Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Build-Up!


We've been ramping up to Kindergarten these past few weeks (I know you're probably sick of me talking about it, but it's been a big deal around here!)

I know I have talked about our daily picnics on campus we had all summer long. I did that so Paprika would be familiar with the campus and it wouldn't seem like some big, scary place on her first day.

The school has had a couple of social mixers for just the kindergarten classes to get the kids acquainted. There was a popsicle social a week or so ago, and we went to that. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but it was a disaster!

We got to the school, and they hadn't mowed the grass in a few weeks, so the grass was long. Well, Paprika did not want to walk in that long grass because it itched her ankles. Then, when she finally did walk across that big open field, everyone was eating popsicles (with Red Dye 40, I might add!) and she of course wanted a popsicle but didn't want to actually eat the popsicle. So, as you can imagine, the popsicle got melty...and that didn't go over well!

I asked her if she wanted to meet the other kids, and she said "I just want to go home and play with my dolls!" I could tell she was on the verge of an uncontrollable meltdown, so that's what we did...we went home and she played with her dolls and she was happy.

Now, of course Ginger wanted to stay at the school, and she was enjoying her popsicle very much! I think Ginger thinks she is the one going to Kindergarten, and is enjoying these socials more than any of us!

When I asked Paprika about it later, she said she had such a wonderful time at the popsicle social and could we go back again. Ha!


Yesterday was the Kindergarten ice cream social. It was in the middle of the day, and Mr. M took a long lunch to come with us, since I knew that there was a good chance Paprika was going to have a hard time with it and I was going to need a little help.

We got there early, so Paprika wouldn't be overwhelmed with an onslaught of people. Well, turns out all the older elementary kids were hanging around (about 70 of them) right by the check-in tables waiting to give campus tours. So, while we thought we were walking into a calm setting that would slowly get busier, it was chaos from the start!

The good news about getting there early was that we got to talk to Paprika's teacher for awhile before the other parents arrived, which was great.

Once other families started arriving, Paprika found a quiet nook and buried her head in a book for the rest of the social. At the end of the social, they had all the kids and parents go into a classroom to meet the principal and the teachers, but Paprika just could not do that. She was totally overwhelmed, and getting her down off the meltdown ledge was I am really glad Mr. M was there because he took charge of Ginger and I was able to get Paprika home. She was kind of a wreck the rest of the day.


Ginger had a great time, of course, and is talking about how excited she is to go to school with Yaya and start kindergarten! ;-)

The whole thing from start to finish was one hour...but it seemed like a whole day! The social was actually really cute, and they gave out T-shirts to everyone that said the class of 2024! So, when we got home, Paprika wore her new shirt and again was so excited to go back to Kindergarten.

So, we will see how today (her first real day) goes! I will be reporting back later...fingers crossed!



The Carrels said...

We had a horrible Open House experience with Max as well - he was so overwhelmed by the classroom, the students and all of their parents that we ended up having to leave early. The first day of school for us was a little rough...but now he's doing great - so great that he is comfortable enough to have disruptive behavior in the cafeteria...oh yeah...Principal Smith and I are buddies already - 3 weeks into the year! I hope the her day was great!

Sheila said...

Paprika looks adorable and happy! Keeping my fingers crossed for her too. Love that Ginger brought brown puppy along.
I think it's a good sign that her memories of these events are positive and she wants to return.
Sometimes what we consider an incident for them, is to them just another day.
I can't believe in this day and age they had red popsicles.
The Feingold Diet was a life saver at our house.
You may have to volunteer to be the treat maker for her class. If they haven't asked already, someone should definitely find out all the allergies in this class before a situation presents itself.
I got over any embarassment and feeling of imposition a long time ago. My child was gonna have as close to a normal, inclusive childhood as I could provide while insuring his comfort and safety.

outbackyak2 said...

I love your blog! I've never commented, but wanted to tell you I think you are doing an amazing job with your girls!
Part of the reason I love your blog is because I also have 2 girls, one 9, one 6. And they are much like your girls. My oldest is so much like Paprika it's a bit scary. You are very perceptive to notice how Paprika finds ways to help herself through difficult situations (like reading a book to avoid chaos). My daughter also has similar first experiences, and always does better the second time she visits a location. It will be critical that the school understands how she is figuring out solutions for her challenges, and makes sure she has access (control) to continue advocating for herself this way. This is a key characteristic of 2x girls.
My oldest also has a summer birthday, and we were not offered the type of pre-K/K situation you have. She's in 4th grade, and I still wish we could have held her back a year.
I also love your blog because I grew up in San Diego, and I now live in a land-locked state. Your beach entries make me homesick!
Good luck!

Erin said...

It is funny how the social is. We did it last year and both Elizabeth and I were overwhelmed. We did introduce ourselves to one little girl on the playground that was by herself, but looking around for someone. She kind of ignored Elizabeth because I think she was out of sorts too.
Next morning we get to school and Elizabeth immediately spots that little girl and runs over to her to say hi and they are BEST friends. And she lived one block away from us too (she just moved to Idaho. . .boo hoo).
Good luck tomorrow. Sounds like you have really done all your prep work. Which teacher does she have?

Candice Pham said...

Like mother like daughter. Nice pic. bonding with father and daughter. Looks happy. list building

Shelly said...

Thinking about you on Paprika's first day! I hope today goes smoothly for both you and her and that the transition is not as difficult as you might anticipate.