Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Sending Your Second Child to Kindergarten...

SCENE I: The den, the night before school starts. Children are in bed and parents have settled in for a relaxing evening.

ME: Wow. I can't believe I'm not sad about sending Annie to kindergarten. With Jay I was so emotional. This time, I'm just excited for her because I know she's going to love it so much!

JAMIE: I'm glad you're so rational about this.

SCENE II: After having dropped a happy Annie off in her classroom of thirty children on the first day of school, the mother heads to the library for a "Parent Tea" where she will discuss the addition of a new kindergarten teacher who will be added in two weeks to help cut down on classroom size.

ME: Wow. It's a good thing that this didn't happen when I sent Jay to kindergarten. It's exactly the thing that would have sent me over the edge. I was already so nervous. This time I'm so calm and I know it will all work out with the new teacher. I'm not worried about it at all!

FRIENDS: We're glad you're so rational about this.

SCENE III: The cafeteria on the first day of school, where the mother (who was turning in paperwork to the office) sneaks in to have a look at Annie only to discover she is BAWLING.



So I didn't stay rational. Annie had a hard adjustment to kindergarten. The cafeteria was a scary place, her class size was crazy, she missed her preschool friends, and when the new teacher was hired her "VERY BEST FRIEND" (who she had known for a total of a week) got moved into the new class. There were tears. Some of them were mine. I worked lunch duty every day for three weeks straight to help with her adjustment. Somehow, just seeing me for a little portion of the day helped her so much. We made a "cry chart" (for Annie, not me...) that we filled with princess stickers and the promise of ice cream when it was filled. Amazingly, at the end of the cry chart, Annie had adjusted and now loves her new school. She loves her teacher and feels very comfortable and loved by her. The cry chart is history and I'm back to working lunch duty once a week, which is much more manageable. We talked a lot, a lot, a lot and I think it helped. So much of her reminds me of myself. She is sensitive, worries about things that she shouldn't even be thinking of, and takes to heart what other say. But she's stronger and more daring than I ever was or am now. That will serve her well in the future. I'm so impressed by her.

Happy Kindergarten days Annie. I love you and am SO proud of all your accomplishments!

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