Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I can't handle Kindergarten

Yeah. Not the boy; he's doing okay. I'm the one who can't handle the new schedule.

You know, two or three weeks ago I thought to myself, Self, you should really put in for some vacation time and take off work for Firstborn's first week of school. I thought about it, but I didn't actually do it.

In retrospect, I should have. Kindergarten is kicking my ass. It's waking up that extra hour early. It's convincing Firstborn to go to bed early enough that I can wake him up that early. It's trying to get from the school to work in some reasonable approximation of "on time". It's remembering that he'll need to eat lunch, so I'd better make sure his lunchbox is in his backpack and his backpack makes it out the door with us - which is, I suppose, another way of saying that it's not having any systems in place for this. It's trying to get anything done around the house when my evening is suddenly ending a lot earlier than I'm used to.

I am tired. And it's not just exhaustion, it's that extra-special kind of exhaustion that laughs in the face of the full night's sleep I just got. It's that "I sure picked the wrong week to quit smoking crack" sort of exhaustion.

I want a vacation. Preferably with little umbrella drinks, but at this point I'll manage without. (Did I mention that we're kinda broke?) I should have put in for it.

Other random observations:
Apparently they aren't using mats for nap-time. Instead, they had us send in a towel for Firstborn to sleep on. Beautiful Wife (who clearly loves her boys) cut out strips of iron-on patches, and put Firstborn's name on his towel. Then she added a scorpion. Then a spider. I really need to get a picture of it, but unfortunately it went off to school before I thought to do that.

Firstborn is learning about conservation. Well, sort of. Yesterday, he finished eating breakfast in the cafeteria, and I went to throw away the leftovers on his tray. He stopped me to explain that I couldn't throw out the other half of the cereal. So I wound up eating the rest of his cereal on the way to work. And then he did the same thing today, except with the little bowl of cheesy scrambled eggs. So, y'know, I'm getting fed, and the extra food isn't going to waste. It may be going to waist - my waist - but that's another matter altogether.

Firstborn is pleasingly self-sufficient. When I dropped him in his classroom yesterday, he found the sheet of coloring paper at his spot at the table. The sheet had a picture of Buddy Bear, who I guess is some sort of educational mascot. Firstborn took one look at that and announced, "I do not want to color Buddy Bear." Then he turned his sheet over, grabbed a pencil, and said: "I will draw Ithaqua instead." And he did. And so far, nobody has called to ask us what an Ithaqua is.

So that's our school experience so far.


  1. Aaaw! This gets better, I promise. A couple of nights for Adia were so bad I tried to dress her for school in her sleep, but eventually, explaining to her that going to bed early = getting up on time caught on. I make the girls' lunches the night before and refrigerate the box. Simple things, like cold rice and leftover chicken (rice bowl, Lu's favorite), or sandwiches without condiments (they never eat the bread anyhow). The only ones I wouldn't make the night before are salad sandwiches - they turn to mush. But you can pack the salad, on lettuce, and the bread, in a baggie, and he can smack that together himself. (Or eat it with a spoon and then ask what the bread is for, a la Adia.)

  2. "I will draw Ithaqua instead." BRILLANT!

  3. Yeah, we're doing the lunch-the-night-before thing, too. Right now we have some frozen sandwiches; we'll see how that does over the long term. Also, I'm going to try to coax him into going down reasonably early by promising to go to sleep at the same time myself.

  4. You do fall into more of a rhythm, a few weeks into each new school year. But man, those first few weeks are tough.

    And every year we swore we'd start following a schooltime schedule a few weeks before school started, so that we'd be used to it-- and every year, we'd cling to summer laxness right up to the last day before school.

    "I will draw Ithaqua instead." That's your boy!

  5. I'll confess I just had to google Ithaqua. I had no idea there was anything called a Cthulhu until I started reading your blog. Yeah, okay, I've lived a sheltered life. Can't wait 'til someone asks him what these creatures are that he's so fond of. *grin*

    Sounds like when you open your eyes in the morning you feel like you just closed them and it's time to do it all over again. Hopefully it will get easier.

  6. So glad our grandchild is surviving. Sounds like you are not as sure. By the way your father has still not appeared! Mom (mother of Mock)

  7. My youngest just started kindergarten as well 2 weeks ago. He said his favorite part of the day is coming home! He said it's too hard to listen and not talk all day. It may be a long school year. So far, we've made alot of stops to the icecream truck parked across from school in the afternoon as a way of encouraging good behavior. I guess it's the happy hour of elementary school kids ;)

  8. Yeah, Firstborn likes coming home, too. It's not that he doesn't like school, exactly - he does - it's just that he's really glad to get his family back.


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