Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Her first visit to the new school

Carolina had to go to a screening test this morning with her new school's nurse, and one of the Kindergarten teachers.

She was very apprehensive but didn't cry before we got there. Once she saw other kids going into the school, she was happy to identify them as 'big kids' and was curious to go in. I went with her into the nurse's office where she gave Carolina an eye exam, hearing exam, weighed and measured her. Then I had to sit in the hallway while a teacher and she went into another room. I was glad she was willing to go with the teacher alone since she was very afraid to go with the nurse alone when we first got there. I guess the nurse warmed her up to being in the new place.

When she came out, she was very happy. She was told she was very smart and got a Cinderella sticker. She was proud!

We went back to the car (again in the pouring rain), and asked her what they talked about. She would only tell me, after I asked a number of "wrong" questions, that the teacher asked her to write something on paper, some shapes, and there was "the biggest trophy I ever saw. And it was golden!"

Well, of course, because it was 'golden' it was amazing. She wanted to know all about trophies and how you can get one. I explained that the children at the school must probably compete in sports or academics, or both, and be very good at it. I continued to explain that, "In a competition for a sport or academics, like spelling, math, art, or writing, if you are the best, you win. And sometimes when you win you get a trophy."

That did it for her. She wanted one of those trophies and decided that she was going to have a sports day at the park and make a trophy on paper, invite friends and whoever won would get the trophy on paper. Then we had to figure out who she should invite.

In the midst of all this, she started to cry very loudly. It turned out she accidentally ripped her sticker and was very upset with herself ("it's not an accident. it was on purpose!") and disappointed. I suggested a few options for how we could fix it, but that wasn't good enough. So I told her that she sounded very disappointed and frustrated. That calmed her down a bit and then I just let her cry it out. She stopped just before we got to her school. By the time I walked her to her classroom, she was ready to go in.

Her biggest concern before getting to school was missing lunch. I assured her she didn't miss lunchtime, and that seemed to be okay.

All in all I think it went well. It certainly didn't make her more afraid of the place. When we go back in June for her orientation, I'm hoping she meets at least one other kid she likes and we can have them play over the summer. I found out from the school nurse that there are 'a bunch of kids from your building in this year's class', so we'll see who those kids are and hopefully they are nice kids.

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