Charlie’s First Day at her New “Shool” (Insert Sigh of Relief)

It’s officially been over a month since Charlotte’s accident and since her last day at her old school. Without going into too much detail, after C’s accident (which happened at school), we decided we did not feel comfortable sending her back there.

Once the initial few weeks of recovery were behind us, we embarked on a stressful, time consuming, frustrating and stressful, stressful, STRESSFUL task of finding a new school for our girl. In total, I visited 5 schools and contacted SO. MANY. OTHERS.

I ran into so many challenges. Great teachers, but a TINY classroom. Crazy teachers and CRAZIER tuition. Great school, but she would have to get on a bus daily or weekly beginning next year. ETC, ETC, ETC.

I started to really stress that I’d end up having to “settle” on a school that I didn’t love. Knowing that my baby just shattered her elbow (and broke the bone all the way through) at a school that we loved, I was kind of freaking thinking about the things that could happen at a school I didn’t love.

Anyway, apparently, the 5th visit was the charm. I visited a local Montessori school and literally, from the moment I arrived, I had great feelings about it. The kids were happily playing, but there was such order and control in the classroom. The teachers were calm and loving, but assertive. I stayed for an hour and watched as they transitioned from “free play” to snack time to indoor gym (it was a brisk 2 degrees outside that day, so no outdoor time). The kids operated with such independence. It was most definitely their school. They sat and chatted with friends politely as they waited for snack. It was just so calm in there. I LOVED it. For gym, the kids got to run around and get some energy out, but again, not in a way that was out of control.

So, fast-forward. Charlotte is enrolled and TODAY was her first day. On Tuesday, I ordered C a new lunchbox. She would be eating a packed lunch every day at school. That night, I realized that Charlotte wouldn’t get her lunchbox until Thursday, meaning it wouldn’t arrive until after her first day of school… THE HORROR! Guys, I kind of lost it. I scoured the internet for local stores I could buy it from directly… nada. Finally, after staying up in bed for 2 hours stressing, I decided to “let it go.” There’s always tupperware (why was I freaking out so badly??).

Like the good juju that we needed, when I got home from work last night, the lunchbox had arrived!!! I immediately ripped open the box to show Charlie. And, as my heart of hearts, she was just as excited – if not more – for her brand new lunchbox as I was. We talked about what I would pack for her to eat at school, how she’d carry the lunchbox in her backpack and how she could share her food if she wanted (her suggestion, not mine. Note: this am she told me (bright and early) that she would not be sharing her lunch).

My psycho, type A brain really enjoyed packing her lunch last night. I cheered. Not to mention, it was a perfect distraction.

Crackers, cheese, cucumber, red pepper, hummus, pear, and a few raisins! Mmm.

This morning, Charlie woke up with the same excitement as the night before when we were in lunchbox heaven. We smiled, we laughed, we sang (“Getting dressed, getting dressed, getting dressed for my new shooool”) our way through the morning. All the while, my stomach was in painful knots. At one point I thought I might actually throw up. I smiled happily through it.

I knew drop off would be hard. There would be tears. First hers, then mine to follow once I got back to my car. I braced myself.

When we got to school, Charlie marched right on in. She walked with me to hang up her coat. We found the table where she would eat lunch (lunchbox dreams). A little boy in her class showed us the class frog! She told me he was green and started to count his black spots. Everything was so normal and uneventful. I kind of awkwardly said, “well… okay then. I’m going to go to work then…” I got my hug and kiss, turned around and left. Then, I spent the next 4 hours watching the clock until I could get back there.

The teachers raved about her first day. She did SO WELL! She came over and told me that they watched TV (they watched and did a yoga dvd), she did somersaults on the mat, she jumped and popped bubbles. AND… wait for it… had NO ACCIDENTS!! This was another huge stress. C is 2 weeks into potty training and has spent the bulk of that time with no undies or pants on, inside our home. I was so worried that she would have an accident and feel terrible or not feel comfortable telling the teachers that she had to go potty. Anyway, under the advice of the director, I sent C to school in a pull up. I figured that once she was acclimated, we could readdress potty training. But there she goes WOW’ing me again.

NO tears this morning, NO accidents today and all in all a great first day. Charlie’s very excited to go back tomorrow… and mommy’s tummy is finally starting to calm; although, I’m pretty sure I aged myself another 10 years. Mom life.

So proud of my happy girl. She is much tougher than I gave her credit for.

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