Cam’s Birthday & Open House at Preschool

Cam’s preschool does a celebration for each kid’s birthday. I was out of town with work, but Joe, Demi and the grandmas attended. They reviewed photos of significant events in Cam’s life and had him walk around the sun, one time for each year. Then the kids got to enjoy a special treat. Ralle, Cam and Joe made fruit snakes on silly straws and the kids gobbled them up!

Making Silly Fruit SnakesIMG_7372.JPG

2017092695102954.jpg

20170926_104103.jpgIMG_7377.JPG

But you know the saying…. every party has a pooper. Yes, this really happened. The Olanoffs really know how to make an impression.

IMG_7376.JPG

Then, on Friday, his preschool hosted an Open House. Since I don’t get to drop off or pick up, I was a little too excited to have him show me everything. We followed clues around the school to visit all the major areas and he showed me his favorite things. I was impressed by the organized way they play with everything. He’d take an activity tray from the shelf, find a desk, play with the activity start to finish, clean it up, push his chair in and return the tray to the shelf.

I was also impressed by his motor skills. The activities required concentration and coordination and he was really good at doing each activity like pouring sand from one small container into another small container.

IMG_7444

Last, but not least, I almost fell over dead of excitement when he DREW 2 LETTERS! Cam hasn’t been very engaged by pens, crayons, pencils in the past. He’ll scribble for about 15 seconds and then move on to the next activity. So I assumed writing the alphabet was many months away. But he was playing with a letter bubble where you push it and the dice pops around. It landed on a lowercase j. Cam said, “Look! J for Joe!” and proceeded to go to his tray, draw a dot (while narrating “first draw a dot”) and then a curved hook underneath it. Then he pushed the bubble again and a lowercase l popped up. A lowercase l isn’t quite as impressive of course, but he drew a straight-ish line in proportion with the j. *Proud mama moment*

IMG_7441IMG_7442

I also loved how I told him I was excited for him to show me things and he took my hand and led me around telling me all about it. Listening to a 3-year-old explain what’s going on is one of my very favorite things.

IMG_7445

Neighbor Kaya was also at Open House so we got a cutie little photo of them together. One funny thing is that during Cam’s birthday celebration he got to pick a person to come up and look at the photos with him. He chose Kaya and Joe said that 2 girls started crying. Then, at Open House, a little nugget named Elizabeth (who informed me she is also 3 years old) exclaimed “Camman” when we arrived. She ran over to hug Cam and he ran from her. Again on the way out Elizabeth came to say goodbye. Turns out Cam isn’t ready to hug Elizabeth. As best we could get him to explain, he just doesn’t know her very well.

IMG_7451

Cam’s First Days of Preschool

It happened and we all survived. Some of us are unscathed.

Seriously though, what a flood of emotions the last week has been.

Cam was on the waitlist at this preschool for a couple months and about 3 weeks ago, they called me to say he would be starting on July 25th. At that moment, everyone started stressing in their own ways. Every time I thought about it, I’d get a shot of adrenaline and anxiety. Grandma Inny lost a ton of sleep the week leading up. Grandma Monkey stocked up on presents. And Joe was a little more sappy over his son than usual (and honestly, he’s already pretty sappy).

We talked about school as much as possible the few days before so it wouldn’t feel like a surprise to him. Some conversations were met with comments like “I don’t want to go” and some were much easier–especially after his new lunchbox came in the mail (Blaze of course). It seemed like he was warming up to the idea.

And then the day was here. We prepped Cam’s backpack with the essentials and packed his very first school lunch. Joe had the onerous task of dropping him off because Tuesdays are commute days for me. When they arrived, Cam immediately hit the playground and Mrs. Karla told Joe he should go. So, he went. And Cam didn’t cry!!

I called Joe about 45 seconds after drop-off because I was on pins and needles. Joe answered the phone and couldn’t talk. He was completely choked up. And that made me cry. Who knew Cam’s first day of preschool would turn us into puddles.

Inny and Monkey drove to daycare promptly at pick-up time. When Monkey walked in, he cried tears of relief and excitement. Mrs. Karla said he did great. They all got in the car and the grandmas asked him about his day. His first comment was, “there are a few too many kids.” Ha! What a ham. The grandmas reported he was a happy talkative kid all afternoon.

Each day since then (there have been 3 more drop-offs) has been teary. Cam has been upset for a few minutes, but has stuck close to Mrs. Karla and then gotten into the groove. And each day, the report has been the same, that he did great, talks a lot and asks a lot of questions.

After day 1 and then reflecting on week 1, I felt sentimental that my little guy is now in school, I felt proud that he’s doing well, I felt grateful that my “village” cares so very much and has helped us both logistically and emotionally with the transition, and I felt excited about the new people Cam would meet and things he would learn. I know there’s so much good stuff ahead for him.

We don’t have a lot of photos because, well, with all the change and anxiety, we’ve been focused on the matter and not really pausing for photos. But hopefully we’ll snag some as it becomes a little more routine.

For now, big exhale. We’re over that hurdle.

CamatBalboaPark.JPG

Cam’s Preschool “Tryouts”

I’ve been hustling to find a preschool for Cam and after a lot of research and just a couple tours, I’m pretty set on sending him to Taproot La Mesa. When I visited them, I just had a good feeling about it.

The Director is so warm and sweet and I can see how even the shyest of kids would open up to her. Beyond that, I think it’s the right size to help him socialize, but not so big that it’s overwhelming. I like that there was obvious order to the facility and the daily schedule. I like that it smelled of cleaning products. And lastly, it’s super convenient.

Today was Cam’s “tryout”. He spent one hour of free time where he was paired with one of the teachers and could play with whatever he wanted.

Upon arrival, he was very apprehensive and even teary. But then he saw the playground and got distracted. I told him we would go inside and meet the teachers together and that seemed to quell his anxieties. Once we got inside, I started filling out a form and before I knew it, he was creeping around the corner to see what toys they had. He started playing with his assigned teacher and I quickly said goodbye and that I’d be back very soon. He said “okay!” without looking up.

My mommy heart was pitter pattering, so proud of him for being brave and trusting me.

When I picked him up, the director told me he did great. At one point he asked for me and she said she could call me if he needed her to. But he just asked for a hug and was okay after that. She said she was surprised at how much of their conversations he understood. Smart boy!

We came home and he immediately fell asleep (with his carrot)… and I hung his first preschool painting on the fridge.

Today was a good day!

IMG_3467.JPG-1.jpegIMG_3470.JPG.jpeg