Thank you to everyone who left such kind and thoughtful responses about Pia’s rough transition to school. Things have gotten much, much better since last Thursday. On that day I asked her (after two hours of crying) if it would help if I came in to eat lunch with her. She sniffled yes. And it was like a switch had flipped. By the time lunch rolled around she had only cried a little (according to her) and by the afternoon she was smiling and engaged (according to her teacher). By Friday she was enthusiastically telling her teacher that she loved school. Who knows if that one day of eating lunch together was what turned things around or if things would have gotten better naturally, but it is so good to have my smiling, happy kid back.
I didn’t think I would continue with after school surprises now that she is in kindergarten, but I sort of missed them. It is nice to have an excuse each day to do something crafty, especially something that I know will make Pia smile after a long day at school. The seven hours that Pia is at school fly by between cleaning the house and sewing for other people. So it is a good reminder to stop and change directions for a bit to make something for her. Plus, now that Robin has led me into the inspiration overload world of Pinterest I have eight zillion ideas begging to be made. And I am happy to oblige.
Yesterday Pia came home to two surprises. One was that I hung up her twirly spirals that she had made at Grandma’s house this weekend (this is the beautiful thing about after school surprises… they can be anything, even the simple act of hanging up art work). Grandma had one of those Martha Stewart Spiral Ornament Templates which made it really easy for Pia to fold and cut her own spirals. She found this to be SO cool and made a dozen of them.
The second surprise was a bit more interactive. We just got a new fridge so we had a big, huge empty cardboard box. I cut a window in it and sketched a scene on the outside with a thick black marker that she could color in. Then it could be used for anything: puppet theater, store, rocket ship, whatever. (And, yes, it could have been any of those without the drawings, but I sometimes I can’t help myself. Crafting is like a disease.)
The best thing about this enormous box in our living r00m was that she walked right by it, several times, and then asked me what her surprise was. Which leads me to believe that either a) I really need to do a better job of cleaning the house if a huge fridge box in the living room isn’t more obvious or b) she has become much too accustomed to out-of-the-ordinary crafty things taking up space in her house.