Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Grade...I'm a BIG fan

Lily started First Grade on August 25th. Can I just tell you that I'm in love with all-day school? Perhaps I should be a bit chagrined about my pleasure at sending Lily off to school for 7 hours, but I'm not.

The reduction in daily whining alone is enough to make it worth it, but there are plenty of other perks, too. School starts at 8:00am, with the bus arriving at 7:30am. It's a little crazy that Lily takes the bus since the school is only 5 or 6 blocks away, but we live on the other side of the train tracks so they do it for safety. Lily thinks it's so cool to ride the bus and I love that I can just send her out the door while I'm still in my pj's, sporting some bedhead and morning breath. We wake up at 6:45am, and while it was rough the first few days, we're getting used to it. I used to just sleep until Amelia woke up at 8:30ish and by the time we ate breakfast and got dressed it seemed like it was almost lunch time. I love sending Lily off at 7:30am and having an hour or so to do my own thing before Amelia wakes up. I don't feel like such a lazy slug anymore! Amelia loves to go for walks in the mornings and it's great to get out of the house. In some ways it's easier to manage Amelia alone rather than trying to find something that will entertain a toddler and a six-year-old at the same time.

Lily is liking school so far, although every morning she whines that it's too long. But she's always energetic when she gets home, so obviously it doesn't wear her out too bad. She was a little nervous before starting school because she was going to have a boy teacher. I don't think I ever had a male teacher until I was in junior high school. It seems like around our country most of the elementary school teachers are women. It's what we're used to and in many ways it seems appropriate since women are more of the nurturing type. In Cokeville, the strong majority of teachers are men. Apparently, Wyoming pays its teachers a lot better than the rest of the country, so it's a viable career for men, something that pays enough to actually support a family on one income. Lily's teacher, Mr. Hatch, quit his position as a principal in Idaho because he could make more money as a first grade teacher in Cokeville. Plus I think his wife is from here. And if I've learned one thing about Cokeville so far, it's that people are fiercely loyal to this town and lots of young people move back here to raise their families after college, etc. Dan freaked out when we first found out Lily's teacher was a man, but he has mellowed out after finding out that it's sort of par for the course here. Although, he does still affectionately refer to him as "the pedophile".

Here's Kamille Nate and Lily on their first day of school.

Lily was up early and super excited on the first day of school, but now the thrill is gone and I have to prod her constantly in the morning to have her ready in time to catch the bus.

When we were shopping for a school backpack, Lily wanted to get a Hannah Montana backpack (she doesn't even know who that is) and I was like, "No way, you're 6 years old and there will be no Hannah Montana, or High School Musical, or Brats backpacks. You can get princesses or something like that." She settled on this one, only because it came with a matching lunch bag.

Here's Dan walking the girls to the bus, just across the field from our house.

Kamille was so sweet, leading Lily onto the bus and showing her the ropes at her new school.

When Dan and I went back into the house after the bus left, he asked me if I was shedding a tear. I raised my eyebrows, said "um, no" and he said, "a tear of joy?"

Picture me smiling...


Lori Gerten said...

Dude! First grade rocks! And excellent choice on the backpack.

Um. .. you mentioned in your post that you . .. "live on the wrong side of the tracks". Hilarious!

I always knew. . . I always knew.

The Nelson Family said...

How fun. Brad and I are both jealous of your "country" life. I can't wait to come and see you there. I'm really excited to see the before and after shots of your painting.

The Queen Vee said...

Love the Princess Pack. Matt's daughter Whitney is completely nuts about all things High School Musical, I think I like the Disney chics better.

Lizzy Lou said...

I love that you have to walk through the sage brush or is that tumble weeds to get to the bus.

In high school, I rode the bus for four years. It was the "social scene" more than school. And I would have never gotten any home work done if it had not been for the bus.........Go Lily!!!!!

Becky in Wyo said...

Amazing the amount of peace and quiet you can get when the whiners leave. It's how I feel at the end of everyday when the daycare kids are gone. Um, not that we don't love Lily, but I know how little girls are... and little boys, too.

How much do they pay teachers in WY?

You know, I hear women all the time say they cried the first time their kids went off to school. Intellectually, I get it, but emotionally I'm in the "do a dance of Joy" category when they leave for the day. Aaah, peace and quiet! But maybe I'll cry when Emma goes to school, because it's a big signal that the "at home" stage of motherhood will be coming to an end.

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

I cry at odd and for random times with kids and school. None of it due to sadness that they are leaving me. I do cry for sadness for anyone that does not have the joy of full-day kindergarten in their state. I won't move anywhere that doesn't have that until all of mine are past it.

Lizzy Lou said...

I know this is unbeleivable, but I cryed the day Josh first went to school. It was such an end to an era. And I cryed when Katy went to sixth grade camp......for the same reason. And as for Chris, I guess I was over all the sentimental goop.

The Donnells said...

Thanks mom, glad to know what sort of sentimental attachment you have to me. I am excited and saddened by taking the little one to day care but I can't wait for school. I loved kindergarten and get to relive it vicarioulsy through her. I love that you walk through the field, I want to live in a small town.

Sara said...

Throw that guilt out the window, Sweetheart! All day school is the best way for them to learn and the only way to get anything done! (This coming from the Mommy who purposely seeks out All-Day Kindergarten... which FYI, my boys have both LOVED!)