Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kindergarten: You're Not in Daycare Anymore

"The universe is one great Kindergarten. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson." -Orison Swett Marden

Kindergarten, where have you been all my life? You mean to tell me all we had to do to avoid the nightly bedtime tug-of-war with Peanut was send her to school? This just seems too good to be true. Most nights she's in bed - and willingly - by 7:30. Read it again: 7:30. Some nights she ASKS to go upstairs. Amazing. But when you listen to Peanut, it's easy to understand why she's so tired.

On a recent cranky morning ride to school she informed My Director that she wants to go back to daycare. Those were the days, I guess. "The work is too hard," she complains. Turns out, learning is taxing on the mind and body. It's a good thing they give her two opportunities to feed her mind and body, right? Wrong. If you ask Peanut, she's not fed enough. "In daycare we had two snacks and we only get one in Kindergarten," she protests. My poor baby.

Due to this unfortunate situation finally coming to my attention, I am starting a collection for under-snacked Kindergartners. No child should be forced to sit through an entire school day with just one snack. That's an outrage and a tragedy. (And I'm joking, of course.)
So much energy on
the first day

Despite her proclaimed exhaustion, she loves all of the outdoor activity and running around that her day entails. We not only get a full report from gym class, the playground, and recess, we get a re-enactment. Dinner is often interrupted by obstacle courses and jumping jacks. A full play-by-play of that day's physical education. And while she's so tired, she still finds room to complain, "We don't go outside two times a day." Oh, the humanity.

I get it, child. I hear you and I feel you. You're often too tired to focus on your homework but we manage to soldier through it. You're yearning for the glory days when your teachers were more cuddly. When snacks were plentiful and playtime was seemingly endless. Please know, my sweet daughter, that I am struggling right along with you.

For example, in daycare your teachers packed your lunchbox back up when you were finished. It came back to me neat and clean. There was rarely any food left. Now? YOU are in charge of this task. As a result, I often must declare a state of emergency upon opening that disaster area you call a lunchbox. Leftover peas, the remnants of whatever berries I packed for you, and crust from your bread combine to form a tiny culinary crime scene in this small vinyl case.

And what is up with there being only one week so far this school year where there was actually school every day of the week for a full day? Is this some kind of sick joke? I am told this is how it will be until you graduate high school. That we will be perpetually scrambling for child care on days where we work because your teachers have a conference or it's Flag Day. Great.

So I get it. We're all making adjustments. You, your mom, and me. But let me tell you one thing about Kindergarten. It's meant to prepare you for the rest of your life, with the hard work and the structure and regaling your family and friends with happy tales from playtime. If you ask me, it's preparing you pretty well for what's to come.

This post originally appeared on Barista Kids last month. In honor of Peanut's first day of school, I wrote THIS POST, which was inspired by something she said the first time she watched "The Wizard of Oz."


  1. My son seemed to have the same issues with Kindergarten. He enjoys First Grade much more. He gets to play out on the "big kid" playground, before school, 2 recesses, and after lunch. So imagine my surprise when he turned from my sweet lil boy, to an overnight monster. Turns out, all that extra 'playing' was kicking his ass. He was skipping his school brakfast and cutting out early on lunch, just to go play!! I actually had to implement a clean your plate rule, and moved his bedtime an hour earlier (with ZERO complaints!!)

    He's oficially back to his sweet little self, and still loving First Grade

    1. They resist the change, then they adapt. They're good like that. Me? I'm still adapting.

  2. Kindergarten is big panties time. Not easy. And they're really just sooo little. My youngest goes next year and, even though, i am so over nursery (8 years baby!), i will miss the easy play, the pop-in and say hi, the lack of structure and the baby still being the baby. Okay, now i'm sad. Thanks for the big life lesson! damn. I don't wanna grow upppppppp. (this did not finish as i expected.. ;) )

    1. Hahahaha. I can't believe MY baby is almost halfway done with Kindergarten. Geez. She's come a long way... homework isn't such a struggle anymore. But I struggle with it... as far as patience is concerned.

  3. It is amazing how exhausted they are when they start school. One of mine dozed off during the afternoon quiet time on the first day of kindergarten for nearly an hour! Clearly, a heavy sleeper!

    1. I think we all need afternoon naps. I do "slouch time" at work. After my show, for 10 minutes, I slouch down in my chair, lean back, and I may or may not doze off from time to time. ;-)


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