Thursday, March 04, 2010

The newest school boy

Atticus started school on Jan 28th, the same day he turned 5! What a momentous occasion - and only now do I find a chance to write about it.

To be honest, I was worried. I mentioned it before. Last year at pre-school was interesting. Troublesome. Terrible. Well, not that terrible - could have been a lot worse. But, after seeing the paediatrician we got him off the medication which is known to cause behaviour problems, over a period of three months. He was completely meds-free a week before he turned 5 and started school (and got a hair cut).

The first day of school was a little fretful (for me, not him - he took it all in his stride, with only the slightest amount of worry glimpsed) and even though it wasn't a really huge step for us (since we've already got a kid in school and Atti has been attending the place for a year, albeit in a separately fenced area) I still found that I got a little emotional that day. No tears but definitely a bit of a lump in my throat. His wonderful godmother came with us that morning, too. How delightfully sweet! Thank you, Anna. It meant a lot to us that you did that! (Just to be fair, though, Dante's godfather did the same on his first day.)

It struck me that up until that morning, Atti did not seem to me to be a small child - he was a big boy, half a head taller than his sister. But seeing him in that red uniform, surrounded by lots of other kids in that same red uniform, he suddenly shrunk! He looked so little! The wonders of perspective, hey?

Now, it's been over a month since he began kindergarten and I have to say, the change is INCREDIBLE. Yes, I'm capitalising that word because I cannot emphasise it enough.

He has just grown up so much! He listens (most of the time) to us. He writes his name beautifully, he colours in inside the lines, draws terrific pictures. He gets himself ready for school in the morning. He doesn't whinge and cry when we tell him "It's a school day." Lately he has started getting really excited about letters and words. "Munching Mike!" he'll exclaim when he sees the letter "m" and "Munching Mike's mum!" when he sees a "M". Also, "Slippery Sam" and "Annie Apple" and I don't know who else. The other night I noticed him looking at the alphabet chart in his room with renewed interest.

I love that alphabet chart by Jan Pienkowski. I loved his drawings when I was a kid. I couldn't resist buying that chart a long time ago. It's a little torn now but still makes me happy and even more now that Atti has taken to it. Not too long ago he asked me to remove it from his room!

His teacher, Sandy, has amazed me, too. She is efficient and friendly but also won't put up with any of Atti's antics. A surprise because she used to be the dance teacher at school and took his class last year at preschool. And he never used to participate. I guess having her every day is very different to having her for one hour once a week.

And he loves being a big boy now. The other day I found something he'd broken at some point and asked him about it. "Oh, yeah. I did that when I was four. I was naughty then but I'm five now."

Dante is a little embarrassed because Atti likes to play with him and his friends at lunch time, but I've also noticed that the boys do play together at home a lot more these days. A couple of weekends ago Atti had a nap and Dante wandered around the house looking a little lost and asking when Atti would get up. It's lovely to see, at long last!

So that's it, in a nutshell. The change has been mind boggling. Exciting and amazing and I am completely floored by it. And so very happy. I feel like a huge weight has lifted from me. I know he'll start to get tired towards the end of the term but I hope things will only get better from here in.

Atti, my little big boy.

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