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.

Day 1 – The Pick Up

Okay, so that was WAY better than the drop off. Although still far from perfect…

Mark met me at the school so he could see Charlotte before his 1pm meeting. (I made him promise not to go in without me because I really wanted to see her in her “natural setting” before she saw either of us.)

When we got in, we peeked in the window to find little Charlotte sitting like a cutie patootie, listening to the teacher read a story.


All of a sudden, Charlotte looked up and caught my eyes. Cue the puckered lip and tears.


“Oh no! Really now? I swear she was happy all day!” -C’s teacher

I went in and picked up my little bunny and gave her BIG hugs. The administrator had printed out the following papers to go in C’s classroom memory book (and one copy for us). C and I read it together and she started to calm down… although I was not permitted to put her down.

 Not even Daddy was allowed to hold or hug her yet.

Today was gym class. Charlotte supposedly had a blast playing with the balls. She collected a handful and handed them out to her tiny friends.

Then, the kids went outside to play. Charlotte played in the Cozy Coupe… anyone else not surprised? She also played AT the slide… although did not go down it.

Charlotte’s teacher said that from across the playground, she pointed at her teacher and waved. Such a sweet pie.


As we left Charlotte’s classroom, we made a mandatory stop at the piano that’s in the lobby. C played us a little tune. Man does this girl love music.

From that moment on, she was ALL smiles and chats and cuteness. I really do think that she had a fun day. It almost seemed as if us coming back to pick her up confirmed that she had a good day. Like, “okay, now that they’re here and I know they’re not leaving me here forever, I can admit that I had a blast.”

Ya know, if she could talk… I’m sure that’s what she would say 🙂

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow’s drop off goes a bit smoother and doesn’t take such a toll on this momma.

Wish us luck!

Day 1 – The Drop Off

All dressed and ready for school.

After last week’s perfectly executed “Preschool” orientation, I had really high hopes for Charlie’s first day of school and our first drop off.

Let’s just say, the word perfect didn’t come into play this morning.

Right off the bat, the morning was off. Charlotte woke up about 45 minutes early and was a bit cranky/sleepy/VERY clingy with mommy. Breakfast was a cluster. She picked the cheese off the top of her quiche and refused any other part of it. She wouldn’t drink more than 1/2 of her veggie shake. She took three sips of milk and was done.

Finally, I broke down and gave her cereal. I was desperate for her to eat something to help her make it through the day today. She ate it… kind of.

Marky was supposed to join me for the first drop off, but because he’s amazing and was busy slaving in the kitchen (prepping dinner for tonight), he wasn’t able to make it.

So Charlie and I headed off on our way. She whined on and off the whole way to school, which is totally out of character.

That’s a pretty apprehensive face…

When we got into the classroom, she stood frozen in the doorway, staring blankly. Finally, after a good 5 minutes, that lower lip puckered and some tears came. I called her name and she came running towards me, arms wide open.

The teacher called Charlotte and another kid over to show them a big bag of puppets she just received. Charlotte reluctantly watched as we showed her all sorts of puppets. She was on the edge.

FINALLY, the ice melted a bit when the other teacher brought over a bucket of dominos and corks and an empty juice container. C immediately jumped in and started taking the corks from one container and putting them into the empty juice container.

This was my time to exit. I looked at my little buns and said goodbye and told her I’d see her in a little bit. She stared and stared and stared… and then the lip puckered out and the tears began.

Her teacher told me not to worry and said they would handle it.

I walked out of the room. Tears welling up in my own eyes.

The administrator stopped me on my way out. She told me that C’s tears are her way of asking a question.

“Mom, is this okay?”

Immediately, I started feeling guilty for not turning back to her when she started crying and reassuring her that I would be back and that she’d be great. Instead, I just left.

The administrator peeked in at C and let me know that she was already tearlessly playing.

I left, got in my car, called Mark and started bawling.

I’m not talking about tearing up. I’m talking full-on, unable-to-speak-through-heavy-sobs crying. Of course, once I got enough words out to let Mark know that everything was technically okay, he started laughing at me.

