A post script to the prevailing Smedley crisis (not wanting to move to a different first grade class from the one she was expecting to join):
Success, so far. Friday night I brought up the situation, and got the protracted whine and smart-mouth that I expected. My answer was, "Well, it was my mistake that I let you believe that you had any say in the matter, and for that I'm sorry. So, you can either accept it without being a turkey, and we can enjoy this nice dinner Daddy made, or you can pitch a fit, and forfeit any chance of a cookie for dessert, and go to bed early. Either way, you'll be going to Ms. Hart's class on Monday. Your call."
Guess who clammed right up? And she wasn't even sullen!
Later I sat her down and had a talk with her. I told her that I understood her fear about going to a different class, but that either way she'd be with a new teacher, not her wonderful kindergarten teacher. And she could, and should, play with any kids she wished on the playground, not just those in Ms. Hart's class.
And then I told her about my own first grade experience.
We moved from Modesto to Orland in the fall of 1971. My first day of school I knew no one -- neither the teacher nor the kids, nor did I know anything about the school or the town. My teacher was very nice to me the first day, but I was definitely "the new kid," in a classroom of first and second graders (and, if I remember correctly, third graders, too -- tiny school) who already knew the ropes. I was shy and terrified that first week.
The fear lasted, however, not because of the kids, but because of our teacher. Mrs. Thompson turned out to be as old school as can be believed, ruling with an iron fist, and the fear in the room was palpable. When I told Smedley about my own experience in a new classroom, she couldn't believe it, and quickly forgot about her own fears.
Smedley had a few moments of apprehension when the kids were called to line up at the classroom door, but I watched as one kind little girl took Smedley by the hand and pulled her into line with her. I hugged my daughter goodbye, and she barely noticed, she was so busy drinking in her new classroom.