Friday, September 05, 2008

Bumbling Amateur

I'm such a novice at this kindergarten thing. I'm the mom who forgets the hat and sunscreen, who sends a snack that requires a spoon, who arrives five minutes late for the second day of kindergarten because, as it turns out, fifteen minutes ahead of time is not soon enough to start bundling a four-year-old and a three-year-old into the car for a three-minute drive.

I can't even remember what those hand-out things are called, the ones the teacher sends home with forms to fill out and calendars of important dates. Take-home papers? That doesn't sound right. Do they have a name, those things?

I'm the mom who forgets to take a photo for the first day of school, who sends her son off in a t-shirt and denim shorts, forgetting until it's too late that there is supposed to be a ritual to this first day of school, even when it's just a half-day of kindergarten. (Especially then.)

I could have arranged Bub at the front door, with our unpaved driveway and unsodded lot as a backdrop. I might even have gotten him to put on his Cars backpack and say "Cheese!" But that photo would not have captured the look of glee on his face as he ran to do lunges with the other kids for their morning "exercises". It would not have caught his tone of voice at the end of the day when his E.A. said "See you tomorrow!" and he replied, "To have more fun?" A snapshot might have caught something of the new jauntiness in his step, the confidence of being a bona fide big kid. It could not possibly have reflected the full measure of my relief.

32 comments:

Jess said...

We always called them handouts. Maybe that's not their real name, or maybe you hit on it without knowing it?

allysha said...

Personally, I've just come to terms with the fact that I will usually forget the sunscreen and leave the camera in the desk drawer- I like to think there are things I remember to celebrate when they pass everyone else by, but I'm not sure what they are...

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh that will be me too, guaranteed. It kind of already is in the context of a daycare centre.

Glad to hear it went so well!

KAL said...

It is HARD to get them out the door in the morning. I hear your relief and so glad it went well.

Niksmom said...

Ok, so you didn't stage a cheesy "first day" photo; you painted a far lovlier picture with this post. Glad it was a good day!

Cyndi said...

I never got a really great picture on the first day either. There were moms completely surrounding the kids and I couldn't muscle in to take a pic so I ended up of a lot of peoples backsides.

Anonymous said...

Handouts we called them. I used to mug the kid to get them to hand over their backpacks for the paperwork!

My husband convinced me to stop taking videos of events telling me the memories can't be eclipsed.

He was right. The video does NO justice to the memory. The concert was Mozart in my mind, in the video, not so much.

Great news about your jaunty big kid!

(Your) Anon

planetnomad said...

I am terrible at remembering to sign things, at sending the kids off properly equipped. It works out--by the time they're jr hi, they're remembering things on their own! I like to think I'm raising children that are more responsible than the ones with the perfect mothers. IRL, I wonder when I'll ever completely grow up.

Beck said...

Wonderful.
And "handouts."
And it took me YEAAARS to keep on top - barely - of everything the kids need at school. Luckily, my MOTHER works at their school.

painted maypole said...

it seems as if Bub knows how to have the perfect first day of school, no help required.

bren j. said...

Well regardless of not having a spoon or a picture taken, Bub sure sounds like he did great!

bren j. said...

And hey, I just thought of this, you can take a picture ANY day and tell him 'this is you on the fifth day of school!' cause you know, nobody takes Fifth Day of School Pictures. That could be quite a novelty.

minnesotamom said...

Yay! That's a hard transition, so to hear it's going so well is wonderful.

Kyla said...

I'm so glad he's doing well!

Omaha Mama said...

I've tried really hard this year (with my kindergartener) to be better about papers and preparation and sending an umbrella for rainy days. I was so that mom, the late payment mom, at daycare and still am! So have done okay, maybe 85%, on the kindergarten stuff. I'm really, really trying though. It shouldn't be so hard!

Mary-LUE said...

What Niksmom said!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Awww... I'm glad he enjoyed his first day.

I like the name "take home papers" better than handouts anyway... It's delightfully didactic.

And, you're not alone... I'm that mom too. I forgot my son's hat on the first day and we were almost 20 minutes late because I got the start time wrong and I didn't take a picture. Then my mom called to see how the first day went and asked me if I cried when I dropped Buddy off at school. I said, "no," and then I wondered if maybe there was something wrong with me?... I mean, am I missing a key mom gene or a few important brain cells or something?

Karen said...

my son has been indoctrinated by suburban public school (mini corporate america) where those things are called parent communications.
And he hands it over with the announcement, "here are today's parent communications."
sad.

Chaotic Joy said...

I am this mom. OK, I took pictures. Tons of them. But I always forget important dates, lose forms I am supposed to return and am late for everything. But it fills my heart with glee to read this post. Yay Bub! Yay Bea. Just yay.

gretchen from lifenut said...

I am happy to read Bub had a great day. Give yourself a break regarding the first few weeks of school. It will all fall into place. By the time you remember the sunscreen and hat, it will be mittens and boots season. Constant catch-up, but it's all good in the end.

It took me awhile to get a system going, but I have. With four kids at the same elementary school, I must keep on top of all the paperwork or someone could suffer a fate like not being signed up for Pizza Friday.

The Small Scribbler said...

In my mind you are practically Super Woman. You get two kids and yourself out the door every day. If we can get breakfast on the table before noon I consider it a successful morning.

The word picture that you painted here of Bub's first day captured far more than a measly picture. I'm so glad he is enjoying himself. It sounds like the first day was a smashing success.

Kate

Stimey said...

I think you captured it right here without ever pulling out your camera.

Merle said...

Glad to hear Bub's first day went so well. Don't worry about the spoon. All primary teachers keep spoons at school for such occasions. GB and the Western Fair went incredibly well -- considering. TTYS. H

Mad said...

Some do it with a camera, others with words.

nomotherearth said...

Your words are picture enough.

Aliki2006 said...

There's a learning curve for us grown-ups, too--I know it took me some time to be "that mom"--the one who was on top of things. Actually, it's still a work-in-progress, really.

But you capture it so perfectly--that relief.

Mac and Cheese said...

No camera, no hat, no sunscreen, no special outfit either. Slacker moms unite!

Patois said...

I think you got the obligatory shot, all right.

the dragonfly said...

Aww..the first day of school. I've got to slow myself down - my son is only 15 months old, and already I get teary thinking about sending him to school!!

Sounds like you and Bub got through it all just fine. So glad he had such a good first day!!

Chantal said...

Sweet. I am glad it went well.

Sarcasta-Mom said...

I'm always the lame mom who forgets things. So glad he's so happy in the big K :)

DaniGirl said...

I call those papers the "mommy homework." Even with two years of experience, I still forgot the camera and the sunscreen and the hat on Tristan's first day of Gr 1.