about a dream: Day 68: Preschool is 2 steps forward, 1 step back

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 68: Preschool is 2 steps forward, 1 step back

Maggie hit a huge milestone on Monday: I dropped her off at preschool and went to the grocery store! She did great. Fantastic! I was gone for about 35 minutes ("about one episode of My Little Pony". That's how we tell time. 5 minutes is "a commercial break" and one hour is "a whole movie." We don't really watch that much TV I think, but it's the only thing I can think of that makes an objective measure of time).

Anyway, it was fantastic! She gave me a hug when I got back and then ran back inside to play. Then it was recess time, and I decided to stick around for a few minutes so she could play. She told me that she did cry for a few minutes, but that her teacher held her hand and picked her up, and she felt better.

What success! She was excited to go back today. She thought she might cry again for a minute after I left, but she knew her teacher would be there to pick her up and make her feel better, and she was actually ok with that. Way to go Maggie!

So, what happens today? You'll really never guess, because I didn't see this one coming. She had a substitute teacher today!

Now, really. What are they trying to do to us? I played it cool though, I was like, "Oh, neat, a sub! Let's go say hi, I'll bet she's really nice!" But Maggie clammed right up and was not comfortable. I stayed with her while she did a drawing in case she just needed a minute to adjust, and then it was outside time, so we both went out. The school has a great playground, and I told Maggie that I really didn't want to hang out all day, but that it wasn't too long until it was time to pick up Nina, and if she wanted I could dash home and get money for the Badener Bahn and we could go together to pick up Nina after that.

She agreed! Buuuut, that didn't last long, she was starting to cry and run after me before I'd taken 5 steps.

So, I didn't push it. It's only her second week, and I was so excited that she understands that she might miss me for a few minutes but then she'll be fine that I don't want to mess that up. Her teacher will be out tomorrow too, and back on Thursday. So I told Maggie she can stay home tomorrow and go back when her teacher is there. She was fine with that. It's not like she has to go 5 days a week or anything.

School for Nina is kind of going similarly. She has a good time for the most part when she's there, loves when they go to the playground or swim, but also feels a little overwhelmed this week. It's a big transition! And it's a lot of work for her; her teacher repeats the important things in English for Nina, but she's still trying to take in a lot of German, and that's just tiring. Fortunately the days are short, and we still have plenty of time to go to the playground and just hang out around the house after school.

I also think this week and next will be the hardest for her, just because the excitement of the first week is wearing off, and now the reality of another year, another school, all new kids and a new language is settling in. But knowing Nina, she'll start adjusting next week, and it will just keep getting better from there. Besides, the kids in her class are all very sweet, and there's the one girl who speaks English fluently and another who speaks it very well, so that's a nice change of pace. There's also a girl who lives in our apartment complex in her class, and she's a total sweetie pie and really likes Nina. So there are a lot of positives too.

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