Friday, September 12, 2008

I Can Finally Breathe...

The first week of preschool is done. I have three days of lovin' with all of my children. Annie said that she'd cried a bit at school yesterday because she missed me. It's okay to miss me, kid. I missed you too. I was looking forward to spending the day outside with my babies, cleaning up the yard and garden (it desperately needs it!), but that is not to be. It began storming last night and is expected to continue throughout the weekend, and Annie is coughing, Airius has a runny nose, and my throat is sore. We're getting used to all those billions of new germs courtesy of classmates and teachers. Hopefully it'll blow over by Monday in time for school, but who knows. Chicken noodle soup and orange juice are on the menu today.

All in all, preschool hasn't been that bad. I've seen some good things. It's been wondrous to see just how confident my kids are and to see that, yes, they CAN behave. lol I got to witness the beginnings of a meal at Head Start, and there was a surprising amount of good. The plates and silverware were all reusable rather than styrofoam or paper disposables. The only disposable I saw for that meal was the milk cartons. They also have "family style" meals, which means that the teachers eat with the kids at one long table, pass around bowls or platters of food, let each child serve themselves providing help only if needed, and there's a fair amount of interaction and conversation. That day, they served cheeseburgers with lettuce and tomatoes, french fries, and white milk. Not great, not horrible.

I'm also encouraged by their security measures. The yellow buses actually have harness style belts, which the bus aides help the children into. When I went to school, there wasn't a seatbelt to be found on a bus. Each child has to be signed into the bus and/or school. I have to sign them onto the bus, and I have to sign them off. They even asked for my ID the first day and will ask for the ID of anyone else that tries to sign them off of the bus to make sure they're on the list of permitted people. If I take them to school or pick them up, it's the same thing. I have to sign 'em in and out.

Each class gets 30 min. of time outdoors on the playground every single day, which I'm thankful for. Annie and Airius are used to being outside all day, so I wasn't sure how they'd handle being cooped up for 3 hours a day.

The BEST thing, though, is that I get to spend time alone with Callie for the first time in her life. She's having a hard time adjusting to being without her Booboo and Sissy, but I am really enjoying our closeness. It's apparent that I haven't missed anything about her, I always knew who she was, but just being able to cuddle her and focus on her without any competition is a huge bonus. Yesterday, we spent our entire hour before lunch and naptime "painting" on the walkway out front with water. A couple old paintbrushes and sponges and a bowl of water kept her occupied with no trouble at all. Towards the end, she started adding leaves, rocks, flowers, and twigs to the water and stirring it with the paintbrush. Her own witch's brew. I'm so proud! ;)

Still, my mind keeps drifting to homeschooling. I suspected that one of the women who lives at the end of my road homeschools, so when I saw her yesterday evening, I asked if that was the case and told her that I was considering it as an option. She pointed down our road and said, "I homeschool. The house next door to me homeschools, and the house next door to that homeschools. You certainly wouldn't be alone and would have plenty of people to go to for advice or encouragement." Bless her. I think, ultimately, I'm going to let the kids decide. I know that it's my emotions, both maternal and pregnant, that are driving my thoughts toward this.

Take a deep breath, Mama. You're in this until May...

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