First Day(s)

Big day today in la casa de Brannan. It was M.’s first day of preschool and C.’s first day of class at Gymboree. As I have shared before, we’ve been working hard the last two weeks to get M. to understand that we would be dropping her off at preschool and leaving – no mommies or daddies allowed inside. She seemed to grasp the concept, but we were both a little worried about how her reaction would be when the time came to leave her behind. I had a realization this morning that I needed to quit worrying: sure, it was a little scary to be leaving our daughter with someone who wasn’t a family member for the first time in her life (spoiled kid!), but we’re paying tuition, damnit, and not only do the teachers know how to deal with these situations, but they’re being paid to deal with them! So I chilled a bit.

M. was very excited when she woke up. She thought we were leaving as soon as she got up and was a little disappointed when she learned she had to get through breakfast, a bath, getting dressed, etc. before we could actually head out. She was dying to leave at 8:00, and I explained that her teacher wouldn’t be at the school until 9:00. Luckily, we actually went to Mass a week or so back, walked over to the school afterwards to check it out, and needed someone to unlock to doors for us. I told M. that her teacher had the keys and we couldn’t get in until she was there. Remembering her experience two weeks earlier, that made perfect sense and she stopped asking.

Our church/school is literally three minutes from the house, so we piled the family into the van at about ten ’till and drove over, M. nearly breaking her carseat straps from her excitement. Finally, the moment of truth. They do a curbside drop-off/pick-up system, so we pulled up, popped open the door, and before S. or the teacher’s aide could start to help M. out, she started screaming. Good screaming, thankfully. “I’M AT SCHOOL! YAYYYYYY!!!” S. helped her down, the aide pointed at the door to her classroom, and M. sprinted to it, waving and laughing at us as she disappeared inside.

That was easy.

Perhaps too easy. I expected the phone to ring while we were at Gymboree saying she had the mother of all meltdowns and our presence was required. Happily, that did not happen.

So we continued on to Gymboree. I never went when M. took a class when she was about 20 months old, so this was my first time as well. We weren’t worried about C. at all. Saturday, we went to a local mall that had a play area, and she dove right in despite the fact a number of kids that were way too big to be using the play area were in it (she got jacked twice by older kids, and I was busy shooting some serious dirty looks at the parents who were letting ten-year-olds play on slides made for two-year-olds. I snapped at one kid to watch what he was doing after he knocked her off the steps leading to the slide. It was mass chaos. We’re never taking her there on a weekend again.).

Class was a bit of a trip. This was a level three class, covering 10-16 months, I believe. For the first, and perhaps last time in her life, C. was one of the big kids. Most of the others looked to be right around 12 months, and none were as sure on their feet as she is. She was racing around, climbing on things, bouncing balls, doing all kinds of tricks. Even though we’ve just gone through the phase, it is amazing how different kids can be in such a small age range. While other kids would sit on their moms’ laps looking at the bubbles the teacher was blowing, C. would push herself away from me and march right up to the teacher and say, “OOOOOOOOO!” She was also the only kid who could “sing” along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Yeah, so I’m basically saying C. kicked some serious ass in class today!

S. tried to let me go it alone, watching from the lobby area. But as I was the only dad there, I forced her to come in. All the other moms and kids had been there before. It was bad enough being the only dad; I didn’t want to be the only person who didn’t know the words to the songs, etc. So S. came in and helped.

C. loved the class, and we’ll probably give her a couple more and then ask about moving her up since this stuff seems a little basic for her. It is great, though, to have her in class at the same time as M. is in school. C. will only go on Tuesdays while M. is in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

At 1:00, when we picked M. up, she was still in a good mood, and there were no notes slipped into her bag saying she had a huge meltdown or anything like that. She did have a bandage on her right knee, and she told us that she had fallen down during outside play time. She said it hurt, but didn’t seem to be favoring it at all. However, after her nap, she insisted on walking around like Kerri Shrug: knee stiff, toe pointed down, limping badly. I think she was just being a drama queen, because when S. or I wasn’t looking, she would walk normally. She’s already picking up bad habits!

So our girls are out getting socialized, which is always a good thing.

Oh, and I took a drug test today. Assuming they don’t test for caffeine, next week I will become a paid sportswriter. I’ll share more about that once every i has been dotted and t crossed.