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Looking on the Bright Side

This was the letter that came home in a brown paper bag filled with -- whatelse -- a sticker, a cotton ball, a Lifesaver, a bookmark, a star, and an eraser. Another positive for the first day.

Because of my mini nervous breakdown this week (please, please people who don’t know me very well — understand that I am not usually this nuts!), I have been thinking about everything and decided to focus on the good. There are plenty of good things that came out of Big Girl’s first week of school. And so, my probably-frightened readers, a list of all the good attributes of our local school and Big Girl’s first two days.

  • A relatively small class. Only 19 kids — 20 including Big Girl — and many of them are lovely. It’s not the 29 kids my friend’s son who is in parochial school has in his class. Unfortunately, it’s not the 14 kids that she started with in first grade, either. But then again it’s also not the 10 kids she would have been with this year in private. According to my husband, more kids equal more opportunities to learn social skills, and 20 is a perfect number, he says.
  • Smart boards. Need I say more?
  • A “real” gym. Big girl, used to a basement that doubled as a gym, was amazed to use a gym with basketball hoops and a sign that kept score.
  • A library. My bookworm daughter couldn’t be more thrilled that she has a library only a hallway away from her. She was over the moon when I told her she would get to go and take home books every week. I’m excited that, next week at open school night, I will meet the librarian. I’m hoping that thanks to public school censorship, she can help my kid, who reads at a fifth grade level find something that’s appropriate for her second grade mind.
  • Classroom cash. You do good stuff, you get classroom cash. I was especially impressed that the teacher lets the kids save up their cash for experiences such as sitting in the bean bag chair during rug time — whatever that is.
  • A real nurse’s office. Big Girl got kicked in the head on Wednesday. She was climbing on the playground equipment — another new experience for her since the old school didn’t have one — and the kid above her kicked her accidentally. She went to the nurse. She loved that she had on a “pretty” doctor’s coat. Honestly, I almost wonder if she put her head in front of the kid’s foot. She was so intrigued by the idea of the nurse when we told her about it. I think she may have invented a reason to go visit. The nurse called us, too, to let us know what had happened. Another miracle: Big Girl stayed calm the entire time. No dramatics or hysterics noted.
  • A later start time. We used to go insane in the morning trying to get ready for the bus, which picked up Big Girl at 8:10. Her new start time: 9:15. The bus will pick her up at 8:55. The bus stop, once we get a bus pass, is on the south corner of our street.
  • Five computers in the classroom.
  • A water fountain in the classroom. Big Girl was so excited that she could get a drink at any time by raising two fingers and walking to the back of the classroom.

Is this the perfect situation for us? I still think the answer is no. I wish there was a way we could go to private school three days a week and public school the other two. When Big Girl suggested this idea — yes, she came up with it herself — I agreed. It would be the best of both worlds. Too bad it could never happen.

Stay tuned. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I have officially left Crazy Town. So sorry for my momentary stay. Looking forward to week two and more hopefully positive experiences we’re going to have.

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