My daughter started preschool last Monday. People..okay I tend to dwell on the negative (kindergarten sturm and drang anyone? Oh you missed that? Well here you go: http://bit.ly/16wWAIQ) and gloss over the positive happy things in my life; like my daughter's transition to preschool. She left ambivalent, a little more excited about her new zebra shirt than school,but she returned ebullient. I suppose I knew that would be the case.
My son attended that very preschool with the same teacher; there was nothing "not to like." The short day (9-12), the car line (quick, easy pick-up/drop off), the small classes (15 or less), the structured curriculum and the PHENOMENAL teachers whom I got to know during the course of my son's two years there make for an absolutely perfect preschool experience. Okay so maybe it could be just a little longer than 9-12 so mommy could run a few errands, AND decorate a cake...but hey, it's about as perfect as you'll get.
Socially, Reeya is easy breezy. But there are the quirks...always the quirks. She won't wear most of what's in her closet and instead prefers wearing the same five outfits over and over and over again, the pinker the better! She loves to go out in 'daytime clothes.' But the minute she's home, she dons her pajamas. I've tired of going up and down to get them so I actually keep a pair by the door every day now so it's easy when she comes home from preschool. It's not unusual to see her playing outside with the neighbors in pajamas. She goes through two or three pairs a day. Good thing she has so many hand-me down pj's from her brother.
In addition to the pajamas quirk, she is impossible when it comes to wearing shoes. Every shoe feels too tight and her favorite, a pair of worn in old tennis shoes previously worn by her brother, is now too tight so she will only wear sandals since they are soft and loose. Crocs will work for short trips but preschool recommends tennis shoes, I've just purchased the sixth pair to try and see if they will work. Yes, I've taken her with me to pick them out; we went to Nordstrom, Target, Stride Rite and the Nike store. I've purchased shoes that she picked out and tried on, only to come home and have her refuse to wear them to school the next day. I won't even get into the socks with seams issue; it's just embarrassing. Okay so now I've mentioned it so I'll tell you, she cannot stand the seams on socks, any socks. She turns them inside out sometimes but fitted clothes, tags (we cut them all off on everything she wears), seams and anything tight just won't work.
Fortunately, the quirks pale in comparison to her joyful nature. She loves to bake with me and it's a pleasure having her work on her own projects while I work on mine. This week I've been asked to replicate a cake for a 77-year old man who wants to eat a cake 'just like his mother used to make. It's a tall task but I look forward to trying to make his birthday memorable with this cake (I did make the cake since I wrote this post, and I'm happy to report it was a complete success, see www.facebook.com/ameetabakes). Early in the week, I made a birthday cake for a friend who requested a Sacher-Torte, a European dessert that she's been talking about since her trip to Austria a year ago. I made one, which got a little burned on the edges. It tasted delicious but was not good enough to sell. Another friend stopped by and loved the burnt version so she asked for one for her birthday as well. I consequently ended up making three Sacher-Tortes within the course of a few days...all were big hits, especially with my clean- up crew: Reeya and my husband!
Reeya loves to work close to wherever I'm baking. I put her doll- house and her little kitchen next to the area where I decorate cakes. We both keep very busy! She wants to wear her apron just like me and she loves to mix things, make things, decorate things...do anything together. And she's sweet and loving, I mean really, really sweet. I picked her up from preschool yesterday and told her I missed her. She asked me to walk around to her side of the car where she was strapped into her car seat. She took my hand, kissed my palm and said, "Always when I'm gone you'll have my kiss. Hello - I thought my heart would burst out of my body, it was one of those parenting moments you know you'll never forget. I'm sure she learned it from the book, The Kissing Hand, which they read in preschool that week. She reminded me the next morning not to miss her becauseI have her kiss. Her loving nature makes all those frustrating shoe returns so irrelevant!