In Charlie’s case, it should just be called “To School Night,” because we’re new to this.
Charlie turned 2 at the end of July, which means he’s now old enough for PRESCHOOL. WUT. I have a preschooler. He started a few weeks ago, and he attends class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He’s been sick non-stop since then, and Andy and I have each caught two rounds of contagion off him. Last week, I had a proper plague where I spent a day wondering, “Do I need to, like, go to the hospital? No, that sounds hard. I’m just gonna lay here some more, where it’s nice and warm and sweaty.”
In that time, Charlie has also learned that it’s cool to hit me in the face, both for reasons of anger and for reasons of amusement. Our bedtime conversation last night:
“Ow, Charlie, it’s not okay to hit me in the face.”
“Yeah!” [He hits me in the face.]
“No, Charlie! Look at me. This is not a fun game.”
“Yeah! A FUN game!” [He hits me in the face.]
So we’ve got that going for us.
He also got no-foolin’ bit by another kid last week and had a perfect circle of little teethmarks on his arm for a solid four days. When I came to pick him up and his teacher, Miss Ann, said he’d been involved in a biting incident, my first thought was, “Please don’t say he was the biter, please don’t say he was the biter.” When Miss Ann said “He was bit by another child,” I responded with “Oh, thank fuck.” (Probably just with my inside-my-head voice, but no one can be certain.) I’m sure he’ll bite another kid at some point, but for now, I would much rather tend to his bite marks than tend to “a biter.”
Last night, I got to see what he’s been working on in school besides learning to hit me and getting bit. First off, he made this baller owl.
That’s worth the cost of tuition right there. He also painted a leaf and has a journal of schoolwork. AND: They’re learning to use the potty. Oh, heck! Miss Ann explained that, since there are a lot of kids going potty at once, they’ve got the stand-up diaper-change assembly line, which requires a fair amount of cooperation from the youngsters. The system is that they stand by their poster in the bathroom while everyone gets washed and dressed, and if they stand nicely, they get a sticker. Charlie fucking loves stickers! Great plan; maybe I can use that at home.
On my way out of Back to School Night, I saw the posters in question. All the kids colored the apples on their posters, which had their names on them. There’s Max’s; he’s got like 23 stickers on his apple. Good for him! And Oliver’s got like 16– Fair effort; we’re pretty early in the year. Does Charlie have an apple poster? Yes. It has one sticker. One. I rushed home and told Andy, because we were both so proud to hear that Charlie stood nicely once.
So that’s been school so far. In spite of the contagion, the monthly dollars out the window, and the biting, Charlie fucking LOVES it. The have a SANDBOX, and TOY TRAINS (that are exactly the same as the toy trains he has at home, but still). And A FISH. OMG!
And Mom (that’s me) gets to spend nearly six guilt-free hours working on stuff without interruption. Boom.