Ritual Confessions

January 8, 2008

Charlotte’s first day at Montessori

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 4:56 am

After more than a year of full-time motherhood, I’m transitioning back into the work force. To this end, I’ve enrolled Charlotte in our local Montessori toddler program. Today was her first day, and it was a visiting day — that is, only two hours in duration, and I was there the whole time. Charlotte was immediately comfortable with the staff and the other children, and I couldn’t have been happier with the classroom. Its features included: an aquarium, a library, an elevated observation station where the children could look into the yard (at the many birds and squirrels at the various feeders), beautifully painted wooden toys, many musical instruments, an array of lovely plants and fresh flowers, a rocking chair, and lots of child-sized furniture.

 Upon our departure, I was handed a staggering list of required items to bring in for Charlotte later this week, as well as strict qualifications for many of them. For example:

  • small vinyl or cloth lunch bag devoid of fantasy or cartoon characters;
  • change of clothes: 3 complete sets, including socks. Please choose designer-label-free clothing that your child will need minimal assistance with;
  • 2 standard size crib mattress sheets and 2 small blankets for napping. We strongly suggest that all items such as sheets and blankets not have cute “babyish” prints. When children are in the toddler room, they feel older and independent, and their belongings need to reflect this.

I have to admit I love it all.

My favorite requirement on the list is:

  • family photos: photos of anyone important to your child — include pets if possible. They will be made into a booklet for your child and set on his/her sleeping mat each day.

Charlotte’s booklet will consist of pictures of Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Eric and Aunt Dawn, adopted family members Aunt Josie and Uncle David (Rochester), and her beloved Siamese cat Mac.



  1. Does this mean you got the job, or are you getting ready just in case?

    I am so touched to be included in Charlotte’s family. Speaking of which, you were supposed to give me a photo of Charlotte so I can show her to people, but now that I think of it, I should just snap a candid shot on my phone. I think she’d feel at home with the fifty pictures of my cats, but most of the photos are of Daria, with whom she plays so nicely when she visits.

    Comment by davidrochester — January 8, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  2. No, David, wait — I have a great one for you. I think you were there the day I took it, at Grand Central — she had climbed into one of the cabinets and was flirtatiously peeking out. It’s on the way…

    Comment by elissakaren — January 8, 2008 @ 6:23 am

  3. When my older boy was small, we had a “keyring” that had little photo frames instead of keys, filled with pictures of people in his family, particularly ones he didn’t see often–so that he would stay familiar with them. It was his Very Favorite Thing! I hope they laminate it up well, it’s likely to get a lot of use. 🙂

    Comment by thelittlefluffycat — January 9, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

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