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!