(this is a longer post than it probably should be so feel free to just scroll to the pictures!)
Yes, you read that correctly. Joey had his first day of school today! I know, next week is spring break, the school year is almost over, what the heck are you talking about, right? Well, I have been in the process for about 3 weeks now of looking at preschools for Joey. I had narrowed my search from 6 to 3 and then 2 and was in debate over our church's school and another school. We had gone to the open house for our church school and Joey met the teachers, Joey played at the train table for a bit, of course was really shy and had me carry him down the halls, but also wanted to go back in when we got to the car. We thought for sure we would be going there this fall. Before going in to the open house I had called the other school that I was in a toss up with and left a message to receive more information. I had heard nothing but good things about this school but wanted to talk to someone and visit as well. I spoke with the director week and a half ago, and this past Monday went in to visit the school (sans Joey). Upon entering I felt it was going to be a good fit for Joey. I really like the rooms, the teacher that I met and the director. Another major benefit was that they have a 2 year old program. Jillian's birthday is Dec. 30 so her and Joey will most likely be 2 years apart in school even though they are 17 months apart because Jill would have to be 3 by Sept. 1 for that school year. Anyways, with this school she can enter as a 2 year old and can do so in January.
So, I was somewhat still in debate, but love this school for many reasons. Joey being so incredibly shy, I feel needs a bit more socialization than the Wed. and Thurs. with "Ms. Rhonda" over at the park district. So after touring this school and seeing that there was a spot available on Thursdays for him to join now we decided we would give it a try. So yesterday after teaching and picking him up from "Ms. Rhonda's" I drove over to the school to show him the playground that he will be able to play at when he's in school. I explained that the building was the school, some of the activities he'd be doing, some of the friends he'd meet, etc. Joey does know a boy who is a month apart from him that we met at the library...James. James and Joey have become friends at the library, and James is at the school, so I kept telling Joey he would see James there. His eyes would light up when I told him that, but I was hoping he didn't think I meant James the red train from Thomas and Friends!
We got him a new backpack last night that he picked out and he has been sporting around. He was so excited to see his school yesterday and was talking about it all morning, barely eating breakfast (surprise, surprise!). So we headed over to school and when we got to the parking lot Joey said "I don't want to meet my teachers." Luckily the new backpack distracted him enough to allow me to get Jillian and walk him in. We were first to arrive since we were the newbies. He met his 2 teachers and started to play, hanging close to me and making me sit next to him. After a while (and with the help of the trains they had) I was able to stand up and walk over to Jill who had seated herself at the table and was working on a magnetic Noah's Arc puzzle. The teachers laughed and said they thought she was ready for school already. Yes, the social butterfly will not have a problem with me leaving her when that time comes! She also made herself at home with the play kitchen and some of the farm animals. I was there about 10 minutes to get Joey comfortable. James had arrived and Joey and him were playing a little. I told Joey I was leaving and he grabbed my leg and said no! I looked at the teacher and asked if I could sneak out and she said I could hanlde it any way I wanted. So I told Joey I was helping Jill. I picked her up, said goodbye to Joey and told him I'd be back in a little bit. Of course he cried...
Jillian and I came home and made some cupcakes. I used to bake a lot with Joey when he was Jillian's age and he loved it, but hadn't allowed Jillian to be on the step stool by herself in fear that Joey would knock her out of the way or someone would end up hurt. So we had some downtime to cook and play.
We arrived back at the school 10 minutes early and saw Joey playing outside with some friends. I snapped a few pictures from the car before getting Jillian out and picking Joey up inside. Joey was so happy to be at school. He told me he was crying and saying "mommy, mommy." I told him I'd always come back and he should just have fun. The teacher said he cried for about 10-15 minutes, but when she grabbed a book and sat on the mat he went over with her and stopped crying and was fine the rest of the time. He has not stopped talking about all the fun he has had at school and told us he wants to go back tomorrow! Unfortunately it is spring break next week, but the following week he will be back again!
Oh, and of course Java always needs her little drama too...Java has a case of hives. She always seems to get them when spring first hits. She has always had sensitive skin, it just surprises us every year still. Not pretty picture so I'll save you on that one, but thought I'd keep you updated on all of us!