Claire is starting pre-pre-school every Tuesday and Thursday morning starting next week. Today the school, part of a neighborhood church, hosted a “meet & greet” for parents to bring their kids by and meet the teachers. Kit and I (and Claire) rearranged our schedules to be there for the big event.
This is the preschool that Reese has been attending the last couple of years, and Claire has been here many times already in the past with Grace to drop off and pick up Reese. Claire already knows some of the kids, teachers, and parents from playing around on the playground with Reese after school. Walking around with Claire, we heard comments like, “Claire’s back!”, and “Look, Claire’s talking now.” It is remarkable that Claire has managed to etch out her own secret life over here at this age. Even though Claire is just now starting school, Kit and I are the only new really new people here.
We introduced ourselves to the teacher, Ms. Betsy, and Claire almost immediately rushed off to explore the classroom. She pointed out the stuffed animals (“teddy bears”), and tried out each of the three rocking horses in turn. Then she found the shelves of toys and started talking on two play telephones, one on each ear. Another little girl name Matilda showed up too. Claire was pretty quickly saying “hiiii” and repeating Matilda’s name over and over. Kit and I incorrectly pointed out that Matilda is the name of the little girl in the “Carl the dog” books (the girl’s name is really Madeline — oops). Before we knew it, Claire was gently throwing her arms around the unsuspecting Matilda and saying “huggggg!” She had truly embraced the “meet & greet” concept with full force.
We had to get back to work eventually, and we had to somewhat drag Claire away from all the fun. Claire loudly said, “Byyyye Betsy!” as we left, and repeated Betsy’s name as we walked out the classroom and down the hall. We were very proud of Claire for showing such confidence on what could have been a scary and overwhelming occasion.