Sunday, September 24, 2006

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Yesterday was Jarrah's first day of "Tot Shabbat," which is the Mommy-n-Me precursor to preschool. It's cool because it's on the same campus and uses the same playground as the regular preschool, so it enables Jarrah to get used to the place with a safety net--me by her side.

From the moment we arrived, it was a wonderland. Not only was there a ball pit, there was a pit full of packing peanuts. Though Jarrah did have an anxiety attack when another little girl threw her shoes into this pit and they sank. She stood over the spot where they vanished and pointed frantically, bugging her eyes out. Even a half-hour after the incident, she looked up suddenly from her Play Doh and inquired "Shoes?" I had to reassure her I'd retrieved them and they were safely in our stuff. Speaking of Play Doh, this perennial childhood staple is apparently just as popular as when I was using it, which must have been, oh, five years ago now. ;) Jarrah had a field day rolling out the blue stuff with a tiny pin, cutting it with cookie cutters, and grinding it through a garlic press.

The other moms (and one dad) seemed nice but our conversation was minimal thus far. Some of them definitely know each other, and there was some gossiping on the playground of which I couldn't fully partake because I could see Jarrah trying to kill herself on a tricycle. The dad asked me, "Is she part Asian?" and I cheerfully answered, "She's all Asian!" and he murmured "Huh. She's very pretty." That was that.

The day has a well-organized structure. First there's indoor play, then snack time, then Miss Myrna with her guitar (Jarrah was goggle-eyed that the singing and strumming was not coming through the car radio) and finally, outdoor play. There are about 14 kids in the class ranging in age from 8 months to 2 years, and there are several kids her age. The morning was a massive success; Jarrah played hard and charmed all she met. Some of the other kids had tantrums when it was time to transition to a new activity, but Jarrah was cheerful and enthusiastic throughout, except when I had to explain to her that she got only one piece of apple and then we had to pass the plate on to other children. Even that evinced only one"mmmmm" of distress before she was happily distracted by the raisins coming the other direction.

Still, I know it must have been a tiring day for her. New place, new people, new toys. At the market afterwards, she staged a full-scale meltdown over not wanting to ride in the cart but then not wanting to walk, either. And then she slept three-and-a-half hours. Ah, yes. I think this school thing is going to work out just fine for all of us.


Anonymous said...

Three and a half hours! Gee whiz!

So glad to hear this day went so well. Your descriptions of Jarrah and her reactions to new things really bring the story to life, Sam.

It's wonderful to see her blossoming like this.

Love and xoxo,
Miss J

Cheri said...

Carpe diem Jarrah!