There were no tears at the nursery school drop off yesterday morning.
That’s the first tear-free Wednesday we’ve had.
And that makes three drop offs in a row without crying, and five days out of the last six, as the last two Mondays and Fridays have also been tear-free.
Yesterday morning we read Llama Llama Misses Mama three times while eating breakfast, and E. recited the key lines along with me. He told me that “It’s ok to be sad because it’s hard to say goodbye”. When we got to school, I told him I would stay for five minutes. He needed a diaper change, and once I’d done that he asked to go find his teacher. When we found her, he ran over and grabbed her hand. I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him, and he held on to his teacher’s hand and headed into the back room without a quivering lip or teary eyes.
We’re really getting there.
On Monday I had a reminder of just how good nursery school is for E. It was my duty day, so I was putting all of the (now dry) artwork from Friday into the folders where they’ll eventually be filed and put into individual children’s mailboxes. I realized there was a set of paintings hanging from the clothesline over the sand table. Then I realized that one of them was by E.
This painting is BEAUTIFUL. It fills the page. It experiments with colour and blending and brush strokes. It must have taken him a significant amount of time to make.
E. very rarely wants to do any sort of art or craft activity at home. It’s something I want to work on this fall: pick up some more supplies and find a way to make them more available to him.
At nursery school his work tends to be done in a hurry. He’ll wander over to the painting station and paint for thirty seconds, or a minute, before getting up again and wandering off.
This painting was so different from anything else he’d ever done before.
When I commented on it to his teacher, she remembered it immediately. “Isn’t it beautiful!” she said. “He did it on Friday afternoon. I saw him doing it and as soon as I saw the painting I made sure to hang it up so it wouldn’t get squashed or crumpled on the drying racks.”
He would never have had the chance to do something like this at home. I’m just not great at providing the materials for messy play. Arts and crafts don’t come naturally.
And this, even more than the songs that we catch him singing to himself, or his new ability to process and give voice to his feelings, convinced me that we’ve done the right thing. Nursery school is good for him. He’s happy there.