...where everybody knows your name... and they're always glad you came...
Lilly loves school, and it's easy to see why. From the moment we walk in, all the children shout "Lilly" just like everyone in the Cheers bar shouts "Norm!" (Except that they're all under 3 feet tall and have Kiwi accents.) And Lilly proudly gets down out of my arms, and just starts playing.
She is in the toddler-equivalent of Cheers. And she is thriving.
I dropped her off this morning, and one of the teachers asked me to stay for "mat time," the singing/story time before they eat morning tea (and later they do it again before lunch and afternoon tea). (FYI for those of you not from NZ: morning tea and afternoon tea have nothing to do with tea, at least at Lilly's age, it's actually a fancy name for snacktime.)
So Lilly scampers down to sit next to one of her best friends, Mia, and I sit behind her. The teachers start singing a song in the Maori (native) language and Lilly not only knows all the signs (in fact, a split second before the teachers), but she's actually singing some of the words in that language. I had heard that she did this, but this was the first time I witnessed it. And the teachers were so proud too! And the signs for the song were actually fairly complicated. Such a proud mommy moment. (I'll think of it fondly later when she's screaming hysterically during a tantrum because I've done something horrible, like, wash her hair, or get her dressed.)
And because Lilly never does anything halfway, she decided to completely make my day when I picked her up this afternoon. She jumped in my arms, and then a little boy Aston came over and pulled on Lilly's leg. I bent down to say hi, and he gave her the biggest hug ever. And she totally hugged him back. Then she caught another boy's attention (can't remember that kid's name) and she took independent steps over to him and gave him a big hug too. My girl is a flirt! (Who'd have thought it? ;) ) Then both boys gave her big smooches! So not only is she learning a lot in school, but she's popular. She makes me so proud. (PS both boys also gave me a kiss, including the one that had a wet snotty nose that got on my face. But that didn't totally ruin the moment.)
Then Lilly took independent steps back and forth between me and the teacher again and again. Because she's such a show off. (I really don't know where she gets these traits from!) And as we left, the kids shouted "Bye Lilly!" With a few more hugs and kisses, of course.
And as we walk out, we see the bulletin board, where the teachers post a story of something that happened for each day of the week. Lilly was featured on Wednesday's story. She had managed, after a month of practicing, to climb up this long plank up to the top of this little house in their playground. Of course I was proud (but then again I'm proud of everything), but you could tell by their story and the pictures that the teachers were so happy of her too.
Preschool is wonderful.