Categories: Where's The Owner's Manual?
We enrolled our youngest child, Will, in a transitional Kindergarten, which means he’ll be attending Kindergarten for 2 years. We chose this program because he has a July birthday, so he’s just barely five, and so many kids these days seem to be going to Kindergarten when they’re six. Plus he has a total complex about being The Baby, so we thought it would be nice if he could be one of the older kids in his class as he moves through school.
Unfortunately, Will has decided school is anathema to him. Last week was his first week. On Monday, I expected him to be upset, and he was. Tuesday through Thursday he really liked it, but on Friday I think he had the realization that school happens everyday, and suddenly we were back to the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Monday and Tuesday he was sick, so I kept him home. Today as I dropped him off, there were all the elements of a country song. Tears, pleading, anger, bargaining, all that was missing was whiskey and a gun.
What I told him is this: “You have to go to school. If you give it a chance, I think when you get used to it you’ll have fun.” I pulled out the family calendar, and showed him today, and the blank squares between now and the end of September. “When September is over, then you’ll have been in school long enough that we can talk about making some changes. You’ll still have to go to school, but maybe we can change your schedule, or make some other adjustments so that school is better for you, but for now, everything is going to stay just the way it is. When daddy or I take you to school in the morning, we will read you a story, give you a hug and kiss, and then we are going to leave. I will always pick you up right after nap time, so I’ll see you then, and you can tell me all about your day.”
The real quandary is going to come at the end of September if he still hates school, and we have to Make Adjustments. The truth is, I’m not feeling rainbows and unicorns about having my son home part-time. I know, I know, I’m the one that’s been wailing and rending my garments over having my kids go off to school. But that was all three of my kids. If I only have one kid at home, then guess who’s the primary source of entertainment for that kid. The Mama, that’s who. And, although I really don’t want my kids to be gone all day, I also have big plans for getting my business going, and those plans do not include stopping work at noon to play Chutes and Ladders. Truly though, going from being at home full-time to being at school full-time is a huge adjustment for Will. If, come October, we reevaluate, and decide that the best thing for him is to go to school part time, and I have to scale back my business plans this year, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the time with him. But I reserve the right to weep and gnash my teeth while I adjust.
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