So, Zoe and Lucy started back to school on Friday. It was a half day, or, since they normally only go for a half day I guess this was a quarter day. And parents went with their kids. So there we all were, in a room made for 11 kids and 2 teachers (that’s 11 people who are about 3 ft tall and 2 full-sized humans). All 11 kids and at least 1 parent per kid, plus the teachers. That’s at least 24 people. And it seemed like they were expecting the kids to have a normal sort of morning, exploring their new classroom, getting to know their new classmates, etc. Instead, it looked like a giant convention (that is, a convention for giants) with all the parents standing around getting to know each other amidst the tiny tables and chairs and the mini kitchen and the dutch door bathroom with ankle-biting toilet and knee-high sink. Zoe and Lucy, who were thrilled to the brink of their self-control before we actually entered the classroom, spent most of the hour hanging around my legs asking me to come with them from this activity to that. They had fun, but I think the whole thing was a little overwhelming. I’d feel the same way, I think, if my first day of school took place in the same room as a giant convention.
But it seems like a good place. Their teachers, Miss Robbie and Miss Lisa, appear to be very kind and very experienced; the director of the school, Miss Denise, expects the kids to give her a high-five whenever they see her; the classrooms are all very bright and clean and new; and there don’t seem to be any psycho parents in the class. In fact, everyone was very very nice and interested in meeting everyone else. It was kinda like being at a cocktail party (for giants), except no bowls of olives and no drinks and we all had our kids there with us.
The only problems I can really forsee are these:
– One of the teachers gets one of those tiny bits of white spittle at the corner of her mouth after she’s been talking for a minute or two, and when that happens, I can’t pay attention to a word she says. Nevermind about this — Bob says it’s a little mean. He’s right. The teachers seem very very nice.
– Although it’s not that big a deal, I’m not a big fan of that whole “Miss + Their First Name” thing. I know it’s an improvement over the days of yore, when we addressed teachers by Miss + Their Last Name, which seems awfully formal for preschool nowadays. But somehow the whole Miss + First Name thing sounds so, I don’t know, southern or something. Like the kids I grew up with (here in N.C.) calling their parents Ma’am and Sir. I’ll get used to it, but in the meantime, it’s funny.
– The kids are expected to bring backpacks that are large enough to carry their folders (these plastic folders that the teachers and parents use to exchange pertinent information about the kids, the school and whatnot), their jackets (apparently the NC health department has decreed that when kids hang up their coats at school the coats are not allowed to touch other kids’ coats, so instead they’re supposed to keep them in their backpacks), and their lunches (lunchboxes anyone?). Zoe and Lucy don’t weigh 40 lbs yet and they’re only about 40″ tall. Do you realize how large this backpack is going to be on them? Frankly, it has me all a dither. We went to Target yesterday looking for these proverbial backpacks and there was nothing that fit these criteria that wouldn’t also be large enough to smuggle one of the 2-yr-olds home in. And I know the 4-yr-olds are not supposed to be smuggling the 2-yr-olds home.
– The kids aren’t supposed to wear flip-flops or Crocs. These are the only shoes Zoe and Lucy have worn since April. When I tried to explain this to them, they stared at me as though I was speaking German. “Du kannst nicht Flip-Flops oder Crocs tragen, um zu schulen.”
Other than that, I think we’re good.