Wednesday, July 16, 2008

School's Out!

Despite his best efforts, Monkey somehow managed to complete his first year of preschool without any of his teachers quitting.

As I dropped him off in class this morning, I spent a few minutes chatting with them. They were united in their praise of Jordan and what a smart kid he is. Of course, their happiness might be a result of it being Jordan's last day and all. That's my guess.

The pre-departure for school routine this morning was much like any other day. Right before leaving, the monkeys decide to engage their father in a rousing game of ring around the rosy. Being the softie he is, he began playing with them instead of herding them out the door to the car.

Once outside, Miss Mina decided she'd rather stay home. That little pout on the doorstep routine lasted all of ten seconds, as she saw the rest of us walking away.

We had a few moments to reflect on the progress we've made this year.

School has become a place we love. Here, Jordan stands at the entrance to the building, banging to be let in.

Once in, he raced to the classroom door to start his final day.

A last picture with his long-suffering teachers. Among the many new things he's learned this year, this cheesy grin is a favorite.

It's been a good year. I was worried for a while there since Jordan missed so much school in the beginning. All the colds and fevers kept him out so frequently, I worried the tuition dollars were a waste.

But, after December, he seemed to turn around and adjust to life in the preschool petri dish. I guess his body just got used to it. Hopefully, as he gets older and exposed to the standard kiddie microbes, he'll develop his own version of transplant-kid immunity.

All kidding aside, I think he did manage to learn a few things over the year. He's amazingly verbal, often surprises me with his understanding of abstract concepts, has a remarkable memory, a gift for language, and a continued interest in the mechanics of how things work. Over the year, he's been writing words, spelling them, and starting to sound out three and four letter words. He went in there knowing shapes and colors, but he can now identify them in both English and Spanish. He can recite whole sections of books from memory, remember verses of poems and songs. His manners are slowly (very slowly) but surely improving, and with everyone except his sister, he knows how to share and take turns.

We have a lot to work on over the summer. Apart from potty training, Lord help me, we need to practice the fine motor skills like tracing and cutting. He's also got room for improvement with some gross motor skills like hopping and balancing.

But in all other things gross - like belching, farting, picking his nose, and scratching his ears, he's a champ.

Next stop - day camp!
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