Since Cora won't be starting preschool right away, I still wanted to start getting her feet wet with a little more structure and expectation than our usual activities of attending local music shows, going swimming, and taking trips to places like the science museum.
And I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous. That's got to be normal, right? I mean, I knew that I'd be with her the whole time, but still... that unknown can still give you butterflies.
I told Cora we were going to class today and we signed "school" to get prepared. Once we arrived she cooperated and let me take off her jacket, socks and shoes (ss I silently murmured thank you that no meltdown accompanied this activity). She was a bit shy, as I expected, although she chose a spot to sit on a little red hand-print and let the teacher put a name-tag on her back. She chose to sit in my lap at first, as the teacher blew bubbles for all the kids that were sitting in their spots.
She pretty much rocked it. She sat in her spot when asked (although this may have been largely due to shyness), she caught and rolled the ball to the teacher, she danced holding my hand and "froze" during the song, and she scooted up to the teacher to give her back her dancing scarf when it was time to clean up. She even let me help her walk up to the teacher and patiently waited for a hand stamp at the end of class. And even after we got her shoes and coat back on, she scooted back to the mat, ready for more. I couldn't have really asked for better.
But oh, there were a couple moments when I worried. While the teacher explained, "If you sit in your spot and look at me... then you can pop some bubbles/catch the ball." And there were several instances of "first we will do this..., then we will do that..." I just didn't know how Cora would respond. Although her receptive language is generally pretty impressive and she understands a huge number of words, these kinds of concepts can be hard for her. I'm not sure if she doesn't yet fully understand, or if she just isn't interested in playing along when it's me doing the playing. But when you break ideas or instructions into smaller parts or use visual cues she does just fine. So that's what we did.
And of course, I knew that this class will be about marching, walking and dancing, none of which Cora is yet very comfortable with yet, especially in a new social situation. But perhaps this will be a great motivator for her and will get her on her feet more often.
The whole thing was really good for both of us. It's great for Cora for obvious reasons, but it's also great for me to push myself to encourage Cora to do things that that make me nervous. I was so proud watching her start to hold her own in a room full of 2 and 3 year-olds (even if she didn't really talk or walk like the rest of them). And it was great for me to start the process of learning to allow her some independence, to trust her abilities, and to watch her surprise me.
|Trying new things on her own two feet.|