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Friday, August 22, 2008

Preschool Prep and BB's First Haircut

After months of anticipation, BJ will start preschool in eleven days. It will be the first time he's spent any significant amount of time away from his parents, and because the program we like best doesn't do a morning only session, he'll be gone from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel really good about the facility, and the time to focus on BB will be wonderful -- but even so, I worry. I'm concerned that it will be tough for him to be on his own for 8 hours at a stretch after being home with the family all the time. (Ahem. How did my baby get big enough for PRESCHOOL??? Sob!)

So this morning, I went with him to spend a few hours together at the school. He could hardly stand still, he was so excited. He was grinning so hard, I thought he'd bust.

When it was time to actually go in, however, he got a little anxious, and when we walked into his classroom, he completely froze. I herded him into a corner, plopped down, and cuddled him in my lap. He stayed there for a good twenty minutes, with his face buried in my throat and his back to the room. No crying or fussing, just the shutdown routine that I've seen before when he's feeling overwhelmed. I rubbed his back and told him it was okay and reassured him that he could take as long as he needed.

I was pleased to see that his teacher, Ms F, didn't push herself on us or on him. She said hello when we first arrived and then checked in with me several times from across the room, making eye contact or just small talk, but she completely respected BJ's need to take his own time. One more reason that I'm really feeling good about this school.

After a while, one of the aides came over and mentioned that they have a reading corner, and would we like to see it? BJ nodded into my neck, and we went hand in hand to check out their books and the cozy little nook where the kids can flop down to read. Another little girl, J, joined us while we read a few books, and BJ started to warm up.

By then, it was time to head outside, and BJ did worlds better on the playground. Interesting to see that he was so much more comfortable there. I think in part it was because he'd warmed up a bit, and also because he's more used to interacting with larger groups of kids in a playground setting, given his experiences at the park. We played outside for an hour or so, he befriended two more kids, E (a very sweet little 4 year old girl) and D (a 3 year old boy who will be moving up into BJ's classroom this fall).

Then we went to Sweet Tomatoes for a special Mommy and BJ lunch. As soon as I reassured him that there would, indeed, be Jell-O for dessert, he was great. It was such fun to be out, one on one. It still astonishes me how having two kids makes spending time with just one of them feel like such a breeze. How did I think it was so frickin' hard back when I only had one? And yet, I did. I sure did.

In other news, yesterday BB had her first haircut. We'd managed to make it through most of the summer with the one buzz that I gave BJ, but it w
as getting pretty raggedy. I didn't want BJ to go to preschool with a bad buzz from mom. BB's hair needed serious taming, too, -- we're planning to grow her hair long, without bangs, so I'd been holding off as long as we could. The rats nests and poof balls that she'd get going were just ridiculous, though; even the magical California Baby detangler wasn't taking care of things enough. So in we went.


I was really nervous about going by myself with both kids, especially during the week before back to school, which was sure to be busy. But we snagged two appointments at the same time, and I was able to stand between the two little toy car styled barber chairs and do what little kid-wrangling was needed. Which was, thankfully, very little.


Note the blue lips, which are the result of the blue raspberry lollipops that the kids chose at the end and munched on the whole way home.

BJ was needing more attention at the end of his haircut, so I wasn't fast enough to stop them from putting glitter gel into BB's hair, along with the alligator clippie. I'd heard that this was standard procedure with a girl's haircut and vowed to decline it -- does a toddler really need glitter in her hair??? -- but ah well, one more example of how the standards and the reality don't always match up. Best of intentions and all. I'm learning that letting these little things go is part of what motherhood is all about.

BJ and S will spend another morning next week at the preschool for some transition time, and then my little boy will be on his own. It may well end up being more difficult for me than for him -- perhaps that, too, is what motherhood is about. Wish us luck!

1 comment:

April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

Both kids are too cute with their new haircuts!

Best of luck to BJ as he starts preschool. How exciting! (and ~hugs~ to you, mama)