Jimmy loved his first (and only) year of preschool. He only went two days a week, but it worked out just perfect for us. He was excited to go every day and really thrived. The main reason we put him in was to help his social skills and adjust to the idea of going to kindergarten full time. I think it really did help. He has been so proud of his reading skills (taught at home not school) that he wanted to show them off at school. His teacher asked him to read in front of the class and he was actually willing to do it. His teacher couldn't believe this was the same shy boy she met at the beginning of the year. When I came to school to pick him up one day and found him reading "Are You My Mother" to his class, I was pretty shocked as well--mostly proud, but also shocked. I could see how proud it made him and it was just the cutest thing. Don't get me wrong, he still hides his face the majority of the time a grown-up says hi or asks him a question, but I can definitely see progress. I can also see some physical growth as well. I pulled up a picture of his first day of school this past August and I couldn't believe how old he looked compared to the one I took on his last day of school. What the heck? Knock it off kid.
(Apparently Gus still hasn't caught onto that whole looking at the camera thing)
Here is his class picture:
Of course, once your children go to preschool you must inevitably deal with the issue of having so much priceless artwork in your home that you really don't know what to do with it. The refrigerator quickly runs out of room so I started a clothespin line in a window, but even that gets too full. My attempted solution to this problem is photographing all of it. I have been taking pictures of his artwork since he was about 3 years old, but have never done anything with it. I tell myself I can make a book of it all sometime, but there is a long list of things I would like to make photo books of and they just won't all happen. At least I am finally getting some on the blog (by the way the whole blog is on that list I just referred too so that should give you a clue as to the likelihood of these things actually happening). I have been fairly successful with the photographing but the problem becomes how do you then throw them away without too much guilt or the much bigger problem of you child catching you. I told Jimmy at the end of the school year that we were going to clean off his desk and sort through all the things to keep or throw away. Of course, his first reaction was "Throw Away!!!" I explained that we can't keep it all, but I didn't want to throw away things that were really special so I would let him decide and help me take pictures of it all. Of course, the pile of things worth throwing away was very small, so when when he wasn't looking I threw a few more things away that I would rather he not know about. He hung up his very favorite pieces on his door, but there is still so much just lying around on his desk that I feel like I didn't make a dent. I think I need to throw it out in waves so it isn't too noticeable. Anyway, here are a few examples of "the keepers" starting with the train he painted on his very first day:
He made a whole alphabet book that is one of the things I really will save in a keepsake box forever because his little drawings are all just adorable. "G" was his teacher's favorite. When she first looked at his drawing, she said. "Oh, a gorilla." to which he replied, "No, it is a Gibbon." She thought that was hysterical.
My Mother's Day gift was another favorite of mine. It was a frame made of paper plates with sea shells glued on it. There is a picture of Jimmy fishing in the middle. He was so extremely excited to give it to me and it was just the perfect, most adorable thing to make my morning awesome. This one will definitely be hard to part with, but I haven't figured out how to hang it somewhere and I don't see it lasting for years to come. This is one of those times I will be thankful to have a picture.
Last, I just really wanted to include this picture Jimmy drew for Gus' birthday even though he did it at home. I love his cute little people and attention to detail. He drew the cash register he picked out for Gus on the table after carefully studying all the correct colors.
Jimmy made cards for both his teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week that he was also very proud of.
(Does anyone else think this celebratory week for teachers is placed too close to the end of the year?)
This is what he looks like when he is hard at work.
They had a nighttime end of year celebration with all the pre-kindergarteners (call it a graduation if you want; I don't care, but Zach thinks that is dumb). There was pizza and cake so obviously it was all very exciting. Jimmy overcame his embarrassment enough to take a picture with his teachers.
Then I got one with our friend Ann, who never actually was at school with Jimmy on the same day, but is probably the only friend we will continue to see now that school is done since our families are friends. Jimmy did make some good little buddies, but sadly preschool friendships are hard to hold onto.
When Jimmy came home on his last day of school, Gus and I had bought some special presents for him and I made him a special card. We had picked out some special snacks to eat for lunch and I bought a slip'n'slide to start celebrating summer (... more to come on that). Jimmy was so surprised and excited. He then insisted on turning on his current favorite song, "The First Day of Summer" by the Que Pastas, and dancing like a crazy man.
He is so stinkin' cute.