Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Year, Another Kindergartner

Scrolling back through the posts I've written this summer, it's painfully obvious just how busy we were. I try not to write much when there's nothing much going on, but that was rarely the case. This is perhaps the first year both kids will really remember the summer...based on how old they are. I hope they remember it fondly and not as a mishmash of dizzying, but fun experiences.

School started so early this year. It wasn't even late August yet. But then, something had to curb my need for overscheduling, I guess. And I was so excited to see Mam off to kindergarten, with the expectations that she'd be very, very happy there and I'd be happy to have the kids in the same place.

Before the big Wednesday first day of school, Mam had a lemonade social at the kindergarten where she got together with her future classmates and got to meet her new teacher. After all that posing at Disney World, Mam was happy as a clam to pose with her latest princess. Looks familiar, doesn't it?This one, she gets to keep visiting for the rest of the year. And she'll only have to compete for attention with 19 other kids rather than a whole theme park full.

The teachers took all the kids in the classroom to read a story and left the parents out on the playground. Since we were a couple of minutes late, Mam wasn't sure what to make of that, but I got away with escorting her halfway into the classroom...just enough that she could see that she knew other kids in there...and then quickly making my way back out.

Tuesday, I took the kids to my hairdresser for haircuts. Smunch's hair had been cropped so short during the summer, that I just had her tidy it up so it would grow out nicely. Mam, on the other hand, said emphatically that she wanted her hair cropped up to HERE! (with her hand up above her ear). I refused, but she had it cut as short as I was willing to go. I really prefer the long hair, but not the long hair-combing battles, so she gets her way.

Wednesday finally came and I had the kids dressed 'just so' and ready for their first day. Cute clothes, new backpacks, new lunch bags, combed hair, brushed teeth. Mam was excited. Smunch seemed happy, but very slightly apprehensive.The whole family took the short walk to the kindergarten yard, where Mam immediately ran off to play with her friends, including her Sarah who is in her class for the first time this year. After a few minutes, the bell rang and Mam flew past me, "Bye, Mommy!" she waved as she joined the line.So very, very different from her brother. She trotted happily off into the classroom with barely a glance behind her.

We wandered over to the "big kid playground" where Smunch quickly found his line and stood in it, still looking slightly anxious.But it all went away when he met his nice, new teacher. She's quite fabulous, I hear. My interactions with her to date would certainly suggest that's true. Very, very nice with a great reputation.I'm happy about his teacher and about the kids (and parents!) in his class. It's shaping up to be a really good year and in the end, he seemed happy to be off to second grade.Second grade. That used to sound so very old!

And I went off to the Welcome Back Coffee to overvolunteer myself for yet another year. I avoided becoming anyone's room mom, but signed up to help the room mom in both classrooms. I'll be in Mam's room weekly to help out and may be taking both classes to the library from time to time. I'm looking forward to it.

What I didn't realize is that while everything is new and different for the kids, it's really kind of new and different for me too. The volunteering hasn't really kicked into gear yet, so I'm feeling a little adrift in a big sea of parents and kids. All the same friends are still there, but we're all doing different things with different routines than we had last year. I'm hoping that as soon as things firm up a little and I'm getting into the classroom again, I'll feel like I've got a "place" there. Until then, at least my blog is up to date.

It's now Monday and the fourth day of school for both kids. To my great relief, they seem to be getting happier and happier with school. They're both happy to go and happy to stay. I don't know how it could be going better. This is the first year it's actually been easy!


Cammi said...

They look so cute! I love C's dress. She has the cutest clothes! I'm so glad it was a successful first day. YEAH! I would joke that you'll have lots of time on your hands now with two kids in school but that just means you'll be at the school twice as much! Fun, though. I'll be interested to see how your kindergarten experience is different than what we all went through two years ago!

mommieN. said...

I'm always so impressed, and more-than-slightly guiltified, by involved, giving moms like yourself. I don't know how last year's first-grade teacher would have made it through the year without a few very active moms like yourself. Then there's the rest of us leeches -- very appreciative, but from our homes or offices, not from the classroom. So here's another big grateful guilty THANK YOU to moms like you.

If I were to give time at school, my instinct would be to help with the kindergarten class over the 2nd grade class. I don't know if that's rational! My K's teacher is brand-new, so I guess that breaks the tie, but even though 2nd-graders are supposed to be more mature, they might directly benefit more from extra help. Alas, it's academic as long as this *employment* thing keeps getting in the way.

But not only is it nice for the class, it's got to be nice for your kids to see you around so much and so least until junior high!