Monday, April 20, 2015

Updates on Rachel at preschool

Babydoll started going to preschool in January this year and, well, she took to it like a duck to water. No issues at all, no tears. She was so happy - finally she could have her piece of the action. She was quiet for the first week, observing what was going on around her, deciding who she wanted to be friends with, and learning the class routines. She was soon comfortable enough to speak her mind and it wasn't long before her teacher told me, highly amused, that they'd had an "argument" over sharing, which ended with babydoll giving her the stink-eye. Hahaha! Her teachers are pretty cool, I like them.

Babydoll is a late addition to her class, together with one other student. The rest of her classmates had all done at least one term (or more) of preschool when babydoll started. I actually think that this fact assisted in a smooth settling-in for babydoll as her classmates were familiar with the class routines, eg. sitting down for reading time, sitting down for snacktime and lunch and putting away the plates and utensils, keeping her stuff in her cubby, plus nobody was crying. This environment, I imagine, is far less confusing and far less scary compared to being in a chaotic classroom of children who are all clueless.

The other new student did cry on her first day and - bad timing - she was crying at the classroom door when we arrived with babydoll. I saw babydoll's expression - a little spooked and slightly panicked - which made me think that babydoll might burst into tears as well. She didn't, my brave fearless girl. She got a hold of herself and walked right into the classroom. Amazing.

We watched her through the window for a while. It was some time before a teacher could attend to her as they were occupied with welcoming the students. Babydoll stood in the middle of the room, alone, watching everyone and taking it all in. After a while a teacher approached her and invited her to join a group that was using playdough. Babydoll had been using playdough a lot at home so I was quite happy about that - it would be familiar and comforting for her. After a while, she moved on to try painting at the easel, also something she was familiar with. That's when we left. When I picked her up after school, she was all smiles and her teachers told me that she'd had a great first day. She also met her brother in the course of her day, which helped, I think. From there on, it just got better.

In her first term, I regularly received hilarious recaps of her day in school, from her own teachers as well as other teachers in her school. One of her teachers told me, again highly entertained, that babydoll would regularly "escape", meaning babydoll would wander off from the group to do her own thing, and it would happen at least once a day. One day, her teacher was searching high and low for babydoll in the canteen, and finally found her, still in the canteen, but crouched down next to a plant pot, carefully examining the plant leaves, her tiny size well camouflaged by the massive plant.

Babydoll would also join up with Ryan whenever she saw him on the school grounds (usually during outdoor playtime) and sometimes she'd "forget" to return to her own class. This habit provided the background to another funny story - one day, babydoll had to put on her shoes but her shoes were nowhere to be found. Her teacher asked her where she left her shoes and babydoll told her, "In class". Well, her shoes weren't in her classroom. Her teacher searched all over the school grounds and came up with nothing. Until her teacher realised that the shoes must be in Ryan's classroom - and they were. They were neatly placed in Ryan's cubby.

Babydoll would also often go to her brother's class to play with their stuff, and she even "borrowed" their stuff. Ryan's teacher told me that she saw babydoll walking towards the sandpit with their stuff and when babydoll saw her looking, babydoll actually turned her body to hide the "borrowed" stuff while making a run for the sandpit. Heh heh. She's a wily one.

Babydoll has just started her second term now and I don't hear as many stories about her escapades. She has made some good friends among her classmates so she has her own little gang now. That probably occupies her a little.

There's lots more to share about babydoll but I'll leave that for another time. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos. They were taken last week outside our house.


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