This morning when I dropped her off in her new class, she seemed to fit right in, but was also a little shell shocked. This room is situated on the side of the building, with large windows facing a very busy street. It is about twice the size of her other room, with many more cubbies, three miniature rectangular tables, and a dedicated play area for imaginative play.
The three children who were in the class were very talkative. Each of them was sitting at varying ends of the different tables. The dark haired boy of them was sitting at his own table, crying and fussing about his mother who'd just left him. He was in Mari's 1st class and he was every bit as fussy about drop-off back then too. While my heartstrings ached for his mother, I felt comfortable knowing there was some sense of familiarity. The blonde haired little boy at another table happily munched on dry Cheerios, when he paused, looked up, and grinned at Mari. He said, "It's Mari! Hi Mari." The tiny African American girl glared at me and Mari, as she sat like a princess at the head of her table. She haughtily said, "Don't sit there. Don't look at me. I'm eating breakfast. My table." What better way to learn to deal with adversity then right off the bat. I pulled out the tiny chair and placed Mari's breakfast in front of it. I carefully took off her coat and sat her down to eat breakfast. Our new friend was not happy that I chose that spot. Right when she was about to object, I shot her the patented Mrs. Jones stare that I learned when I was in 2nd grade while visiting my sister's math class. You see, Mrs. Jones was a very tall, fit African American lady, whose pencil skirts only accentuated her lovely body. She stood about 5'10 and wore 1-2" heels. Her black hair in a perfect bob accentuating her perfect face. Her big eyes peered behind gold rimmed glasses. If you crossed her, she'd pop her face, staring squarely at you, her gaze would bore a hole straight to you soul, freezing every thought and action. This little Miss was not going to intimidate me, nor was she going to have the upper hand with my child, not while I was around at least. That stare stopped her and she quickly looked down and continued to eat her food. Later, she called the teacher over asking Mari's name. "Who's that?"
Mari waved hello at all of her new classmates and sat down for her breakfast. I got a bit of a lump in my throat as I told her goodbye. She kissed me and just stared around at her new environment.
I hope she had a good first day.