Last year of pre-K

And here they are, Lina’s first day of school pictures. She was so excited.

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Heading to the front steps to wait for the bus

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She admittedly looks much fresher in these than she did when the bus finally showed up 25 minutes late. (No pictures of her getting on, thanks to the rush.) She goes in the afternoons this year, and she’s riding the bus to school for the first time. (I’ll be picking her up to spare her the much longer ride home.) She has a new teacher, aids and therapists. It’s a year of changes, but hopefully it will be good preparation for the much bigger ones to come when our girl heads to kindergarten next year. Truthfully, it’s entirely possible I’m the one who most needs to get used to the changes. After two years with a wonderful preschool teacher, I’ve had my worries about having to switch. But then I caught this moment with her new teacher at yesterday’s meet and greet:

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These preschool teachers, y’all. They aren’t in this for the money or the easy days, I can tell you. There is no mistaking the love on her teacher’s face; Lina is in good hands again this year.

First day, and we’re okay

My firstborn headed off to Pre-K this morning. It’s a low-key Tuesday/Thursday program at a nearby Mother’s Day Out, but it felt like a pretty big deal around here. Corin was so excited, and definitely a little nervous. He was more emotional than usual over the little things. For example, there was a meltdown over using too much water to clean the yogurt from breakfast off his shorts, presumably for fear of a wet spot when he got to school. But true to form, he headed right through the door at drop-off with hardly a glance back. Those buckets of dinosaurs beckoned. I managed to avoid tears myself and am left to hope for more than one-word answers to questions about how his day went.

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“Here’s a good-luck whack for you, brother.” (Actually, she was being sweet, and the really good news is she wasn’t trying to pull his hair. This is progress, people.)

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“Put down the camera, mommy, and let’s get this show on the road.”

Lina misses him. She climbed into the little indoor wagon when we got home and waited for someone to push her around the house. (It didn’t happen – handle’s a tad low for mommy.) She has her first day of Mother’s Day Out on Tuesday. She’ll be going one day a week. This MDO program is just a few minutes away, and to our amazement, they have a teacher on staff with a Ph.D. in special education, focusing on Down syndrome. Several local kids with Down syndrome have gone through the program. We are looking forward to giving Lina an opportunity to spend a little time with some typical peers. Her therapists are pretty convinced she will be very peer-motivated in her development. I’m a big believer in kids doing most of their early learning in the home environment when possible, but I think one day a week will offer her a chance to explore a new environment and learn from kids her age. We are very lucky to have this option.

A busy holiday weekend approaches. Our family will celebrate Lina’s second birthday and my nephew’s fourth. We’ve planned a fun little picnic at the park, but thunderstorms are predicted. It may be a rather damp party. Stay tuned for pictures.