Monday, August 24, 2015

1st Day of School!

Today was a big day… my sweet little Iyla Grace had her first official day of school!

She is attending a small Monday/Wednesday morning program (she is one of only 8 kids!) at a darling Montessori based school, run by a husband/wife team and assistant teacher. The school house and gardens are absolutely beautiful and magical, and I knew within seconds of my first visit that this would be a place Iyla would adore.

Last Friday they had an open house for the new students & parents, and Iyla had so much fun playing! I mean, this place has a mini fairy house in it. If that isn't perfect for Iyla, I don't know what is. There was also a tent filled with stuffed animals, including the entire Winnie the Pooh gang and Curious George- some of Iyla's favorites!

A peek into the magical school house

Discovering new stuffed animals at the open house

A water table for my water baby!

Curious George

A couple of Iyla's teachers in the background- Ms Morgan in the center and Ms Morna on the right (not pictured: Mr. Ben)

A friend of mine posted about how she'd created a personalized book for her daughter's upcoming first day of school.  I thought that was an excellent idea and hustled to write a little story for Iyla over the weekend (thanks for the idea Cheasty!). It was a big hit! She was quite enamored with this new book based on her life, requesting that I read it over and over and over again:

Come this morning, Iyla was totally ready to go! I told her we'd be putting on her backpack and taking photos, which was a sneaky Mama trick… I made it sound like photos were a first day of school rule/routine (which they WILL be!) and my sweet girl- who typically fusses when I pull out the camera- happily posed for me! Success.

This was the first face I got when I asked her to smile. A work in progress.

Then I told her to say "poop," which always brings the smiles

A little first day of school jig

Modeling her new backpack

We arrived early (traffic was surprisingly sparse!) so i took the opportunity to embarrass her further with more photos outside the school

"Geez Mama."

When we arrived, Iyla marched confidently in and promptly found the fairy dollies. She did have one moment of pause when Mr. Ben approached to welcome her and asked if she wanted a hug (this is NOT a kid to dole out affection to someone she doesn't know well!) but recovered quickly. I kept the good-byes brief and let her know I'd be back soon to pick her up- to which she replied: "you go now." ; )

The teachers had set the expectation that often on the 1st day it's good for new kids to be picked up after an hour, depending on how they are doing. I made sure to have several errands to run within 15 minutes of her school, but was happy to receive two text updates both saying that she was doing great and should be able to stay the full morning.

When I went to pick her up, Iyla was beaming, shouting "Mama! Mama! You're here!" Her teachers reported that she was the only new kid to last the entire morning. They also said that she had eaten a great lunch and led all the other kids in a new way to eat it. They had been served pesto pasta and soup (fresh from the gardens there!) and Iyla had started dipping her pasta in the soup and drinking it that way- to which all the others kids apparently followed suit. That's my girl! 

Other updates included Iyla having made up some new moves during yoga time, and sweetly asking permission to play with the water table (she told me that was one of her favorite things!) The teachers said she did a great job participating all morning long. 

I am so proud of my BIG GIRL! And excited for her to have this new found independence and opportunity to make a community of friends. : )