It's Back to School season and this year I have one kid going into third grade and the other starting kindergarten. We still have a little over a week until the big day when school actually starts, but we're ready! We have the backpacks and lunchboxes, the supplies from the supply list, new socks and underwear, new shoes, clothes sorted to make sure they aren't short of anything. We've had the talks about listening to the teacher, we've talked about what our five year old will learn when she's in school, all of that. I even have my first day of school blog post started, just waiting for the day's anecdotes to finish it. We're ready to take this year by storm!
Or so I thought...
Last night, after the kids were in bed, I thought I would enjoy my Friday evening with a hot relaxing bath and maybe brainstorm on some writing. The kids should be asleep, as I've desperately been trying to get them on regular schedule in preparation for school (it has not been going well.) And it was nice, until my five year old barged in to the room (yeah, our new bathroom door doesn't lock. Only the toilet room locks. Probably the one thing about this new house I'm not a fan of) with only a shirt on as she complains about her bathroom woes. After a lot of back and forth, and a lot of toilet paper, she was content and off to bed, right? Nope. A few moments later, she walks back in with her underwear in her hand, soaking wet. WHY? “I tried to rinse them off.” Yeah, you can't do that, kid. I get her new underwear and let her know that when she goes to school, she can't spend nearly an hour just going to the bathroom, and she especially can't walk around with no underwear on.
Her green eyes went wide as she asked if that was true. And that's when it hit me. Had I in any way prepared her to function as an actual human being outside of the home?
I swear my oldest kid wasn't like this. I know, every kid is different, but it was like she was born for school. Like her younger sister, she couldn't read or write beyond a few letters, but she had no issues jumping right in and figuring it all out (and really thriving). When she was in kindergarten, I think we had to have one talk where I let her know that if she is asked to wait for a bathroom break, she is allowed to ask again before it becomes an emergency. Other than that, I believe she went into the new world of daily school like an actual human being.
But what about my younger kid?! She is a force to be reckoned with. Long, relaxing bathroom trips aside, this kid is wild. She's brave enough to ask her dad “You wanna fight?” with fists ready once he's told her to stop her attitude before she gets grounded. She regularly walks around slapping everyone's butts (including her own). She never sleeps. Like ever. I almost had her on a normal schedule last school year, but that was all down the drain once we moved. She is my loving, hilarious, beautiful strong-willed child.
I know what you all are probably thinking: it's totally normal. She'll be fine. And I don't doubt that. I believe she'll thrive in school just as her sister has. And as far as how she'll actually be when she's there, I have to remind myself that she went to the childcare at our church back in Fort Worth for years with no issue, including as a 4/5 year old in their preschool-like setting. But I also know I can't be the only mom wondering what more she could have done before her kid was ready for kindergarten.
Let me know the hilarious things you never thought to teach your kids until it was time for kindergarten!
Hello! I'm Lindsey. I'm a writer with a ton of random thoughts bouncing around in my head. So I share them here in hopes that they reach others with these thoughts.