about a dream: Day 59: First day of School!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 59: First day of School!

Here's little Nina, off to second grade. SECOND GRADE!!!

She picked that outfit out herself. Such a big kid!

And here is Maggie, off to her first day of preschool!!

She wasn't too excited to have her picture taken ("Why??" she moaned. "You already know what I look like.")

I really wanted one of them together, but Maggie wasn't in the mood, and I didn't want to push it on the first day. Maybe tomorrow.

Well, the days were a success! Nina's was only one hour long (?? Why bother, says the American? Such strange ways here), but she had fun. She met the kids in her class, including the girl who went to school in America for a few years. She told me too that she understood most of what the teacher was saying (she was of course speaking German). Relief! Nina's day goes until 11:15 tomorrow, and the only thing she's not excited about is that it includes going to church. Church! In the US, if you ask the kids to recite the pledge of allegiance and include the words "under God," there are lawsuits. In Austria they ship them off to church! I think Americans have an idea that European socialism looks just like American liberalism, but that's absolutely not true.

Anyway, I digress. Maggie's day was equally successful. I stayed by her side for the first hour or so, then I told her I was going to sit in the lobby and read my book. We'd talked about me bringing a book to read in the lobby, and she loved this idea. I was there if she needed me, which was reassuring, but mostly she was free to do her own thing. She came out to visit me a few times, but mostly just played in the classroom.

The only incident that approached trouble was when Maggie was playing by herself (she really, really prefers to play by herself. She loves to play with Nina, and her friend Hattie back in Maine, but if they're not around, she likes to play alone.) Well, there was a little boy wearing a tigger costume, and he kept following Maggie. She was getting pretty irritated (her word), and I tried telling her that she couldn't force him to leave the play kitchen area because all the kids have to share. She settled for giving him the evil eye, and eventually he went into the other classroom. (There are two, the green room and the pink room. Maggie is in the pink room and tigger boy is in the green room). I was tempted to explain that when you wear your pajamas to school, the kid in the costume might view you as some kind of kindred spirit and try to become friends, but I don't think the time is right for that. It might only make her angrier.

We left at about 9:15, because Nina was done and Maggie was hungry. Plus the teacher recommended leaving early today (sure she did, less work for her!), so that Maggie could adjust slowly. Ideally she'll be going from about 7:30 or 8:00 until noon, but I expect it'll be at least October until she's worked up to that. We'll add a half hour or an hour per week, and I think she'll do just fine. She wants me reading in the lobby again tomorrow, which is fine, I don't mind that at all.

Cross your fingers for continued success!

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