Beautiful school, beautiful girl, beautiful day. Oh wait. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Today was Mia's first day at school. Montessori. She's about 19 1/2 months old and communicates really well. We all know she's ready physically, mentally.
Emotionally, that's another story.
After a big dinner and a good night's rest, Mia woke up smiling and ready for the day. Mark and I decided to tag team it this morning and both took her to school. When we got there, we continued to try to talk her up to it. We've been doing it for weeks now. As have the Nanny team. We knew this was our last shot because last night's conversation did not go well:
Mommy: Mia, you're going to start school tomorrow. Will you be good for your teacher at school?We manage to walk into the school without too much commotion. And enter into the cafeteria area. There are about 6 other kids already there this morning and at the table closest to us are 2 of the younger children. They appear to be about Mia's age and are quietly playing with a toy each. Mark tries to let her down and introduce her to them, but she won't have any of it. She immediately attaches to my legs. Quickly racking my brain, I see that there are more little chairs stacked against the wall, so I grab one and set it down at the little table for Mia. Knowing that's one of her favorite things to do. Sit on a chair at a table. I was right, she can't resist.
Mia: School! Ja-ja school!
Mommy: That's right, Mia. Ja-ja goes to school! But now Mia will go to school, too! And you will have lots of new friends to play with!
Mia: NO! No, GO AWAY!
She walks up to the chair, pulls it out, smiles at each of the 2 kids as if to say, "Hi. Mind if I sit here?" And then proceeds to sit down. Miss Kim, the director brings her a ducky toy and she's interested. After a few quiet seconds, Mark and I quickly excuse ourselves without announcing.
We disappear behind the front wall and I ask Mark to peek back in and snap a picture. She's quietly sitting and observing:
Before we can even get out the front door though, we hear wailing. We expected this. We've been here before. We've prepared ourselves. We stop for one second and both know that it's better if we just keep going and not go back.
And Mia is at school.
After a super busy morning at work, I finally get a chance to check in after her lunch time since I hadn't heard from the school. This was a first. Every nursery she's ever been in, we've been paged. Miss Kim reports that Mia nibbled on some Cheerios at breakfast. Didn't want her milk (why didn't remember to tell them that she just drank 8 oz at home???). Her crying had subsided to whimpering for Mommy and Daddy. And that she had managed to eat 1 chicken nugget at lunch after her teacher Miss Jocelyn held her and fed it to her. Otherwise, she was not interested. It was now nap time, but she was not napping. She was walking around the classroom with her blankie. I told her, that was not good! She must be very tired as she usually has 2 naps a day! Let me call back after 3 to see if she had either crashed or snacked. If neither, I would come get her and she could do both at home without completely ruining her dinner or bedtime.
3:30 rolls around and I finally finish my last set of meetings. I call, and as I had feared, Mia is on strike. Still no nap and only nibbles on the PM snack. I'm on my way!
When I enter the school, I run into her teacher in the cafeteria getting art supplies. I introduce myself and immediately apologize =/. It is her bathroom break time and I hear Mia crying from the classroom. Miss Jocelyn explains that Mia has had a tough day. But that she has had vast improvements from the morning to the afternoon. She started the day crying and would only mildly calm down when held by her. After an hour or so, she was able to hold a conversation with Mia and was impressed that she understood what was going on. Mia told her, "Mama working." Yes. "Mama coming back?" Yes! "MY Mama." Yes! "Daddy working." Yes. "Daddy back!" Yes... good girl!
When it was diaper changing time, it was a little more difficult. She changed Mia first since she already had her in her arms. Then she had to set her down in a chair to change the others. Mia cried. As she was changing the next child, she noticed that Mia's crying had slowed down. When she turned around, another student, Emma, was trying to sooth Mia by rubbing her arm. That took Mia by surprise. Sweet sweet babies.
At lunch time, Mia was totally distracted by all the kids in the room eating. She was not interested in eating, she was so upset. So she just sat there. After 15 minutes, Miss Jocelyn came over and asked her if she would take a few bites for her. She took one. And then declined another. After a few more offers, she said she needed to get up and clean up Mia's plate if she wasn't going to eat it. Mia started crying. She told her, if you're eating, then I can sit here with you, but if you're done, then we need to get up. Mia understood. She ate another nugget while her teacher held her in her lap. Ugh.
Naptime came and Mia was utterly confused. She sleeps exclusively in cribs and pack and plays. So a cot? Totally new concept. Miss Jocelyn introduced her. Mia, this is a cot! This is Mia cot. This one is Jacob cot. Again, she was very surprised when Mia immediately pointed and repeated, "Mia cot." But that didn't mean that she knew or wanted to stay in it. Her teacher said she'd stay in it as long as she was there to rub her back. But she really wanted to get down and play. The first time she wanted to play all day. Of course! All the other kids were sleeping! She had the whole room to herself. So when another kid started to get out of their cot and her teacher went to that child, Mia immediately sprang and ran to the rocking horse. Or to the play kitchen. She slept less than 10 minutes.
At reading time, her teacher said she was totally engaged. Sat very quietly and followed every word. Yes, she loves books. At afternoon play time, she actually got up and played independently for a little while with cars. But as soon as her teacher was out of sight, she started crying. Which brought us to the present.
We walked over to the classroom and there was Mia. Standing about 3 feet from the door with her back to us. Holding her blankie to her chest and sucking on her fingers. Crying. No Mommy. No Miss Jocelyn. We open the door and she mad rushes me. Crying, smiling, screaming, "MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MY BAG! MY BAG!" Yes, apparently, she was ready to go.
I apologized again and thanked her for her patience. We'd be back in the morning to try again.
Mia came home and laughed when she saw Bubba. Ate a huge bowl of turkey-roni and drank half a glass of milk. Cuddled with Mommy for about 15 minutes before crashing out in her crib for a little over an hour. She was cranky and still tired when she woke up, but at least she'd gotten in some food and sleep. She had no interest or patience for dinner. Daddy bathed her and set her down for bed and she was out by 7:45.
Hopefully tomorrow won't be too much worse. The saga continues...