A New Chapter

Ms. Melissa, Thank you for the candy in your office. Love, Connor

The countdowns are over. At Pre-K, Connor’s had his last Treasure Day, his last Swim Day, his last Show and Tell, his last Bike Day, and his very last day of Pre-K. (Since he only goes to Pre-K four days a week, he’s had his last Daddy Day at home, too.) We’ve given the teachers their thank-you cards and gifts, I’ve turned in my keycard, and we’ve driven out of the parking lot for the last time.

At his new elementary school, we’ve attended Kickoff Day, Open House, and our Kindergarten Conference. He has his bus schedule, his lanyard (for that first nervous week of finding his classroom before school and finding his bus after school), and his three-ring binder that he’ll bring home every night. The vague feeling of an impending sea change has given way to the age-old newness and excitement of the first day of school.

I can completely understand how parents of kids who haven’t attended preschool (or even daycare) can turn into a blubbering mess when sending their child off on the school bus to new, solo adventures. Connor’s been spending time away from home for at least a few days a week ever since he was a toddler — he’s been attending the same daycare/preschool for over four years. That’s allowed us a slow transition from getting daily updates on paper about all the minutiae (and I mean all, including the contents of his diapers) to getting a general whiteboard update about what the class did that day. I’d still drop him off and pick him up in person every day, though, and talk to his teacher face to face at least once.

Technology has made it so that we’ll get a peek into the classroom via our iPhones, but that represents yet another transition for all of us. It’s all about our son becoming his own independent person — and, honestly, when I think about it, there are lots of things that I did or said or that happened to me at school over the years that my Mom never knew about.

It’s just fascinating to be on the other side of these memories.

Mrs. Riegger's Kindergarten class, 1981

Fun Day at Imagination Station

Connor and Mom at Imagination Station

We had an awesome time today! We went through the dinosaur exhibit (lots of animatronic dinos), made a brachiosaurus souvenir with the Mold-O-Matic, and hit up all of Connor’s favorite permanent exhibits, too, like the Distorted Gravity Room and the Farm 101 animatronic game show.

Connor’s First Eye Exam

Two weeks ago, Connor (age five-and-a-half) had his first trip to the eye doctor. We got him an appointment at the same doctor his dad and I have started seeing, with the intention of getting him in the habit of having a regular eye exam, since (given his heredity) he’s going to need glasses eventually.

Our appointment was first thing in the morning, before school. We got there and checked in at the front desk, and got paperwork to fill out and a buzzer for when they were ready for us. Once our buzzer went off in the waiting room (where we didn’t even wait long enough for me to finish the paperwork), one of the nurses took us back to get Connor’s history and give him a couple of screening tests. Then it was off to the exam room to hurry up and wait.

Waiting excitedly in the exam chair

I told him to look excited for the picture, but to be fair, he actually was.  (more…)

My son saw me making meatballs and asked — nay, *informed* me he would help. Dinner was late, but worth it. Thx, @altonbrown! #everydaycook

Cooking with Connor

Daredevil in Training

Boys climbing on the playground

Connor met a new friend at the playground today who taught him how to climb up the outside of the rope bridge. His new friend — a first-grader — is clearly more of a risk-taker than he is, although Connor was totally stoked to be up on top of the net like a big kid.

Me, I did my best to play it cool and supervise without freaking out. My son needs to learn what risks are OK and how to get over his fears — and I need to learn when to give him space and how much — and the playground is the perfect place for that.

Another mom helped him down when he was scared and I was on the ground trying to talk him through it. I was glad for the adult help, but had also kind of wanted him to figure it out for himself. Even though he got help down, though, Connor considered the net-climbing a rousing success and the highlight of his day.