attending vacation bible school after vacation bible school ALL SUMMER LONG? I know. It's ingenious.

I am a terrible, terrible person.

*MANY. Those songs are just so catchy! 

Lest even one person think I am serious. I AM NOT. I have no plans to send my daughter to every VBS in the area, tempting though the idea is. However, now that we've got our foot in the door at this one, you better believe we'll be going back next summer. VBS! VBS! VBS!