Over dinner of fish and chips at a local tavern, I interviewed Linnea, while Ben listened in. I thought it would be a cute tradition (we will see if I remember again in a year!) for her first day of school (it’s tomorrow). There were more questions, but she seemed to lose interest quickly. Note to self: Don’t incessantly question a toddler while she waits for her food.
1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A big, big coon.” Linnea, what’s a coon? [Silence]
2. What’s your favorite color? “RED! And pink. And yellow. And blue.”
3. If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go?
(Eyes light up…) “I have to go potty!” [And they ran off to the restroom…]
4. What are you excited about for preschool? What are you looking forward to?
I am excited to see Ms. Adena (one of her teachers)
5. Can you tell me a story, Linnea?
“Once upon a time, there was a Mama and she had 5 legs…” (Trailing off, but I heard something about a monster and I am not really sure…)
School Updates: Linnea had orientation for preschool last week. She, Ben, and I went to an evening meeting Wednesday and we went over paperwork with Adena while another teacher, Kristana, asked Linnea if she wanted to come play with her (and show her her cubby and tea cup). In that moment, Linnea just lost it: clung to me, cried, and curled her lip. With watery eyes, she asked, “Mama can you come with me?” It took every ounce of maternal strength to not give in, but in a flash–and after a long hug–her tears were cleared and she was talking up a storm in the other room with her new teacher. In fact, she didn’t want to leave when our time was up and the next family was waiting patiently.
On Thursday and Friday of last week, she had orientation with the other new students (7 total). It gives the newbies a chance to get used to the school and teachers without all the others (there will be about 20 altogether). When Ben took her, she said bye in the parking lot before the car was even turned off, “Ok Dada, see you later, bye”…and he walked her in, took her potty and to the cubby, and said bye anyway. She was there just for a little while, but she came home exhausted from all the playing.
When Ben picked her up at 11:30 on the first day of orientation, one of the teachers told him this story:
‘One little girl-Orly–was having a shy moment during introductions. So, Linnea patted her back and said to everyone listening, “That’s ok. This is my friend, Orly. I call her ‘Little Slider”. (That nickname came from the back to school picnic when they played on the slide all night…Linnea would slide down and wait for her, saying, “Come here my little slider”.)
Tomorrow is her first official day, and I took the day off. Ben and I will take her, and I will pick her up. There is a coffee date hosted by a veteran parent that I may attend while Linnea is in school; I was otherwise planning on being sentimental on my own. We will pick up lunch (probably noodles and company mac and cheese–her fave) and meet Ben at his school before heading home for a nap. I may have also promised ice cream after her nap, which let’s be honest, is more for me than her.
When Linnea was a newborn, everyone–strangers and family members alike–told me she would grow up too fast. I believed them. I really did. But even with that knowledge and with a clear intention to savor it all, I often look at her and wonder how she could possibly be almost 3…and now going to school.