Sunday, August 23, 2009

Random experiments

As promised, the slightly delayed breakdown on Luke's first day of preschool! And then a couple other stories mixed in.

So, we'd been talking with Luke all week about his trip to school on Friday to meet his teacher. I don't think that the word 'school' really meant anything to him, but 'teacher' certainly did... from third-to-last page of Brown Bear, Brown Bear! So every time I'd say to him that we were going to school, he'd remind me that we were going to see a "teacher, teacher," ha!

Anyway, we woke up and got ready like normal on Friday, and drove to Luke's school just in time for them to wrap up breakfast and start some play time. He was clearly nervous as we walked through the door... lots of new people (he didn't say "hi" to anyone, which told me he was a little overwhelmed). When we got into his classroom, he immediately turned around and wanted me to pick him up. I did, and we introduced him around. There were some familiar things in the room, such as a chalkboard, a sand table, and a sink with a faucet that Luke could reach, so he quickly became enthralled with those. Every couple of minutes, he'd look over his shoulder to make sure I was still there. He was moderately interested in the other children there, but really more interested in the bathroom and opening the classroom door! I am sure with time, this will pass.

He got a little confused and frustrated at one point because the classroom rules only allow two children at each play station (there are pairs of footprints at the sand table, for instance, to show how many kids can be there at a time). I am pretty sure they do this to avoid overcrowding and fighting between the kids, but even as a nice little girl tried to point out to Luke that he was the third person at the sand table, he didn't get it. And then he got mad when the teacher made him walk away and find another station to play at. Eventually he made his way to the creative play area, and sampled a plastic tomato.

Mid-morning, we went outside to the playground. As much as we've tried to get Luke to love the playground, he just doesn't. I am not sure if he gets scared or isn't sure of his footing, but whatever it is, he tends to stay close whenever we take him. He started out that way on Friday (he even threw a temper tantrum and tried to get back into the school), but with all the kids squealing and laughing as they went down the slide, his interest was definitely piqued. He climbed up and went down the slide once, which I considered a huge success because I wasn't the one convincing him to go up the slide, nor did he need me to ride down with him.

We went to another section of the playground later, and the teacher set up two water tables. Luke was in pure heaven, and didn't need me around anymore after the water table came out. I would stand farther away as he would splash more and more water across his increasingly large smile. He was soaked to the bone, and happy as could be. It definitely made me happy to see that.

After the water table was lunch time. Luke sat at the table with his new friends all by himself - a total surprise to me since he still sits in a high chair at home. He told his teacher "thank you" when she spooned his lunch onto his plate, asked for a fork instead of a spoon to eat with, and ate his noodles and applesauce well. Then he even cleared off his plate into the garbage when he was done! Amazing :)

We got ready to leave after lunch because the kids in the classroom were going down for a nap. Luke was definitely ready to go at that point - it was a busy morning! I ran out to the car to get Luke's supplies for Monday to put into his cubby, and he noticed that I was gone. He didn't cry, but he was clearly happy when I came back into the room. So Monday and Tuesday of next week, the plan is to have Luke go part time on his own... and then try full time on Wednesday. Hopefully that will help ease him into preschool and give him a little more comfort and independence.

The night before Luke's first day of preschool was his last day at the Little Gym. At the end of the last session in May, they had a medal ceremony for all the kids. We didn't know that was going to happen, so we weren't prepared with a camera. Determined to experience this medal ceremony as a family, we packed everyone into the car to congratulate Luke on completing another session of his Beasts class. For the first time ever, we took Will with us out onto the tumbling floor - typically one of us takes Luke to class and the other stays home to work with Will and make dinner.

Will had an absolute blast! He especially loved rolling down the big blue wedge and bouncing along with Oma to the songs that the teacher was singing! It was a totally fun, totally unexpectedly great evening for us! Even when we found out that they weren't doing a medal ceremony this time!

Our third experiment was this entire weekend, we went back to the beach. We left Friday night, to ensure that we'd have a place for the boys to nap at their normal nap time on Saturday (we learned from our mistakes last time). On Saturday morning, we went to the beach. Because Hurricane Bill was blowing through the Atlantic, we didn't go into the ocean much beyond our ankles because of the warnings of rip currents. Will again proved that he didn't like the ocean, however, and spent most of the time huddled with me under the sun shade while Nate and Luke spent some time in the water.

Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Fort Fisher and walked around there a little bit, and then headed up to Wilmington to stop at our favorite ice cream place, Kilwin's. Yum! We made it back to the hotel in time to get a short swim at the pool (even shorter for Luke, who is NOT a fan of getting his face wet) before the boys went to bed.

This morning (Sunday) started off a little rough, but we were kind of prepared for that! All we had to do was pack up the car and hit the road. Quick 2 hour drive home, just in time for naps. Ahh, this trip went like 1000000000000 times better than the last one!

I am sure there will be many other experiences and experiments to write about in the coming weeks! Be sure to check back!

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