Liam’s First Day of Kindergarten

August 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We did a lot of preparing for this day. We talked about what school was going to be like. We got up at 6:15 every morning a week before and ran through our morning routine. Some mornings we walked up to the school and played on the playground. Others we drove, timing our trip. We met his teacher and dropped off his school supplies, checked out his classroom, found his cubby and his seat. And all that preparation paid off.

Thursday morning we both got right out of bed, ate breakfast, watched only one cartoon (no arguments because we’d been doing that all week), and even had time for some photos before we drove to school. I packed him some corn dog nuggets, “yellow cookies” (vanilla wafers), granola and a capri sun for lunch. He was ready.

Many parents walked their kids to their classes on the first day, so I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one. We got him all settled in, asked the teacher to move his back pack hook to the front row so he could reach it, got his pencil box from his cubby, and sat down. We had a little helper along the way, Joshua, who we remembered from Liam’s preschool class at Jack and Jill, and who would be sitting next to Liam this year in Kindergarten. In fact, there are three boys from Liam’s preschool in his class, which I was happy to see.

With hardly a goodbye, Liam was ready for his first day. No tears. No drama. No clinging. Just a, “See you later, Mom.” Amazing.

My day was nice and quiet. I was going on week two with bronchitis, so I laid around in the bed with the humidifier on catching up on The Good Wife. At 11:10 I pondered how Liam was handling lunch. He doesn’t like crowds and strange smells. But I didn’t think he’d kick up much of a fuss without me there. He reserves most of his whining for me.

At 3:25 the kids all lined up behind their teacher and marched out the back doors. The Kindergarten class dismisses from around the back, so he was easy to spot. He almost didn’t want to come with me, unsure whether he should continue following his teacher around the front like she had instructed. But I coaxed him out of line and toward the car. I asked him how his day went, and he immediately launched into how TIRED and HUNGRY he was. I made the rookie mistake of parking near the pick-up line, so we had to wait a bit before we could pull out of the parking lot. All the while Liam was getting HUNGRIER and HUNGRIER, and whinier and whinier.

We finally made it home, opened his lunch box and discovered he’d only eaten half of his lunch. Well, there’s your problem, son. He complained that he thought the lunchroom was stinky, and he didn’t have time to finish his lunch. Hopefully he’ll get used to eating faster soon. He’s a very poky eater at home. He ate and ate and ate and ate, and finally feeling better, he was ready to share about his day. He had a little raccoon in his backpack he’d glued together and colored. He told me all about his three recesses, how he’d played tag with Joshua, but how his third recess was TOO CROWDED, which he didn’t care for. He said there had only been boys in his class – they break up the Kindergarten in half by their last names the first couple of days, so I guess all the A-L last names are boys.

Liam had Friday off, so we’ll be headed back for his second day of school on Monday. The teachers have an hour-long meeting on Monday mornings, so the students start an hour later, 9:05. A perfect opportunity to walk to school, which takes about 25 minutes. I think the walk will do him good, though I’m sure I’ll be in charge of carrying his back pack. He doesn’t like to be…encumbered. We’ve been talking up how strong he’s getting, so hopefully that will change in the coming weeks, too. On Monday I won’t be walking him to his class, instead walking him to a line outside with his teacher. He’ll be in charge of carrying all of his stuff in, putting it away and finding his seat. 

When I was a kid my mom volunteered quite a bit at my school. She worked in the library, helped in the computer lab, made crafts for our class parties, brought snacks to all the PTA meetings, led our Girl Scout troop, and ran the country store at the school carnival. In that spirit, I volunteered to help with Liam’s art class on Monday afternoons. I’m looking forward to seeing what Liam is like in class, and I thought art would be right up my alley. Should be fun for both of us.

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