First Day of Preschool!

Back to work today.  Riley and Julia started at their new preschool today - Lakeside Montessori.  They've been going to my friend Kami's house ever since Riley was 1 and we have loved every minute of them being with her.  She continues to be such an amazing person who I hope we'll always stay in touch with.  But Riley being 4 and only having one more year until Kinder, it was time for her to get used to a school structure.  So off we went.

For weeks, we've been praying for their time there and specifically for a friend for Riley on the first day.  I got her dressed this morning - only to find out that uniforms started today.  Thankfully I brought a set of uniforms with us so she was able to change before joining her class and we were early so it wasn't a big deal.

We went to Riley's classroom and set all of her things in her cubby.  Since her teacher wasn't there yet, we went to Julia's classroom and put all of her things in her cubby.  I took Julia out of her stroller and set her on the ground by a little girl who was about her size.  She was quite content.  I gave her a hug and seeing that she was fine, Riley and I waved goodbye and left.  I heard her cry for a very short time and then she was totally fine.

Riley's class was outside on the playground so I took her out there.  There were kids playing everywhere (not too many of them, but they all looked to have a friend with them).  There were two girls on their hands and knees - meowing like cats.  One of Riley's favorite things to do!  So I said "Look Riley!  Cats!"  I asked her if she wanted to join them and she said yes.  So I helped her climb up and she sat by the girls.  I took her picture and she said "Mom, Really?"  And then said "Bye Mom, see you later!"  That was when I got tears in my eyes and walked out.  I did get to watch her through the glass - which is darkened from her side so she can't see that I'm watching her - and was able to see that she playing with them and pretending to feed the cats.

So incredibly proud of how well both girls did today!

When I picked the girls up, I went to Julia's room first.  She was walking around behind the table and was so excited to see me.  Her teacher, Nicole, said that most kids cry a lot the first day and have a hard time, but Julia didn't cry hardly at all.  She said she cried a few times, but it wasn't for long periods.  She also said that she did an amazing job on her nap mat and was so amazed at how well she did on her first day.  Julia was completely happy and loved it.  I received a whole checklist of how the day went with all the information I would have asked.  Nicole is very sweet and kind and gentle, but firm with the kids.

Julia and I then went to pick up Riley at her classroom.  She was playing with Mr. Potato Head parts and gave me a big hug when I came, but she didn't want to stop playing.  Take that as a good sign!  She told me later that she got up from her nap mat because she didn't want to sleep and her teacher told her that she'd have to go into the little kid room if she didn't go on her mat and lay down.  Riley was quite scared of this.  This first thing that Riley told me that she learned was how to walk down the hall.  She said they have to have their hands behind their backs and put big bubbles in their mouthes like this.  And then she demonstrated it perfectly.  She's amazing!

The teacher said she had a great first day.  I told her that it was her first time in a structured classroom ever.  Her teacher, Sharon, said that she would never have known that Riley had never been in a classroom before and that she had a great day.  She told me that there was a little girl that she played with for most of the day :)  Definitely made me happy!  And one of my piano students' sisters is also in her class which is great!

So all in all, a very wonderful first day of preschool!


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