We jumped through enough (but not all) of the hoops in order to get Elisabeth admitted into therapeutic preschool. We still don't have her official birth certificate, but we had a signed birth letter from the hospital and her social security card. So obviously the Feds know she exists and count her as a citizen, so the school should too, right?
The first day of preschool was today. It was a little rough. She was crying when we left her there and collapsing in a heap on the floor. The teacher arrived and whisked her away fast enough that I didn't have time to get choked up about how my little baby is all grown up now. Catherine and I left, and took a shopping trip to Walmart and bought fun things like Elmo slippers and Teletubbies videos, both of which Elisabeth should like. We even had a few extra minutes to split a McDonald's Happy Meal (but NO, that won't be a daily occurrence!) and even saved half the fries and the toddler toy for Elisabeth to have later.
When we picked her up she was wearing the change of clothes that we had brought, which I understand is never a good sign. She was kind of red-eyed and the teacher said she had been crying off and on during the day. She did get one good grade for sitting on the toilet, but her outfit got dumped in the bowl in the process so she had to be changed. Then apparently they had a fire drill during the 2.5 hours she was there, which couldn't have been much fun dragging a bunch of crazed three-year-olds outside and back in again, let alone one who collapses when she doesn't want to walk in the same direction that you happen to be headed. So Elisabeth got homework her very first day: More work on walking next to an adult without collapsing and insisting on being carried.
Yes, Elisabeth is carrying this Empress thing a little too far. The bearers of her imperial sedan chair have gone on strike and she's going to have to walk on her own two little feet in the future.
I asked her if she liked school, and (to my surprise) she nodded yes, and then I asked her if she liked her teacher, and she nodded yes again. It's never clear if she actually understood the question, but at least she said she liked it. I expect she'll be unhappy at dropoff time for at least the first week or two, though.
Hopefully the remainder of her formal education will proceed a teensy bit more smoothly.