First Day of Preschool

This is another guest post by an employee here at Graco. Karen Hartzell, who hails from our Forecasting department, is a mom of 1 with 1 on the way.  Here she gives us her perspective on her daughter’s first day of preschool (and how it may have been harder for Karen)…

We all know as parents, that with the birth of a child, the first day of school is looming far off in the distance. We really don’t think about it, except maybe once a year when we see school supplies roll into the stores. Then it happens- your baby is about to start school. Whether it is a new pre-school or kindergarten, big change is coming for everyone. We were in that boat this year. Baby was starting her first year of pre-school. Structured learning for everyone! Wahoo! There was only one real hurdle to cross. To go to “Big Girl School” she had to leave where she was.

I knew there would be a mommy moment, including possibly a tear or two, when my little girl went to school for the first time. What I didn’t realize was that I was not prepared for her to leave her other day care. You see, Baby was in a private home day care since she was 4 months old. A wonderful person named Maria has cared and loved my child like her own, while I worked full-time outside of the home. Over the past 3 years Maria was my answer person and first line of support for all things related to Baby during the day, but most of all, she had become my friend. Maria was there for all the firsts, the losing of the pacifier, the potty training, and everything else in between! For over 3 years, she and I corresponded daily in various colored notebooks about Baby’s daily happenings. The entire series sits on a bookshelf at home to reference when I am old and gray (or for when I actually have time to complete my daughter’s first year baby book).

So the question became, not how will Baby adjust to pre-school, but how will Mommy get through pre-school without Maria every day? How would I transition without a notebook? I need to know how long Baby napped, what she ate, what fun activities she did that day, and what her little friends did! I admit freely that I was spoiled by Maria and the notebooks, but the question still remains -how long will it take for me to adjust to the change?

Well, we are now 3 weeks into the new school year. Baby is enjoying preschool and her transition has gone wonderfully. She is making new friends, has been invited to a birthday party of a classmate, and already showing off her newly acquired knowledge of the months of the year. Ironically she is very focused on October since her birthday is also in that month. (Do they teach them that now?)

So how is Mommy doing with the notebook withdrawal? I admit that it is a huge adjustment to go from a detailed daily notebook to a weekly piece of paper with circled happy faces for 5 generic questions for each day of the week. My husband finds it quite funny when I get excited for actual words written about a particular day’s event. I know it will just take time to get used to. Change is good. If Baby can do it with a smile every day, so can I!

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6 Responses to “First Day of Preschool”

  1. Debbie Terranova September 30, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Karen,

    I am so proud of you and your beautiful daughter. As a seasoned mother, you learn that you grow as much as your children do.

    Savor every moment of it.

  2. Edna September 30, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    With each passing year we get a little better at the transitions but it still is difficult whether it be Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School and finally college…..it tugs at the heart each time, it gets a little easier but still brings a tear to your eye thinking about how quickly the times passes but reminds us to cherish every single moment !

  3. Elaine Kolbasowski September 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    Karen,
    You have so many firsts ahead of you! school, over night parties, driving lessons, dating, off to college and yes one day moving away from home. Remember to keep your sense of humor, believe me you will need it. I’m having so much more fun with grandchildren and spoiling them rotten so their parents have to deal with it (I call it payback). I remember when your beautiful daughter was born. You’ve come a long way and now you get to do it all over again. Good luck with #2.

  4. Kim @ What's That Smell? September 30, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    Preschool wasn’t too difficult of a transition for me, but I know that putting him on a bus next year will be. I am NOT ready for that!

    Sound like you’re handling it well! One thing I love about sending him to preschool is that I can get feedback from a new person about him and it teaches him things he just can’t learn at home.

    Good luck with what the future holds!

  5. My New Daycare October 23, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    Transitions like this are always harder on the parents then the children. :)

    Thankfully, the kids adjust to changes like this quickly and hopefully won’t be as crazy with their own kids as we are with them. ;)

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