Back in February, in the midst of preschool scouting confusion, I came upon the notion of trying a Mother's Day Out program where there were no waiting lists. Just one day - first come first serve.
Aaron laughed. But when the sign-up date rolled around, he left the house at 4:45 that morning [even though they didn't open until 8] with breakfast and a long book to read [most likely filled with conspiracies]. When he arrived, he discovered that he was the fifth person in line. With our deposits handed over, we still held our breath for the da vinci - and since that didn't come to pass - we found ourselves the last weekend of August starting to scramble for dear life... "are we really going to do this?"
Apparently so. Because Ava no doubt is shy. But she thinks everyone is her friend. We'll be at the grocery store, library, or drive-thru and Ava will ask out loud, "Mommy, is she my friend?"
"Yes, Ava. Of course she is. Say hi..." and then we wave together.
She needs social entertainment - for play and learning. I've conceded to this fact. On the other hand, what worries me the most are the pushing, pulling or biting incidents that may occur when there's more than one toddler in a room. I know, I know.. it will inevitably happen - and the teachers may or may not see it. [sigh]
So I decided to stop dwelling on the whatifs and get with the program. Like buying new shoes....
Oh how I love the children's dept at Nordstrom. Simply for the fact that they have excellent customer service - and patience. Imagine fitting 6 pairs of sneakers between two wiggly toddlers? And by wiggly, I mean having to chase Ava and wrestle Noah to sit still long enough for our salesman to measure their feet, cover them in cotton and lace each pair. The chasing didn't begin until we asked them to stand up and walk around to test how it feels. They just wouldn't come back....
Onto the next challenge: finding a backpack without Dora, Ariel, or Thomas' head on it. And although I consider myself crafty - I didn't dare try this time. I finally scored mini-adult backpacks [for airport travel] and opted to use these instead. Then I found myself driving across town in search of nap mats... yes, I'm afraid I'm serious.
Napmats can be found online for a hefty price - or at specialty shops - who order them online... This would have been much easier if I prepared for all of this at the beginning of summer. But it's the night before, and getting all the items on their list of things to bring was trivial - not to mention - stressful.
I tried the camping aisle at Target and found 2 youth bags - and snatched it. It was finally coming together... for the big day....
I keep having to remind myself that this isn't really a "school" - it's just a practice run for preschool. This is just playtime - and Ava gets to see her "friends" twice a week, and Noah just once. The great part is that their rooms are adjacent to each other - and they have gym at the same time - so they can play together too - ok, this is where I cry...
And wonder if I'm doing the right thing. When Ava attended camp for one week, I was a complete mess. This wasn't as bad - but yet - it was. Because her little brother was [gulp] tagging along.
And being the big sister she was meant to be - she carried his lunch all the way to school... I mean, playtime. Watching Ava & Noah together is like watching a symphony in action - we feel everything. They play. They share. They follow. They fight. They console and they hug - each other.
But today, Ava is on a quest to make new friends. Hoping someone in her class will ask first, "Mom, is she my friend?"
And Ava would readily respond, "oh yes! I always have been."