Last week I sent the cutest yellow headed boy out into the world, all the way to kindergarten. I am so proud of him; he did awesome. The only tantrums were from his mother and his little sister. And we had the decency to do it privately, so it was an all-around win. Once I got past the Sunday night crying fest and the loneliness of the first day of school, we’ve pretty much been golden.
There has been some constant torture in the form of waking up early. “Mama, will I always wake up before the sun now?” he asks and more tears, just kidding, I totally held those in. Besides the early mornings, it has been an easier transition than I expected and I might even say we’re rocking this kid in real school gig. I obviously know what I’m talking about, we’re on day 6. But there have been some surprises, and I’m still adjusting to what afterschool life looks like. Here’s what we’ve learned about kindergarten so far.
MAMAS ARE THE BABIES
Kindergarteners, they are ready, man! We almost waited to start kindergarten until my son was 6. He has a December birthday but he just wasn’t really into “school” until recently. We changed our minds at the last minute, and I am so glad we did. He is so ready; I am not. I have been a total baby about the whole thing, but he just fits right in, like it’s no big deal.
On the second day when I wanted to walk him inside again, he was so annoyed that I wouldn’t just drop him off, he knows where to go y’all (eye roll). Come on, give the mama one more day, kid! Here are all these moms imagining our babies walking through the halls lost, alone and scared and thankfully, our children know what’s up. Moral of the story, Mamas are the ones not ready for kindergarten.
THE CAR RIDER MAFIA
Wow, the car rider line is no joke. On the first day of school, I arrived 40 minutes early for pick up and was about the 10th car in line. I was shocked how early I have to get there. By the time he walked out, the line was wrapped around the building. I would have waited forever had I come on time. And they let them out a few minutes early every day.
Also, no one is impressed with my incessant hugging and kissing of my child when he gets in the car because it slows down the line. Those car rider line teachers are on a mission to get the kids out of there so they can bail, I get it, quit with the stink eye. I’ve learned to wait on my hugs, your welcome stone face teachers. *Note to self, those ladies need some chocolate so they might smile a little.
Everyone told me not to expect my kindergartener to talk to me when I picked him up from school. When I asked how his day was, I was prepared for a one-word answer. So I have been armed with a battery of specific questions and have been pleasantly surprised that he talks all the way home and gives me loads of details.
Although it did take him five days to remember his new friend’s name. If you are trying to get your baby to open up, ask specifics and let them go at their own pace. He finally did tell me today that I ask too many questions, and he’s right. I can appreciate that.
EXHAUSTED & HYPER
I have always seen these adorable pictures of kindergarteners asleep in their car seats the first week of school and I’ve been told how tired he would be. We have a 20-minute commute to school so I fully expected him to fall asleep on the way home. He didn’t. He has been tired, exhausted in fact, but oh so hyper. The first day he came home and played hard for hours, he was bouncing off the walls. The second day we hung out with friends after school and again he played hard but came home and melted down all evening.
It has been a delicate balance to try and get his energy out after having to sit all day but at his pace, so we don’t push him past the point of rational emotions. One night he actually told me that he couldn’t eat his meat sauce at dinner because it was too heavy for his pasta. #bedtime
CHOCOLATE MILK & CHEETOS
Maybe all this energy spurs from something else, sugar perhaps. Like most moms, I am fighting the good fight against the sweets and junk my child constantly wants to inhale. I have been packing my son’s lunch for kinder every day. Since day one he has come home and told me that he gets chocolate milk for lunch. Excuse me? What do you mean? “Oh ya mom, you just raise your hand, and they will bring you anything.”
Then this week he told me how he got chocolate milk AND chips. He explained that he would have gotten Cheetos, but those were all gone. I’m sure they were out of Cheetos if a bunch of 5-year-olds are getting to decide what they eat for lunch. I imagine the jello and ice cream stash is running a bit low too. Since when does a 5-year-old decide what he wants to eat for lunch? Am I the only one that thinks this is crazy?
THE TEACHER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
What is going on? In just days, my son thinks his kindergarten teacher knows everything. He got in the car, and I said “hi” to many times. Imagine in my excited voice at pick up “hi babe, hey buddy, hi, I missed you all day, hi” and he says to me, on day two mind you, “Mom, my teacher says you only say hi once.” Really kid. I grew you inside of my body and Mrs. You’ve-known-her-for-5-minutes has rules you are applying to my excitement. Not cool. I am fully expecting to be policed by my new kindergartener from here on out.
Most surprising of all is that it hasn’t been as painful as I imagined it would be. I think it’s been easier because he loves it. There are aspects he isn’t impressed with, no one ever accused us of being morning people. But mostly he has been soaking in the changes and enjoying his new adventure. I am so happy for him.
I may still be looking forward to Thanksgiving break, but I am also enjoying some overdue one on one time with my mini me. I am still working on convincing her that I am more fun than her brother. But overall I think we’re going to like it! Chin up kinder mamas; we are going to survive!
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