Last night, I was thrilled that Philip fell asleep at a reasonable hour. Well, thrilled but cautious. And anxious. I knew in the morning that Philip would be off for his first day of preschool. I wanted him to have a good night’s sleep before such an eventful day. I wasn’t sure if I would have a restful night myself. I was thinking about the day to come.
Will he cry when Peter drops him off?
Will he throw toys or his snack?
How will he treat the other children?
I was certain that I would have a first day of school anxiety dream, but I didn’t. I easily fell asleep not long after putting Philip to bed.
I slept well until 3:30 am. That’s when I heard Philip. I think a leaky diaper had awakened him. He was crying and sniffling. I took him downstairs to change his diaper and pants. He laid on his pillow, eyes closed, tossing and turning. I gave him some milk to drink. I thought he had settled down, but he cried again. And then that passed, but he was definitely awake.
Peter came downstairs around 4:30 am. He sent me back to bed. Unlike Philip, I went willingly and eventually fell asleep for about an hour. When I awoke again, I could hear Philip moving around in the living room. I got ready for work and wrote my first note to the teacher. I wanted to let her know that Philip had awoke early and might be cranky. By the time I finished penning my message, Philip had fallen asleep.
I was able to let him sleep while I showered and dressed, but I woke him while changing his diaper and clothes. He was not happy. I was worried that he would cry so hard that he might throw up.
By now it was time for me to leave for work. I did so with mixed feelings. I wished that I could be there for his first day, but I knew that my presence might complicate the process. Also, my mom had already made arrangements to come to the house and go to the school with Peter. She wanted to take pictures. He didn’t really need his own entourage and paparazzi for the first day.
My stomach flip-flopped as I drove to work. I looked at the clock-8:08 am. Philip was probably at school. 8:16 am-the school day had started a minute before. 8:22 am-my cell phone rang.
It was Peter calling. He told me that the three of them had walked back to the classroom so that Grandma could see where it is and meet the teacher. They left him in the lobby with the other children in his class. As the other students waited seated on the floor, Philip was being held on a staff member’s lap in tears. We’re not sure if this was due to separation, fatigue or fear. Even though it saddened to know that Philip cried, the tension in my stomach eased a bit knowing that Philip was there safe and sound.
When 10:45 am rolled around, I knew that Philip would soon be headed home. I was in the middle of a project at work, but I’m still proud of the self-restraint that I showed by not immediately phoning Peter for a report. I managed to wait until my usual lunch break phone call.
This was the report at that time: when Peter arrived for pick-up, Philip was on the playground. And he didn’t want to leave. He cried. Peter found a daily report in Philip’s backpack when he returned home. According to it, he chose to go to the art center to draw and paint. The teachers sent home samples of his artwork, and I’m pretty sure he had a few spots of paint on his shirt as further evidence. The staff also indicated on the report that he munched on Cheez-its during snack time. It also let us know that he worked with the speech therapist.
This evening, I took all of the papers to my parents so they could learn about Philip’s first day. My mom gave me a folder so that we can save this first of many reports to come.
I don’t have any pictures from the first day of preschool, but I will include this photo from the weekend. It shows Philip with a coloring book. Since he seemed to enjoy the art center today at school, it seems an appropriate substitution.
I’m pulling this post out of the archives to link up with the yeah write weekend moonshine grid. It’s been exactly two years since Philip began preschool. It’s funny to read how he didn’t want to leave. Some things never change.