Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mother's Day Out

This week, Oliver started school! Ok, it's not really school, but we're calling it school, because that's a lot easier than saying "Mother's Day Out" all the time. He even got a backpack:

He really was excited. He just didn't understand why I was taking his picture so he only half posed for me.

Look, it has my name on it!

No, the backpack doesn't hold pencils, notebooks, and a ruler. It's the toddler version, which holds diapers and a change of clothes. And if we ever get him out of diapers and into underwear again, it will hold 3 changes of clothes, for the inevitable accidents. He also got a matching lunch box, not pictured here because this week they only attended for 2 hours. Next week will be 3, and the week after will settle on 4 hours for the rest of the school year.

Here are more pictures, from our Orientation the week before, where we went for 1 hour, and I went with him. They increase the time slowly to help with separation anxiety. Of course, the week I was with him, he didn't seem to notice.

Look at all the toys I get to play with!

Singing a song with his two teachers.

Snack time!

So this is where he'll be for four hours, one morning a week. That's what the excitement's all about, but boy, are we excited. Oliver is excited to go play with all the toys. And mommy is excited to get 4 hours Oliver-free. Not that I don't love and adore my little man, and want to spend every waking minute with him. But they call it Mother's Day Out for a reason: mommy gets a break. It's designed for SAHMs (stay-at-home-moms), to give them some time off of their 24/7 job, as well as to give the kids some time to play with other kids. Yes, I wish it was for more than one day!

It is only for 2 year olds, and they told us that (despite what we call it), it is not school. It's not about the ABCs, but it is about socialization. He's learning to play well with others. So throughout the morning, he will play with toys, do craft projects, have story time, snack time, sing songs, play outside on the playground, and have lunch. They help with potty training, and teach them manners, sharing, taking turns, and things like that.

For pick-up time, they have a routine where the teachers bring the kids out in pairs, so they can hand them over to the parent, and tell them anything they need to know about their day. Oliver was in the first pair, and it was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. Oh, how I wish I had my camera. He and another little boy march out with these big proud smiles on their faces, holding these big paintings in front of them. The whole room of waiting moms let out one big "Awwwwwww!" Oliver ran up to me and said "Use paintbrush!" and showed me his painting. Here he is putting it on the refrigerator to show Daddy when he got home. On the way to the car, he said, "Fun in school!"

Look how proud!

Look, this has my name on it too!

Overall, his first day was a big success. But there is one downside. On the day of the orientation, last week, one of the kids was very fussy. We figured it was separation anxiety. This week, his mom told one of the other moms (who told me), that when she got him home he had a 104 temperature, but she didn't realize it when they were there. Right. So he exposed us all (moms, kids, teachers). Have I mentioned that my pet peeve is moms who are selfish enough to knowingly bring sick kids to school/daycare/playgroup? Who knows if she knew or not. I would certainly know if Oliver had a fever. Anyway, the downside is that as I sit here and type this, Oliver is upstairs, coughing in his sleep. Yup. He hasn't been sick one day since we left daycare last year in Iowa, and one day in school, and now I'm pretty sure he's sick. I'm hoping that he's well enough to actually go to school next week. And music class. And My Gym. And mommy's gym. Because if he can't, it's going to be a long week without Mommy getting Out at all.

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