Friday, May 29, 2009

Nursery School Graduate

OK, this is the biggest milestone in Nutmeg's life since, what? Walking? She graduated. She graduated from nursery school and is now a register kindergardener.

And I waited a FULL WEEK to blog about it.

Well, that's what kind of week it's been. I had a freelance deadline (met, thankyouverymuch), a new blog launch, another TV shoot (this one for Oak Park village TV), we went to Milwaukee to spend time with Epu's sick dad, AND I had Nutmeg home all day every day in this gap week between the end of nursery school and the beginning of camp on Monday.

And -- much to my gratitude* -- there was no actual graduation ceremony to report. On the last day of school, instead of going to class all the kids, teachers and parents convened at a nearby playground and had a byo picnic. It was casual and fun, and when we finally packed up our blankets to go, there were no tears. It helps that most of her class will be back together, along with one of her teachers, for a month of camp come Monday.

Then, in a tradition we started last year, the whole family spent the rest of "graduation day" at the Brookfield Zoo. Actually, our zoo trip was not the highlight of the day. It was the first hot day of the year -- I think it got to the upper 80s -- and I felt like I was melting. The girls loved the "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibit, but somehow Nutmeg missed out on seeing the dinosaur squirting water that had been much ballyhooed by school friends, and she was quite disappointed to have to leave the zoo without seeing it when we were all tired to the point of meltdown.

She did get to play in this "dig up a dinosaur bone" activity, which she loved. We could barely get her to leave it and enter the real dinosaur exhibit.

All in all, though, her "graduation" day was great, especially since her dad was able to take a vacation day to spend it with us.

Fortunately, we now have a family membership to the zoo, and I would not be at all surprised if she talks her grandparents into taking her to see the dinosaurs again.

And I must say that the kid we got out of two years of nursery school barely resembles the kid we started with. I don't know how much of this comes from preschool and how much comes from just maturing, but the Nutmeg we have now is sociable, where she once fought with or yelled at other kids she played with. She has an attention span long enough that I can still get in a couple of hours of work or napping while Pebbles naps because Nutmeg will read a book or spend the whole time cutting up paper and making things. She understands positive and negative consequences of her actions; like today I actually got her to wipe up two water spills her SISTER made by explaining that if she helped me out, I'd be able to finish making dinner in time for a run to Jewel for ice cream to go with the rhubarb pie we'd made.

This is going to be an interesting summer, split as we expect it to be into pre-baby and post-baby halves. I know Nutmeg is going to love the whole of it, especially the time she and her sister will get to spend with the grandparents when Toth arrives.

To kick it off, after a more or less boring gap week of rainy days and Mommy busy working in the afternoons, we went to see a local kids' theater production of "Cinderella" today and then spent a couple hours playing at a park -- all with a bunch of girls from her class. Both Nutmeg and Pebbles got themselves soaked in the play fountain, in their clothes.

Summer has officially begun. It's obviously time for me to pack those bathing suits and towels in the trunk of the car.

* I'm grateful they didn't have a graduation ceremony because, really, have you heard how many of those schools do these days? This grade, that grade, with caps and gowns and everything? I'll save my tears for the big event 13 years from now.


Sara said...

congrats nutmeg!! on to kindergarten!

sounds like you all had a lovely day. we are going to get a zoo pass for the milwaukee zoo, too, so if you and the girls are up in mke during the summer, let me know, because it's free parking and free admission for two adults and as many kids as we can pack in the car. :-)

Kori said...

Love that kiddo. Love her, love her, love her.

I realized today that I was at the same stage as Nutmeg when my brother, Joe, made his arrival as child #3 in our family. Summer before kindergarten, ready to start at school, new baby at home---it will be a really exciting year for her, to be sure.