Preschool: the recap.
September 10, 2012

Charlotte’s first day of preschool went well.  Donald and I went to the campus together to drop her off and as soon as she recognized her room, she jumped right in.  She was so busy playing that it was hard to wrangle a good-bye hug and kiss from her.

In the afternoon, I picked her up.  There were six children in her class and two teachers to tend to them.  Charlotte had pink paint around her fingernails, a scribble in her cubby, and was flitting around the room like a happy little fairy.

“A-t-elle bien s-amuse?” I asked one of her teachers.  Did she have fun?

“OUI!” her teacher responded enthusiastically.

She never cried.  She never fussed.  When another child was upset, Charlotte sat down beside her and put her arm around her shoulder.  “You seem so sad,” my daughter told her, “I am sorry you feel sad.  Maybe you would not feel so sad if we played together?”

“She’s so compassionate!  And so independent!  She seems older than three,” the teacher said.

“And she talks like an adult,” the other teacher chimed in.

“But she didn’t go to the bathroom yet,” the first teacher added.

So a stop by the toilet was our first stop.

After we arrived home, Charlotte wanted to cuddle.  I thought this might happen because when she spends time away from her father and me, my daughter always wants to reconnect with us by cuddling.  We lay in bed and sang songs.  I told her a few stories.  And before I knew it, she was asleep.

When she awoke, I asked her about preschool.  Did she like it?  Did she have fun?  What did she do?

She didn’t want to tell me.  It is her own little haven.  “Can I maybe come back to preschool sometime?” she asked.  Yes, I said.  In a couple days.  “Good,” she said.  And that was it.

In the dark of the night, Donald and I talked about how well she handled preschool.  We talked about how proud we are of Charlotte.  We talked about how excited we are to see the role of the French preschool unfolding in our long-term home-education goals.  We talked about how we wish we could have been flies on the wall and seen the way she interacted with the other children because the interactions described to us are so foreign to us.  It’s comforting to know that three years of consistent parenting are paying off in public, but we’d still have loved to see it ourselves.

This morning, Charlotte woke up pressed against my shoulder.  “Momma,” she said.  “When can I go back to la maternelle?”

“Demain,” I told her.  Tomorrow.

“D’accord,” she said.  Okay.  “J’aime la maternelle.”  I like preschool.

I held her head against my chest, ran my fingers through those long blonde strands, noticed the grains of sand that a shower and a bath didn’t get out of her hair after an afternoon at the beach this weekend.  “I know, darling,” I said.  I know.


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  1. By Alicia S. on September 11, 2012

    I would have been absolutely exploding with pride when they told me about her putting her arm around the other child. That’s remarkable!

  2. By on September 11, 2012

    Awesome! Go Charlotte! It can seem that the children are ready, and the parents are surprised.But it is such a happy moment to know that your child is ready. Yesterday at our first day there was a crowd of parents around the corner who were crying because their child just waved them away. Bittersweet. :) :)

  3. By on September 11, 2012

    This comment could be written on any given day in response to any one of your posts but I have been wanting to write it for some time. I never know when I open your blog if I will laugh or cry, if my heart will break for you or leap for joy. I have on a few occasions went months without reading and then discovered such highs and lows in catching up that I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day as if I know you personally. I have thought of you and your beautiful family daily and continue to wait anxiously for the arrival of your little one and am so grateful that a happy ending to the latest part of your family’s journey is nearing and new beginnings are just around the corner.

  4. By Sarah Christensen on September 11, 2012

    Alicia S - I AM!  I’ve been bragging to everyone lol.  I just wish I could have seen it…it’s hard to equate the behavior la maitresse described with what I see.  It’s not that I don’t think she’s compassionate, but I’ve just never seen her reach out to another child like that, you know?

    Mary Ann - OMG, summer’s over and I still didn’t finish your e-mail!!!  WE NEED TO GET TOGETHER!!  I want to hear all about Croatia!  (Sorry I’m so e-mail lame recently!)

    Julie - This is one of the sweetest comments ever.  Thank you =)  We’re very excited for the happy ending around the corner too!


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