And so far, it likes Kindergarten!!
I am happy to report that Day 1 of Kindergarten was a success for all parties concerned. Max is in the a.m. class, and so among our adjustments to this new routine is an earlier go time in the morning. (We are slow-moving morning people by nature, and our routine up until now has supported this.) As you can see by Max's giant yawn, his excitement took a couple of minutes to overcome his shock at being up, dressed, and out the door before 9.
But once he hit the fresh air, the adrenalin kicked in, and he crowed and squawked gleefully all the way to the car (You're welcome, Neighbors!).
Parents were invited to stay for the first twenty minutes or so, and Ian and I toured Max's classroom with him while he alternated between anticipation ("LOOK! They have new kinds of blocks!") and trepidation ("I don't know how many kids are going to come in here!") and I sternly conversed with myself about not hovering outside the classroom the entire time peering in the windows and becoming a shoe-in for Most Annoying Parent Of The Year. When it was time for the parents to leave/get pried away from their cherished offspring, Max did not cry, although he did wrinkle up his forehead in a manner reminiscent of my mother when she thinks I am getting sick.
Maggie is having a small amount of trouble with the fact that Max has been getting so much attention and action, and she was not super impressed to find that she was not also attending kindergarten, or that Max was staying somewhere that she was not. "What about my BROTHER?!?" she said in tones of alarm as we were leaving. You should be proud of me, too, because I did not say, "You're right! Let's go back and get him!"
Maggie found some consolation after we dropped Max off, when we went to the multi-purpose room and shared a cup of coffee and a meet-and-greet with the PTA and other nervous parents. The multi-purpose room has a stage, and on that stage, Maggie performed an impromptu song and dance number or two. PTA moms far and wee murmured about her cuteness, and Maggie basked in the warm glow of their regard.
When we went back to school to pick up Max (and no one was there early hovering outside the door or anything), the teacher poked her head out the classroom door and invited parents to come in and pick up their kids. I felt almost exactly like I had gone back in time, to when Max was a newborn and we were scurrying down the hospital corridors to see him. There was the same desperate, almost physical desire to see him and hug him, the same excitement to hear about his progress while we were apart and the same fear that I would find him sad or sick or scared without me there to comfort him. When we walked in, he was sitting on the circle rug with his new classmates, and when he saw Ian and I, his face, already gently smiling, broke into his patented, glorious, giant sunny grin. "I love Kindergarten!" he said when we got close enough. "I love it so, so much! It was so great! Can I have an extra juice box when we get home? Since I'm in Kindergarten now, you know, and so I need a lot of lemonade." Apparently, one of the skills that you hone in your first days of kindergarten is hustling.