Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

I didn’t exactly forget that I had another child left to start school. It just wasn’t on the front burner if you know what I mean. On Tuesday we had Kindergarten Assessment and received a supply list. Yesterday we found out who Sam’s teacher would be. This morning I popped up with a list a mile long running through my brain. I had to make myself presentable. Sam had to actually be ready for school at the same time as Kenny AND I had to have Josh ready to drop off at Tia’s house. None of these things have been part of my routine lately. And, of course, tons of other things. Then it occurs to me: I did NOT purchase Sam’s school supplies.

My self-imposed stress level was totally exposed as a tear squeezed out and I hollered, “I CANNOT do this!”

But of course I did anyway. Fifteen minutes later I had the boys and myself out the door and headed to Wal-Mart. It was just going to have to be donuts for breakfast. As you can imagine, that was the one item of business that didn’t register a complaint.

We got there in record time only to find Wal-Mart to be out of packs of 24 crayons (I needed several), glue sticks, and blunt-nose scissors. So, three donuts, two binders, and one bottle of hand sanitizer later and we’re headed out. As we make it toward the automatic doors I gaze lovingly at the gigantic bin of Back to School donations. For the Needy. I quickly weigh the possibility of just grabbing those crayons straight out of there and throwing in a few bucks but quickly dismiss the idea. Surely there are cameras EVERYWHERE and I’m pretty sure moths would fly out if I opened my wallet.

Straightaway to Office Depot but we’ve got 10 minutes until they open. Kenny laments that he might as well take the day off; he’ll be in such Big Trouble if he’s late. At this point he’ll be early but he’s not listening. Inside the store I find the rest of what we need but am reduced to buying expensive oversized glue sticks because they are not colored. Why are so many glue stick varieties colored? I get the concept but I’ve yet to see a school supply list that didn’t stipulate NO COLORED GLUE STICKS.

*deep breath*

The First Day of Kindergarten

Sam and I sign in at the front desk and find our way to Ms. Thompson’s class. And we wait. People come and go and we wait. Finally, Sam points to the white board that directs us to wait at the OUTSIDE door. Ooh. I’ve long since graduated kindergarten but following directions? I’m working on it.

Outside at the lines for both Kindergarten classes, parents are sizing each other up, seeing who they already know. In we go, following instructions for the new routine. We hear the requisite “The Kissing Hand” story, do a Hand Print and Drawing-of-Your-First-Day-of-School activity (Sam’s self-portrait will surely earn him a psych eval), then the kids were turned loose on the recess monitors for a walk through the outside rules.

The “Adults” sat on tiny chairs at tiny tables to listen to Ms. Thompson’s presentation.

(The kids are “Friends”, not students, and the parents, grandparents, babysitters, guardians, handlers, managers, jailers etc. are their “Adults”—the language has completely changed and I am discombobulated. I really am.)

As I listen my mind wanders in not a few directions. First I think about the piles of papers I’ve had to read and sign in the past two days. Could I just relocate to Google’s Opt Out Village? And why are scissors on our supply list? The children aren’t allowed personal scissors; we all know Kindergarten = The Sweetest Socialism Ever. So. What happens to all those blunt-nose scissors each year? My mind swirls with the possibilities.

Finally she says, “If you have a situation where . . . someone can’t pick up . . . I mean you don’t want them to pick up your child . . . like a court order or something . . .” but her voice trails off. I want details! This is finally getting interesting.
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