For Your Information: Eli is now all grown up. Please do not refer to him as a "little boy" and note that the phrase "my baby" has been outlawed indefinitely. Eli has reached level: Big Boy. Because he goes to preschool now.
Eli's first official day at preschool was a day of celebration. After an orientation night the week before he was soooo excited, and his enthusiasm has yet to wane. In fact, he frequently informs me in the car on the way to school that he has "wigglies in my tummy 'cause I'm just so excited for preschool!"
We had a few practice rounds with his super cool spider man back pack, and when the time came he marched right into class, hung his pack in his cubby ("with my NAME Mom!") and promptly found his name mat on the floor and sat right down. Eli THRIVES on structure and rules. He loves the routine of his class, and comes home chanting rules while he runs around the house. The current favorite is "Dot dot, not a lot" (for glue application. Very serious.)
I would say that Porter and I are at a loss during the afternoons Eli is gone, but since Porter naps most of that time I must admit I have no problem filling a couple of kid-free hours. What HAS been an adjustment is not being present for three hours of Eli's daily life. Up to this point we have been together ALL DAY LONG, but now I don't even know what he eats at snack time or who he hangs out with at recess (we're still working on learning kids' names).
Just knowing that he goes to preschool has made Eli bolder and braver. Because he's such a big boy church isn't as hard, riding his bike is a breeze, he can dunk his head underwater, and things aren't as scary. The biggest perk on my end is that he can go to the bathroom (and all that entails) without any help or requiring me to keep him company. He dresses himself, puts on his own shoes (on the right feet!), and can climb on the counter to get whatever he needs. The whole experience is giving him a healthy dollop of confidence that we just love.
Go Eli go!