This morning we started off with a little walk around the track to get Elisabeth accustomed to the idea that she DOES have to walk on her own two little feet and her servile minions are NOT going to come pick her up from the crumpled heap and whisk her off effortlessly to her final destination. We had a few rounds of disagreement before she decided to walk along nicely. It was a lot like training a contrary dog to heel.
Then we headed to school. She actually seemed like she was looking forward to it (I could almost see her thinking, "Sure beats getting yelled at on some dumb old track") and climbed in the minivan all on her own. I asked her again if she liked school. Silent nod. I asked her again if she liked her teacher. Silent nod. Okay, that's good.
At school she only burst out into tears and clung desperately with her two little arms wrapped around my left knee at the very last minute, and with the help of the teacher we were able to pry her off and send her on her way.
Then Catherine and I went home again. I don't remember now what we did in the intervening time, but soon enough it was time to drive the 11 miles back to school and pick Elisabeth up. She walked out in the lobby being led by the hand by a cute little blonde girl who seemed like she knew the ropes. Elisabeth looked a little dazed, but she was walking along like she was supposed to, wearing her hugely oversized backpack like a big girl and I was really proud of her. She got good reports from the teacher. I think she's still overwhelmed with all the new things at school, but she still seems to like it. I felt like she wanted to tell me about her day at school, but she can't really speak yet, so that didn't work so well for her.
Then we came home, the babysitter arrived for a couple hours of Mommy Freedom, and I turned around and drove back the 11 miles to the YMCA, which is about a quarter mile from the school.
I got in a great swim!! What a nice getaway from running around after the girls! 2200 yards, including 3 sets of 500 yards in 12:00, 11:38, and 12:12. Woot! Looking back in my logs, I can see that in February of this year I was delighted to swim 13:47 for 500m (12:36 for 500 yards). Now my normal routine swimming speed over 1500m averages about 5% faster than that (11:57 for 500 yards total or 2:23 per 100 yards). That's definitely a good thing!! I'm also suddenly much more comfortable doing freestyle than I am doing breaststroke. When did that switch happen, I wonder!? I guess it just flip-flopped somewhere in the last 75 miles of swimming. . . .
When I got home again I checked Elisabeth's backpack. She has THREE PAGES OF HOMEWORK. ON HER SECOND DAY OF PRESCHOOL. She's only three years old. Poor kid. Four vocabulary words per page (Favorite. Different. Family. etc.), with diagrams and signs. We're supposed to review them and Mom is supposed to sign them and send her back with it so that she can earn a sticker. The pressure to perform is really on now!