People warned me that babies grow up fast and wow they weren't kidding. Grace has been home with me since she was born and starting this week, she'll spend two days a week at preschool. We had the chance to visit and meet her teacher this past week and we talked to her about it a ton before actually going. While she may have outgrown her severe separation anxiety, she still gets extremely reserved around new people and new places. So we've learned that talking about things before they happen helps her transition. We talked about it so much (and watched the preschool Daniel Tiger episodes so often) that she was beyond excited to go visit. She was literally jumping up and down yelling "go to preschool now!"
The visit was both good and bad. I'll start with the good:
She loves her classroom. It has a play kitchen, lots of art easels, a fun reading area, and much more. To her delight, there are even dress up clothes in the corner. When she realized that she was going to get to play there again, she couldn't stop smiling.
We had to basically drag her out of the classroom. She was having so much fun coloring and exploring.
The moment we went to talk to her teacher, she shut down. This wasn't completely unexpected but I keep hoping she'll grow out of it. She does not like people she's never met and has no desire to speak to them. Her teacher completely understood and didn't try to push it. She let her be but promised that she was looking to buy some dress up shoes to add to the classroom collection which at least got a little smile out of Grace. I'm absolutely sure that by next week, all we'll be hearing about is her teacher. She did the exact same thing with her ballet teachers and now she loves them. But as a mom, it's hard to know that I'm going to leave her there for 4 hours with someone she's so shy around. Honestly, it's hard for me to leave her for that long with anyone!
I keep telling myself she'll absolutely love it and she's going to get so much from it. I think it's going to really help her conversational skills and she will love the crafts and activities. I'm sure she will adjust faster than Connor and I will! Connor will have a hard time getting used to her being gone, they are constant playmates at home and really do love each other. It will be great to have some one on one time with him and I have to say it's so much easier to run errands with one than with two!
I will update later this week about how her first day went. How did you feel when your first (or second, or third?) went to school for the first time?