This fall was also the start of school for a somebody else special. My daughter Kaylee started Spanish Immersion Kindergarten! (OMG, when did I get old enough to have a kindergartener?!?) She's at our local public school, which just happens to have this amazing Spanish immersion option. She's already learned so much Spanish in the last few weeks. And I am learning so many things about being the mother of a kindergartener. Here are some of my less favorite lessons...
- Kindergarteners don't get homework, their parents do. I've never been very good at homework, but was convinced I could make Kaylee get into the habit right away. Turns out it wasn't Kaylee I should have been worried about, it was me. Instead of looking through her backpack for homework for her, we need to sift through emails from her teacher for homework for me! I've already failed two assignments (bring in a baby picture, bring in an apple) but I'm turning it around, she wore red today as requested. Booyeah!
- Kindergarteners do more worksheets than a something does something. Everyday Kaylee brings home her red folder stuffed with worksheets she did at school. Practice your name, color everything rojo or verde, finish the pattern, connect the dots, count the apples, etc, etc. They do so many worksheets I'm starting to think they're preparing the kids for jobs in government or accounting. They are the red tape of the future.
- Gone are the days of having the coolest crayons in the class. When I was in school you kept your supplies in your desk. The coolest kids were the ones with the scented markers or the Cayola 120 pack with built in sharpener. Ohhh yeah. I wasn't one of those kids, but I always dreamed of finally living vicariously through my children... but my dreams were dashed. Now a days (at least at our school) everything gets dumped into the communal bucket and handed out in handfuls rather than in shiny ordered packages. I get why, but still I can't help but feel a little disappointed.
- I have a new arch nemesis: The Fundraiser. As if all the guilt-trips for parental volunteers weren't enough, now they get money involved? This will probably get a post all its own.
- Kindergarten is not actually cheaper than daycare. It's a farce! Between the money to pay for full day (half day is free) and the after-school care I feel like we might as well be in a private school. Yikes. Come, on kid, are you sure you can't skip to first grade yet?
- Principals love the sound of their own voices. Everybody seems to agree that our principal is the shit, but the other day I got 3 emails from him (form letters) while I was at work and came home to two (prerecorded) voicemails too! And all about stuff that we'd been given fliers about in the Friday Folders. This is a whole new kind of TMI.
- There is nothing on earth as scary as waiting for the bus, only to have your kid NOT get off. On the first day of school I thought it would be cute to get pictures of my baby girl getting on AND off the bus. So instead of having her go to daycare at the end of the day I waited excitedly at the bus stop. But when the bus came and Kaylee did not appear my excitement turned to panic. I talked to the bus driver, I called the school, I drove to the other bus stop near our house, I even drove to the school. I was shaking. How do you lose a kindergartener? A lady from the bus office and told me (in a voice that said "chill out, crazy lady") that my kid had been brought to the correct destination, I must have just missed her. I was livid but I went back to the stop by our daycare, and there she was, in the daycare office, totally fine and alive and with all her limbs and everything. Turns out her and a friend had been put on the wrong bus and driven to the wrong daycare center. But Kaylee and her friend were crazy mature about it and simply informed them that they were at the wrong place, gave the name of their daycare, and were driven there. Kaylee wasn't even the tiniest bit upset. It was amazing. I'm so proud of her. Although I really hope it never happens again.
What did you learn during the start of this new school year?