My big boy started Kindergarten last week. And thus begins the next 13 years of school. Waking up early, staying up late, making friends, and doing homework. I had a mild breakdown after his meet the teacher night, but so far everything else has been pretty smooth. Except for him vomiting the morning that school started. That wasn’t exactly ‘smooth.’
Here are a few things we’ve learned about in our first week.
- The Temptation of Free Breakfast. Our school district offers a free breakfast for any student who wants to eat it. Pretty awesome right? Except – there’s only 15 minutes between the school door opening and teachers picking up in the cafeteria. My super hungry growing boy wanted to do a pattern. “Eat at home, eat at school, eat at home, eat at school, and continue the pattern,” he said. But then it turned into eat at home and again at school, eat at home, eat at home and again at school, eat at school. Free Cinnamon Toast Crunch was just too much for his little body to resist. This would’ve been fine with me, until 3 days in he tells me that he walks himself to class. Which should be false since the teachers pick the students up in the morning. After some questioning, he is insistent that his teacher does not walk him to class, he just knows where his room is. Ugh. I emailed his teacher, and she confirmed that he’d been rollin’ on to class at about 7:55 (10 minutes after everyone else). We have since discontinued the “eat at school” parts of the pattern, and now it’s eat at home and get to class on time, eat at home and get to class on time.
- Pete the Cat, the Optimist. Pete the Cat is pretty entertaining. And after Day 1, I was being taught a song about a happy cat who steps in all kinds of crud, seemingly ruining his shoes, but just takes it all in stride. It went something like this. “Pete stepped in a big pile of strawberries. Did he cry? Goodness no! He just sang his song, “I love my red shoes, I love my red shoes…” I feel for poor Pete’s mama. She went out and bought some brand new white shoes, and Pete can’t help but step in every pile of everything he sees. She now has to decide whether to be mad about some shoes or be happy that her kid is so darn easy going. A true conundrum. I’m a little bit like Pete’s mom. As a back to school gift from my mom, we were gifted a brand new pair of Puma shoes. He loooooves them. On the first day, he got them caked in mud putting his bike on the bike rack. But did he cry? Goodness no… he just sang “I love my brown shoes, I love my brown shoes…”
- No Amount of Tired Will Make My Kid Nap. It’s true. Both of my older boys stopped napping between 18 months and 2 years. Which is kind of the pits. I hear about 3 and 4 year olds who still take a 1-2 hour snooze every day, and I can’t help but wonder what is up with those kids. Are they running laps every morning? Staying up until midnight? I know it’s likely they’re just nappers, but I can’t help but think I should start some kind of training regimen to wear my boys out each morning (kidding.) In any case, my oldest has never been as tired as he is right now in his first week ever of starting at 6:45 am and going all day every day. I saw some first day pictures of kids passed out in the car on the 5 minute drive from school to home, and I thought maybe he would be so tired he’d need a nap one day. Nope. Not here! But it’s just as well, because lately I’ve been feeling like I am missing out on so much time with him that I’d actually be a little bummed if he came straight home and went to bed.
- If I want to know what happens at school, I will need to go there. It’s official. I have an, “I don’t remember,” kid. The kind that you know has never forgotten anything in his life, but suddenly you want to know what went down in P.E. and all he can muster is, “Something with handshakes.” Um, what? I’ll never know what the first day of P.E. activity that was his absolute favorite part of the whole day was. I just have visions of kids running around shaking hands willy nilly. It has gotten better, another day I got that they threw a scarf in the air and had to clap twice before they caught it. And still another day I learned that when on the track one whistle means walk and two means run. But then there’s been conversations like this oneKP: Me and Emma were the 1st ones to move up on the (behavior) chart!
M: Oh buddy that’s awesome! What did you do to move up?
KP: I answered the question!
M: What question?
KP: Who was it?
M: Who was what?
M: No, why did she ask who was it?
KP: Because she couldn’t remember who it was!
M: Who it was that did what?
(More confusion and “Who was it?” talk)
KP: She couldn’t remember who answered the question, and it was me, so I raised my hand!
M: What question did you answer?
KP: huh? I told her it was me!
M: No, what did you know that she couldn’t remember that you knew?
KP: Oh. I don’t know what I knew.
- School Is HARD. On everyone. Mom, dad, brothers… nobody is immune. I kept telling my son this summer how much his life was about to change forever. I knew he’d have a big adjustment coming – getting up early, being away from the house all day for the first time, homework, and being on his best behavior and alert all day. I did not think about the adjustments we’d all be enduring. My 3 and 5 year olds share a room, and this has meant that my 3 year old now wakes up at 6:45 or shortly after on most days. He’s also a no-napper, so he’s been a little (okay a lot) on the grumpy/needy/whiny side this week. He’s also lost his best playmate, which changes up my day considerably! The baby does still nap, but I will rejoice when I can figure out how not to have to wake him up each day for pickup. We’ve had a few days of 15 minute naps before it’s time to head out to get big brother.
Overall we’ve had a good first week, and are starting to see just how busy we’ll be this year between school, homework, soccer, and life. There’ve been a few emotional breakdowns (from a mix of kids and parents!) but we are getting it figured out. There haven’t been any notes home, and we are pretty sure our boy is telling the truth about winning a ‘super student’ award for his class this week! (I’ll know for sure when I see it in the newsletter.) It’s a relief to send a kid off to school and at least know they’re behaving like a respectable human while they’re there. How is your crew holding up after the first week?