In many ways beyond appearance, she is a different kid now than the one she was in September.
She is so much more confident in social situations and in public. She can almost write her entire name legibly ("S" and "B" are her problem letters). Her drawings and paintings have progressed from scribbles and brush strokes to identifiable objects and shapes. She adapted to the rhythm and structure of preschool life beautifully, and her teacher called her a "Mary Poppins child-perfect in every way" at her mid-year parent-teacher conference. I had a good laugh over that one because, hello? Come live at my house, teacher lady, and I think you may have a slightly different opinion of my daughter.
She did have a few days of tears during the transition to her third and final "homeroom" back in March. The school has three separate, themed rooms and each class spends 1/3 of the school year in each room, although they are free to visit the other two rooms daily. Her final "homeroom" is designed to allow kids more free-play (there is a slide/climber, huge wooden blocks, and play mats) and Isabella was completely in love with the easels, play-doh, and art projects set up each morning in the other two rooms, so she cried a few times as I was leaving, but her teacher assured me each time that the tears lasted no more than 30 seconds after I had left.She didn't experience separation anxiety, she didn't contract the bubonic plague, and she certainly wasn't bored. Sorry to disappoint you, grandma.
I am so incredibly proud of her and how well she did in school this year. She had a wonderful class of kids. No bullies. No problems whatsoever. She bonded with an adorable little boy and he became her best preschool buddy. She developed an affection for his daddy, but perhaps the affection was really for him. Her teacher and the assistant teachers were kind and nurturing. The parents I chatted with every Tuesday and Thursday morning at drop-off became my friends, and some became my running buddies. I met even more great parents through the two committees on which I served. In a lot of ways, I'm sad that her year has ended, which sounds ridiculous. The experience has been great for both of us.
And now it's summer vacation. Isabella is attending a two-week camp at her preschool beginning next week. She's taking swimming lessons at my health club beginning at the end of June. She has an animal camp at the children's science museum in July, and a royalty camp (which I was assured was about castles, coats of arms, and great feasts and not princesses and tiaras) in August. We are hoping to take a trip to Sesame Place (have you been there?) in August as well.
In September, she starts attending the same preschool four afternoons a week. She's enrolled in their program for four-year-olds, which is designed to prepare students for kindergarten while still focusing on learning through play. I think she is going to love it. I will be on the preschool's board in the fall, co-chairing the Publicity committee.
One year from September, she'll get on a bus and head to kindergarten.
How is that even possible?