Being that this is my second year with a high schooler, a middle schooler and an elementary schooler, my assumption was that adding a Kindergartener would be a breeze. They only go to school twice a week, how hard can that be?! I mean, he doesn’t have early morning band practices, no after school sports to arrange for, no exams and tests, no agendas to sign, no spelling lists to review and multiplication facts to drill. I’m an old (and I use that word loosely) pro at this by now.
Fast forward 5 months and I’m singing a different tune. Praise the Lord Kindergarten is only 2 days a week or I don’t think I’d survive. It starts the day before he has to go to school. There are sight words to review, and because Owen is a stickler for the rules, I can’t just do it flashcard style. We need to turn it into a memory match game that lasts FOREVER because we must include every word he’s learned since the beginning of the year. Then there is home reading which I envision to be a bonding, cozy experience. More often than not, it ends up with the two-year-old getting bored by the slow pace of the budding reader and continually trying to turn the page, much to the annoyance of his older brother. The pages of homework are optional but not really, when the eager kindergartener pulls out the glue, scissors and crayons at the most inopportune times and cheerfully states “I’m ready Mom!” And then there are the extra projects. Like the 3D snowman art. Our excitement to make a popcorn ball snowman disintegrated as fast as the snowman itself as we watched all our hard work crumble on the plate. Who knew popcorn snowmen could melt?!
A Kindergarten morning starts at 6:50am by dragging a sleepy-eyed, five-year-old from his warm bed. He is more than eager to go, but his brain just isn’t keeping up with the commands I keep firing at him.
“Come here and I’ll comb your hair.”
“Have you packed your bag?”
“Did you remember your lunch kit, your home folder, your library book?”
“What about the homework you were assigned yesterday?”
Getting Owen off to school on a Kindergarten morning is a combined effort and my other boys know it. They each check the calendar for me because guaranteed Mom has forgotten something like show and tell or “bring a stuffie/banana/pancake mix/jungle animal” or……..PJ DAY?!!!! Quick, get him undressed and back into his PJs, it’s time to go! The older boys run around collecting whatever else he needs and because we are usually running late, one person is putting on his shoes while someone else is brushing his teeth.
We generally manage to pull into the parking lot with a couple minutes to spare. I’m relieved that I’ve managed to get 4 kids off to school, each at the right campus and with the proper lunch bag and backpack. Owen, Levi, and I make our way to the Kindergarten line-up to await the bell and greet his teacher. But as we make our way over, we become aware of the giggles. We notice that no one else is dressed in PJs. I must be the only one who remembered. Apparently not. Turns out the 17 other Kindergarten moms aren’t wrong and I’m not the “old pro” after all, but just old and losing my mind.
Owen and I look at each other and sigh.