“Will, we’re going to kain-esse!”

July 4th, 2009

It was a short first week for Sylvie at her new school, but long enough to be eventful.

I posted pictures of the send-off on Wednesday, and no, Sylvie wasn’t the slightest bit worried about starting her new school. I was terrified – I packed her 2 changes of clothes, was that enough to get her through the day? Would she nap? Was she going to be totally worn out by the end of the day? They both had coughs, were they going to be grumpy and whiney? (Or in Sylvie’s case, would she abuse the other children?) Would Will take care of Sylvie? Would she listen to the teachers?

And as usual, my fears were all for naught. The difference between the mom and pop school and the “real” preschool is that the real school has so many kids on the cusp of being potty trained at any given point, they can’t rely on the kids to tell them it is time to go – so, all activities revolve around the bathroom. They just keep taking the whole class in there every 20-30 minutes to wash hands and go. Sylvie was returned to me in the same clothes we sent her off to school. Uses potty – check! When I walked in, I was greeted by cackling teachers saying, “Oh, YOUR kids get VIP treatment!” as apparently, Sylvie, having trouble falling asleep in the new environment unconventionally crawled up into the teacher’s lap and napped there. First child in the recorded history of the school allowed to do so. Documented with cell phone pictures. Takes naps – check! And the rules? Well, Sylvie has explained to me that there is no fighting at “kain-esse.” … Any wonder where/how she learned that one! Follows rules – needs improvement. Apparently, the appearance of his sister at school is making Will anxious, as he allegedly spent the entire two days helping his sister follow the rules – “No! Sylvie, you can’t cross the yellow lines on the bikes! … Oh, Sylvie! You don’t walk on THAT side of the tires near the swings! … No, *that’s* the DOWN side of the slide, *this* is the UP side! …” Protective big brother – check! And continuing the tradition of *my* child being the dirtiest child in the school, come the end of each day, Sylvie, too, looked like the cast of Le Miserables. (To think I used to laugh at how implausible those laundry detergent commercials with the chocolate sauce, mud, and grape juice splattered on each garment were. Whose clothes get that dirty? How naive I was before kids.)

Needless to say, Will is earning a lot of marbles and special treats. When I told him that as a thank you for taking such good care of his sister, I’d give him marbles and some special chocolate, he asked, “Can Sylvie have marbles and special chocolate, too? She followed *some* of the rules.”

Here’s hoping the start of Kindergarten goes as smoothly.