I knew (know) that she’ll be great and that it’s so good for her to go to school, but for some reason, it felt so overwhelming. I can’t even pinpoint what specifically was so overwhelming. I definitely had guilt about not turning back to her when she started crying… but I had felt teary before that.

Thankfully, I received a text from Charlotte’s teacher before I had even gotten to work telling me that she was doing well. She also sent a cute little picture of Charlotte playing with the classroom play kitchen.

The photo from Charlotte’s teacher.

Regardless, I’m really happy that I get to go and pick her up in just 45 minutes. I can’t wait to see her and am hoping that pick up goes better than drop off.


Charlie’s Preschool Orientation

Guys, remember last night when I was having a mega dramatic mom meltdown over Charlie starting preschool? Well, today was the big day and Charlotte did SO well! We left feeling giddy and excited and just good, good, good.

When we got to the school, the administrator took us right to Charlotte’s classroom. Some of the kids were painting and some were playing with clay. There were kids from C’s new class in there, in addition to some of the older kids from the K2/K3/K4 classes. The Administrator explained to us that the kids are encouraged to intermingle. They may ask their teacher to spend some time with another class and their teacher then gives them a set amount of time, and off they go. I love how independent they’re allowed to be… and how trusted they are.

Anyway, the teacher immediately walked over to us with a couple of the little girls in the class to introduce themselves and welcome little Charlotte. They took her on the tour of the classroom, which got totally hijacked by the fish tank.

Charlotte LOVES fish tanks. A bunch of the kiddies stood by the tank with C and her teacher and pointed out different fish and other items in the tank. It was awesome watching her little head shift from the kids to the tank and back to the kids.

Then, it was snack time! Charlotte sat at the mini table with all of her little friends. They took turns taking crackers and apples from the plate and were all served a little bit of milk in “big kid cups”… AKA cups without sippy tops. Charlotte spilled hers all over the table… but whatever!

After snack, the kiddies sat together on the carpet and sang songs with the teacher. Charlotte was ecstatic. She joined in with the hand motions and of course, clapped and demanded more after each song.

Then, it was a big moment. It was time for Mommy and Daddy to fill out paper work and leave Charlie to play with her new tiny friends. I reluctantly walked out and turned around to see my little one’s reaction to us leaving… surprise, surprise, she didn’t even notice. She was too busy playing.

After we filled out some paperwork and talked to the administrator a bit more, we went to retrieve Charlotte. At this time, she had moved with the class to the Music Room. We stood in the window and watched Charlotte as she sat on her teacher’s lap, playing the double piano thing. She looked up and saw us, smiled, and continued playing.

I mean, could you make up a more perfect reaction?

We literally had to carry her out of there, she didn’t want to leave. It was SUCH a good and relieving feeling. I have a feeling that she’s really going to love it there.

And of course, Charlotte got home and was zonked. Nana held her and she just kind of melted into Nana’s arms. She also took her nap pretty early. Sleepy bunny with the big day.

Don’t worry, she had enough energy to throw her hair bands all over the floor and chase the kitty…   


The Next Chapter

Tomorrow is a big day for our little love. Tomorrow is Charlie’s meet and greet at her new preschool. She will meet her class and her teachers… She’ll get to check out the school. It’s a whole new world for this little lady… 

So maybe I should just be honest and say that tomorrow is a big day for mommy. I keep thinking about my little love being at school all morning without mommy or daddy or nana or grandma or grandpa or grampie or Grammy. None of her peeps. 

What will that be like for her?

Will she connect with her teachers? Will she make friends easily? Will she love school? Will she hate it? Will she cry when I drop her off? Will I cry?

Oh my goodness. 

(Here comes the pep talk…)

I know this will be so good for her, but I can’t help this pit in my stomach. The thought of her looking around for her family. Mommy? Daddy? 

Woah. Okay. This will be good for her. She will get over any initial hesitation (as will I). She will love it… Right?

All we have to do is have fun (together) tomorrow and then I’ll… Errrr… We will have the rest of the week and weekend to prepare. Not too bad. We can do this!