Thursday, September 10, 2009

Noah's Big Day!

After watching Adam go to school for the past two weeks while he had to stay home with me, Tuesday was finally Noah's turn. He started pre-school at BYU and he couldn't have been more excited.

Phil and I went to a parent orientation last Thursday where, among other things, they instructed us in the fine art of pre-school drop-off. We were basically told that the best way to handle a reluctant child is a "grab-and-peel", i.e. grab the child who is clinging to his mother and peel him off of her even if he starts crying and acting like a limb is being severed. She assured us that the crying will stop very quickly that way, but if we linger and coax and plead and join in the sadness the crying will continue indefinitely. She told us that we shouldn't try to sneak out on our kid when he isn't looking because that is what will make him not trust the entire situation. I personally agree with that method, but I really wanted to ask her what her advice is for a parent who has a kid who doesn't start crying until his mother returns to pick him up. That was my fear for Noah. I knew that he would be totally okay getting dropped off, but I was more than a little worried that he would freak out when I returned to take him home.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from Noah's big day.

Noah wanted to leave as soon as Adam went out the door at 8:00 a.m. so I explained to him that we weren't going to pre-school until after lunch. He immediately wanted to eat breakfast and then got ticked when he finished eating and we still didn't leave. He clearly struggled with the breakfast/lunch distinction and it was a painful 4 hours while we waited for our real lunch.
Right after breakfast he picked out his clothes and wanted to put them on. Although I was a little nervous that getting dressed that early would mean those clothes wouldn't make it the 4 hours until pre-school, I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm once again, so I let him go for it. Magically, he didn't pee his pants and the clothes that he put on in the morning were the same clothes that he was wearing when he arrived at school. Thank heavens for small miracles. (Do you like the glazed over television stare? I don't remember for sure, but I think it was Sesame Street that was distracting him.)

The obligatory "I'm ready for the first day of school" photos. Doesn't he look so grown up?

Walking to class with Dad, and his fellow BYU Cougars.

Right before going into his classroom. Can you tell that he's excited?
Just as I predicted, drop-off was a piece of cake. I was a little sad, but Noah didn't hesitate for a second. I stayed and watched the proceedings from behind the mirrored windows and I'm happy to report a couple of things:

1) Noah is FAR from the brattiest kid in the class, although he clearly struggles with sitting still. It was so interesting to watch him try to be attentive, but after about 45 seconds of listening his little legs would start to wiggle and his eyes would start to wander as he surveyed the room for something else to do. A couple of times that "something else" was petting the long hair of the little girl sitting next to him. Fortunately, she didn't seem to mind. Another time the "something else" was laying down and rolling around until they would bring him back to the task at hand.

2) He made it through the 2-1/2 hours without peeing his pants. Wooo-hoooooooo!!

3) I think that Noah really wants to be good and he seems eager to learn so I am optimistic about the progress that he's going to make this year. Unlike Adam, I think Noah is a pleaser. If Adam does something that his teacher likes, he's happy with that, but that's not his agenda. Noah, on the other hand, thrives on positive feedback and he seems to want to make his teacher happy. The trick with this kid though is going to be helping him to understand how best to do that. He's not naughty just for the sake of being naughty. Rather, naughtiness comes out of him because he either doesn't understand or he forgets. I hope I'm right with this. We'll see.

I was the only parent sitting in the booth for most of the time and at one point the pre-school director joined me. We had a really good discussion as we watched the kids and I am 100% confident that Noah is in the best place he can possibly be in order to get a good start prior to his entrance into the public school system. He has a lot of learning to do and I know for certain that they are going to be able to teach him much better than I have been able to. And I also know that he is going to have a blast while he's there. This pre-school is all about learning by doing and they clearly are going to be doing a lot of cool things. Adam has gone with me to pick Noah up the past couple of days and he's very jealous that Noah gets such a cool classroom. He dragged Noah around the room yesterday showing him all of the "awesome" things that he has around him, as if Noah needed to be convinced.

I think both of my boys are off to a good start with school this year. Adam still isn't saying much about how his days are going, but his teacher has assured me that he's doing well and seems to be happy. He did ask his club leader what his name is, but then forgot it by the time he got home so I still don't know. The obviously aren't real tight, but at least they are having fun, and they've stopped the Sushi Pickle thing which is good (I think).


Amanda said...

I haven't seen a picture of Noah where I don't want to pick him up and just snuggle with him. I'm sure he won't appreciate that when he's 12, but oh well. Yay for Noah's big day!

Renae said...

Julie-- I am 0 for 4 for having a kid that felt sad when I left them at Pre school, nursery or anywhere else. I tell myself it's because I have confident self sufficient children, but maybe they think whatever is behind door #2 has got to be better than the screamer mom. No, I'm going with the self confidence angle!
I love the pictures. Too bad you can't get that kid to show some emotions!

Julie said...

Noah is quite the snuggle bunny, and I'm thinking he's not going to outgrow that anytime soon. So anytime you want to Amanda, go for it. Of course there's that pesky distance thing. How about we meet in NOLA in about a month so that you can give Noah a hug>

And I agree that your kids are confident and secure, Renae, and that's why you can leave them. For me though, I think it is the door #2 thing. Noah seems to be on a mission most days to get as far away from me as he can possibly get. I wonder why that is . . .