This week, Addie started Pre-K. It was our first official "Back-to-School" season, following her run in "Twos and Threes" and "Threes and Fours" programs last year. The summer "break" wasn't a huge deal since we'd kept her going in "Ducky Day Camp" in June and July, two mornings a week at the same place, with the same teachers, in the same classroom. After a month off, she returned, moving up to "Pre-K" and adding a day to her schedule. Three days a week, 2½ hours a day. It's probably a bigger deal for me than it is for her.
Addie couldn't wait to go back to school, which is exactly what we call it - "school." As we continue to wing this whole "parenting thing" with new experiences around every corner, we've made an effort to make learning fun. For Addie, the big draw of the first day back was reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones. She's a social butterfly - constantly making friends no matter where we go. She's far from shy.
As always, Addie picked out her outfit for the day - a Hello Kitty ensemble - and got herself dressed and ready to rock. For the first day, the school did something I was excited about... something I'd been hoping for in the past: They let all of the parents stay with the kids during a shortened, one-hour session, so that everyone could meet and mingle. It was a good ice-breaker, as I'd seen some standoffish behavior (or just shyness) from kids and parents alike during our "Twos and Threes" run. It was very welcoming for all.
I'm still surprised that kids of all ages seem to have lockers these days. As the Old Man in me comes out, I can't help but think how getting a locker used to be a big deal... it was like 6th Grade before we ever had lockers. Such a primitive time, the 1980s.
As we listened to an introduction from one of the preschool overlords, Little Finley became displeased. Nothing like being the guy holding the crying and screaming 14-month-old while 30 people are trying to pay attention to someone speaking. But soon, all was well, and even Finn got in on the action...
With Week One down, we're starting an eight-month road to May... Tuition due on the 15th of each month. For me, the three-day-a-week action is part of a new routine... balancing life with two kids instead of one (since Finn was an infant last time around), and now I need to figure out how to get Finley into all the same toddler activities that Addie once enjoyed. Music and Movement... Down and Dirty... Parent-Tot Playtime... and find a way to do it while Addie is at school. Eventually, Addie will want to start Gymnastics again, and that will add another day to our mix. Busy times, doing things that I never thought I'd be doing.
And it Rocks.
Watch and Listen: Deftones - "Back to School"
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About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.