...said Bunny when I picked her up from her first day at her new preschool. Then her lip quivered and she started crying, "I'm never ever going back there ever again!"
Apparently she wanted to play with the very enticing toy castle in her classroom, but was told by the teacher that it wasn't time for playing. That's enough to completely defeat a four-year-old on her first day. "We didn't even get to play at all!" she added.
When I pressed it turned out they did play (puzzles), they did draw, and they did sing. But then she reached into her bag and pulled out a worksheet she did in class (something completely foreign to her, I could see immediately what was going on.
The sheet had things to count, a choice of two numbers, and then a place to circle the correct quanity. The other side had lowercase letters to trace and things to color.
Bunny has not been in a school situation where she has done a ton of directed "writing," and she certainly won't let me help her even though she's dying to "write letters" and loves to copy words. She's been in two "hippie preschools" (as J. likes to call it) since she was three and while students were encouraged to follow their interests if they wanted to write, she certainly has never had to do a worksheet before. She's also never said she "hated school" before, something no parent wants to hear from their four-year-old.
So Bunny, who looked so worried and small today as I left her with her new class, felt like she wasn't successful with her new activity. I reassured her that the next day would be easier and that she needs to give herself time to learn the new routines, but all she could say was, "But I just wanted to play!"
I IM'd J. to tell him about the disasterous first day and he quickly responded, "She needs a special treat." I told him that I had just come from the grocery store where she picked out mint chip ice cream and sugar cones. Now that dessert is over (and she's received about a skillion kisses and hugs) she feels a little better. "I guess I'm going to a big-kid school now," she observed. "There aren't even any three-year-olds in my class."
Sometimes a little mint chip fixes everything.
And sometimes, parenting is heavy...
I'll be going to school with her tomorrow.