So one not so fun part of moving was having to find another preschool for J to attend. We really lucked into our last preschool and it was marvelous! J loved almost every minute of his time there and he thrived in the school environment. The teachers were free with their hugs and genuinely happy to see him each day. His art projects were numerous and varied. His progress reports were detailed and informative. He attended with another little girl he loved very much and he was happy as a clam. In short, it was perfect. I was sad to leave Charleston, but I was really, really sad on J's behalf to be leaving his fun school. Their goodbye card made me cry; he was just excited that they gave him a going away coloring book!
And then we moved away. And we had to find another school. And we were going to be coming in in the middle of the year. And it was imperative that we get him in a class, because he was flailing around, talking incessantly about his former preschool, and at loose ends while the rest of us were getting (somewhat) settled. So, I found out about this little cooperative preschool just across the street from us and went over for a visit. Turns out, they did have an opening just now in J's class (though he was on the waitlist for pre-K next year; don't even get me started talking about the pre-K debacle--I'm sure there is another blog post in there soon!). BUT, the school is VERY different from our old one, particularly in that it is a cooperative school, so parents are in the classroom at all times, and the school is a lot less structured and more inquiry-based as opposed to thematic and it's an adjustment for us.
The school decided that J needed to come for a "play date" in the classroom to see how he fit in. That's right; we had to audition for preschool! Luckily, our audition went well; the teacher AND the classroom parent (who happened to be the president of the parents' board or whatever it's called) both felt like he fit right in, so, a week later, we were starting preschool! Hooray!
Of course, though his first official day went well, his second, today, wasn't as pleasant: he got pushed down twice, got told by the other kids that he didn't know the rules, got splashed at the water table and had to change his clothes into some leftover shirt from who knows who, and after all that he got upset. Understandably. But J and I talked about how the kids might be feeling about a new person in the mix, how he might respond when someone pushes him (he has experience in this area, sadly!), and what the teacher's job was in the classroom. He seemed to understand and felt better about the whole idea. Plus he REALLY liked getting to clean out the tortoise's cage, a special treat he got today. The teacher and I talked later, and she lamented the lack of empathy her class was showing and promised to keep watch over him, and I told her what he and I had discussed. Hopefully everyone will settle down soon and he'll be back to enjoying this new experience.
If not, I'll just have to take him out and we'll make do. But I really, really don't want to do that, so I am crossing all my fingers and saying my prayers instead! Wish him luck!