Tuesday, September 05, 2006

On the Job Training: Motherhood - Part 16: First Day of Kindergarten

Woke her up this a.m. and told her she's no longer my "baby doll," just my "doll." (held back tears).

Looked for the camera, turned it on and read "Change Batteries." Looked for video camera and thankfully that was charged for a change. Asked her questions during breakfast and learned she really has no clue what the first day of school means. I told her she'll be doing this now until she's 22 at least.

Warning (Bragging Mom Ahead): She looked absolutely cute! She wore a pink collared dress with a white sweater, new pink & brown shoes that we bought last night. I did two little half-French braids and let her curls come down. It was a bit freaky how much she looked like me on my first day of schools -- but aren't you supposed to be like this? (Just because my mom did this to me, I feel I have to do this to her.) I was surprised no one else wore a dress, but my girl is really a girly-girl so any excuse to wear a dress is perfect for her. If she could've worn a tiara, she would've.

We went with her for the orientation day where she played with just about everything -- puzzles, piano, books, coloring, blocks. We asked her what she planned to do the rest of the year. Met the teacher who was nice.

I was reading an article on getting kids ready for KG and it pointed out that KG teachers are probably the nicest people on the planet. That makes sense. Every teacher or office personnel we met this morning looks like they had consumed bowls of Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops for breakfast. (I was pining for the rest of my coffee!)

After the 2 hours there, we returned her to private daycare/school where she will continue the rest of the day. They have a full day KG so she will do public school in the a.m., private KG in the afternoon + aftercare.

She was having fun and this all seemed normal. Then I met the other KG teacher, Ms. H., a bubbly, sugar-cereally young woman. She handed me a "gift," a ziploc bag with a cotton and tea bag with a note attached:

Dear parents:
Here is a little gift for you as you leave your precious one with me on the first day of school. As you hold this cotton ball in your hand, the softness will help you to remember the gentle spirit of your child. After you've gone home and dried your tears, make yourself a hot cup of tea. Put up your feet and relax. Remember that together you and I will work for your child to be the best they can be.

Thank you for entrusting your child to me for the coming school year. I will do my very best every day to be your child's guide in learning and exploring this bright, new world they've stepped into.

She should've added the tissues!

Tomorrow - she rides the bus alone to school.
(*sniff* *stifled sob* *sniff*)


Anonymous said...

awww...hang in there ...just like daycare - it's harder for you then it is for her :)

Her teacher seems incredible and genuine - wow. Kindergarten teachers are great - mine recognized me in the grocery store parking lot just last year almost 28 years later...she helped me break my shyness by forcing me to deliver a speech on open house night called "Fraidy Cat" and over time, I became less of a fraidy cat in terms of talking in public anyway - and now I do it for a living :)

So be thankful that Annika not only has your wonderful loving influence, but now she has another positive female influence to help her discover learning....

Keep some tissues handy :)


Tracker said...
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Tracker said...

Hmm... if I were to add some background music, it would be a perfect Hindi movie scene. You bawling like no tomorrow, the kid making cutesy faces and the song would go on for 78394839823 minutes. There would be a childhood version, then a slow version when the kid grows up.

I digress, but when I have my kid, the kid will sit at home and listen to all the terrific music in the world. Here is why. (I posted this briefly on CH the other day.)


Anonymous said...

Apple - how the heck does your teacher remember you!? I wouldn't know my KG teacher from a lady at the mall. But that is awesome though. My memories of KG revolve around fingerpainting and reading Clifford books.

Prop// - Yes, that post is really Hindi movie-ish. You have to permit one every now and then.

As for music, I'm a huge proponent of music for kids. I actually listened to classical music at work when I was pregnant and then the last few weeks switched to CD's that I planned to use as lullabies - Jewel, Sarah McLachlin, Carpenters. So, when my daughter was born, she knocked off to sleep as soon as the first few notes of "Close to You" started. It was amazing. I didn't intend to do this to make her smarter or anything -- just my plan to get her to sleep anytime, anywhere. And, she still sleeps with music. (Hopefully she won't fall asleep during concerts like I do.. I get totally relaxed and fall asleep -- leaving myself open for ridicule)

I see another post in the making. But, per your blog, you really pulled out the research and the hard facts on this. So, if this is all entwined, then it's a good thing.

BTW, I played viola in school, but I wished I had started earlier.

Tracker said...

So, if this is all entwined, then it's a good thing.

Oh, I personally believe it is a lot more than that. If the reports are to be believed, proper instrumental music changes how the brain functions in terms of comprehension and language constructs at a very basic level.

Considering how very structured Carnatic music or western classical music is in terms of protocol, I think music education will make a huge comeback. I remember learning Sanskrit based grammar in school and there was a lot of pattern matching, semantics and mental calculation involved in dissecting a poem grammatically.

Music also can be deconstructed into some highly complex and lovely math. So I think the base is the same for both language and music. The difference being that music somehow restructures the brain and helps better pattern recognition and comprehension.

Here are some interesting links that examine Math and Music.
I wish there were a similar study for Carnatic music.

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh thats wonderful that her KG teacher is so thoughtful and attentive. Younger teachers are always the best, they tend to be more optimistic about life :-) My KG teacher was Mrs De'Mello and when I went to India in 2004 I went to visit her. She's old and frail now and her daughters now run the KG which is bigger but remembered me, mostly because she lived across the street and she was just wonderful.