Tomorrow is Winnie's "graduation" from Pre-School and I think I'm more excited than she is. They've been practicing two songs to sing tomorrow morning for the adoring crowd, and then there will be treats and cake. Its not the ceremony, which Winnie considers a big party that she should get presents for... but the fact that its a sign she's growing up. And boy, has she grown up in the last year.
I had to force myself to glance back to September and remember the trying times we'd gone through with pre-school. Winnie couldn't tolerate sitting for long periods (aka, 10 seconds..), she didn't talk to her peers, was obsessed with dinosaurs, was unable to transition to and from the pre-school without screaming, hitting, crying and running away.
As I dropped her off and picked her up today from her "last official pre-school day" I thought about these things, all of the things that she can do now and shone with pride at how she has indeed blossomed at pre-school this year.
She walked to the pre-school without my help, dropped her things off at her locker and went to wash her hands by herself. As she walked by to join her classmates, she looked up at me and said "Bye Mom". Walking on her toes she entered the classroom, stopped, and then walked flat footed around the room to choose her starting activity. She' was alone, but I gave a little smile as she tried to ignore my presence watching her. I know now that once she gets settled in, and with a little prompting from her ASW, she'd find something she'd like to do with her friends instead of alone. At the beginning of the year she would try to be alone for the entire day and being next to the other children was incredibly uncomfortable for her. Now she can not only play beside them, but she can play with them and engage them to play with her.
When I went to pick her up, still thinking about what it was like in September, I allowed myself to be amazed at her progress.
I got to the playground out back and Winnie was in the centre of a bunch of kids. They were playing with plastic frogs in a bucket of water. Winnie was singing "Splish splash i was taking a bath" and the other kids were joining in with her. She looked up and saw me, smiled, and said "Hi Momma, we're playing with frogs!" The other kids continued to play as we asked them all questions about the frogs, which Winnie was able to answer all of them. However, when we asked her what the little boy's name was she had been playing with, she couldn't remember. You see, she was more interested in the frogs then playing with the boy. But the fact was that she tolerated his presence with her and her play frogs, and that in itself has been a long way to come for little Miss Winnie.
When I said "Are you ready to go?" she jumped up, smiled and said "yes, lets go get Maggie". She still needed prompting to pick someone to say goodbye to, which she did with no problem and we left to a chorus of small "bye Winnie"s. Holding my hand she walked with me to the car and proceeded to tell me all about her day. She had circle time, played with Rachel, found some frogs, sang some songs and there is a party tomorrow! Most of all "I had fun at preschool today Momma", which is just music to a parent's ears.
No screaming, no crying, no kicking, no running away... at least not when it came to pre-school. ☺
I am so proud of her for all of the work she has done this school year. Unfortunately we can't put the cheer pompoms up just yet... While the other kids are on summer vacation, Winnie will be starting kindergarten prep right after Canada day holiday. Its a testament to what her life is and will be like. The other kids are able to rest and she's still hard at work... just trying to learn all the things that other kids pick up 'naturally'.
You go girl.