Baby goes to school
The youngest of my two sons started Montessori school yesterday.
It's a pretty big deal for him. Unlike his brother, Cameron, who went to daycare at age one, 3-year-old Alister has only ever been cared for by his parents or a nanny. Being a neglected second child, he hasn't even been registered in much in the way of playgroups or lessons.
Instead, he's been in the embrace of the fun and affectionate circle of nannies who care for many children in our neighbourhood. His playgroup has been story-time at our local Chapters. His days have been filled with trips to our local playgrounds and libraries, lunches rotating at through the houses of his little friends, their nannies taking turns making Chicken Adobo and other Filipino favourites. He's even learned to nap snuggled next to a friend, and has always ends his days in the comfort of his own home, ready to shout, "Mommy/Daddy! You're HERE!" when either of us walks in the door.
But Monday was the beginning of a new era in his young life. Since his brother is four years older, he's been keen on this concept of school, particularly on wearing a "packpack."
He was pretty proud of himself on the walk to school...
But when we got to the school, a lot of strangers starting talking to him. And the person who greeted him at the door of the cloakroom - the threshold of which parents are not to cross - was the French-speaking assistant. He screamed and cried as we handed him over.
I did not get a picture of that.
If I had, it might have been a self-portrait of a red-eyed mom and with a so-called journalistic specialty in parenting, one who knows you need to kiss goodbye with a smile on your face, cut and run, but who nevertheless cried because she could hear her child crying from DOWN THE HALL.
But, naturally, some fatherly espionage revealed that just five minutes later, his tears were dried and he was exploring the space with his new teacher.
The verdict at the end of the day? "It was fun! I had zert." (Zert being Alister code for "dessert.")
This morning there were a few more tears. "I already went to school. I want to go to Chapters."
But we'll get there. Meanwhile, I'm staying confident in our decision that Montessori school is a great environment for him, and a childcare arrangement that will work for our family.
I'll let you know how it goes.