Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to school, back to reality

Last year back to school was full of firsts. Elementary school for Lily, beginning preschool for Gemma. This year is the year of "seconds", and that feels pretty good. Lily started first grade at the same school she finished off last year. Gemma returned to her same preschool to join the four year olds class. A little less change is nice this time.

Lily's school hosts a back to school bash the Sunday before school starts. This was an opportunity to find out who your new teacher is and see your old friends. There are three 1st grade classes and we didn't know any of the teachers going in so we had no hopes to be dashed. The only tough thing would be knowing you aren't going to be in class with all your friends from last year. 

Lily got Ms. Nicole as her teacher (yes, that is her last name). She is darling and we couldn't be more excited. She has a couple friends in her class from last year and is excited to make new ones too. She can play with all her other friends at recess because they get THREE recess breaks this year. She stays until 2:45pm each day except Tuesdays the whole school gets out a bit earlier. 
The first day of school was a Wednesday so it was an easy transition back to school with a short week. She lined up with her class and marched right on in when the bell rang. Not a glance behind to Gemma and I. Huh, guess we're old news already.
Gemma was not impressed with being left behind. Her school didn't start until the following week so we had some one on one time together. Let's just say that first week with Lily in school all day was a LONG WEEK. It is a huge adjustment for the kids to stay that extra hour and a half every day from the kindergarten hours. Lily came home so wiped out and so emotional. One wrong look and she would be in tears for no reason. She is loving first grade and her new teacher, it is just an adjustment. Gemma on the other hand is lost without Lily at home. It was the same last year but it is funny how quickly we forget and how the girls relied on each other this summer for companionship. They really are great friends and love playing together. Gemma has never had to play by herself with a big sis around all the time. She is finding it very hard and missing Lily so much during the day. Let's just say I am no replacement in the pretend play department.
Finally it was this little munchkins turn to start back at preschool. She was so excited to see her teachers again and meet new friends. Her little girl friend from last year was not returning this year so we had lots of chats about all the new friends she would make. The big highlight of this year is she gets to stay for lunch. She is still attending two mornings a week but the whole pack lunch thing makes all the difference.
We had gone shopping a few days prior to pick out a new dress for the first day. This girl has some opinions on fashion which is nothing new. She was wayyyyy more interested in shoes than the clothes and while she did not need another new pair of shoes we made a compromise that she could get the new boots she had her heart set on if we agreed on the dress. Pretty much she vetoed every (adorable) dress I chose and we settled on this one. She was more interested in the beach cover up type sundresses but this was more school appropriate. The best part is the morning of her first day she had huge tears over the dress and she refused to wear it. I totally saw this scenario coming. She wanted to wear a "frozen" t-shirt and skirt that had been worn for four days straight. I have to say, I wouldn't budge and she finally agreed to wear the new outfit. She looks darling of course and was so proud, although she did shout over her shoulder later that day, "I am never wearing this dress again."
If you remember last year she clung to my leg for the first three months of school and had to be coaxed away each morning by the teachers. This year she was happy to march right in, put her lunch box away, and after a few minutes holding hands she found her spot on the rug.
She came home that first day happy as a lark and told me all about the kissing hand craft they had done and all the fun she had. Just to keep things interesting, Gemma woke the very first morning after school with pink eye. Nothing says welcome back to school than shared germs. I was more than irritated seeing that she would now have to miss her second day of school and be home quarantined with me.

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