Back to School

It’s official. Fall is coming. Lately I’ve been waking up at 5:30, to nurse Geoffrey and to let Ivry out, and when I’ve gone outside I ‘ve noticed that the air is cooler and there’s a crispness to it that’s been absent these last few summer months.  It brings back memories of elementary school, of autumn bus rides and backpacks and the scent of woodchips at recess. Today was Johanna’s first day back at preschool.

I’d talked to her about returning all week. Where Jo Jo would go, who she would see, what she would do, and the new Dora backpack (complete with lunchbox) she’d wear. I’m not quite sure she got it, but all three Sklar children “practiced” going to school over the Labor Day weekend.

Their favorite part? Snack time. Teddy pretended to eat a cupcake while Jo Jo noshed on imaginary applesauce.

She hadn’t been at school for over a month, so I wondered if she would remember where to go and the routine. She did. She headed straight for her favorite stack of books and automatically began “reading.”

Apparently I always did the exact same thing when my mother dropped me off at nursery school as well. Like mother, like daughter.

Johanna seems older to me these days, like a real preschooler. She eats independently now, with her own fork and spoon. She sings her ABCs, and she seems to know the entire alphabet. She counts to ten. When she pretend reads, she actually recites passages of her books that she’s memorized. She insists on sitting in the big girl swing, pumping her legs back and forth.

And the biggest milestone of all, the one I wasn’t expecting?

Potty training.

Today she stayed dry, on her own, for the entire day, except for one wet pull up during nap time. When she successfully went on the potty on her own, after breakfast, she stood up, clapped, and said “I did it!” She climbed out of the tub on her own tonight, after her bath, and sat on her pink princess potty, because she recognized the urge to go.

My little girl clearly gets the concept.

Actually, let me rephrase that: my big, big, so very grown-up girl. Growing and moving forward every day.