Notes from the "Day After"

Over the next few weeks, I'll writing a small, hopefully funny series regarding the challenges of having a child who is starting kindergarten. For those of you with older children, please chime in and comment with any advice or encouragement for us, the parents of new kindergarteners. For those of you with younger children-- well, snicker away friends, your time will come too...mwah ha ha!

 There is a sticker on our refrigerator my dear friend Tony gave to me a few years ago. He gave me this because the sticker has a cat on it that looks exactly like our dear Gus, only with a very serious look on its face.  Above kitty, in bold red letters, read the words which most define me:


Truer words were never written, my friend. Especially when the morning is question comes after the very challenging afternoon and evening we experienced yesterday.

Parents, heed my warning. Be very aware that even when the first day of school goes well, they are going to be t.i.r.e.d. Soooo tired. Soooo whiny. From the moment I picked up Kiddo from half-day kindergarten, the Afternoon of Angst had begun. Or shall we refer to it as 'transition trauma'? Either way...

He didn't want to wash his hands before we left the school, so that he could eat his apple slices on the way home. I helped him. Bad Mom! I got his sleeves wet. End Of The World. (note to self- pack wet wipes for this task)

Bad Mom! I didn't bring enough apple  slices. Good Mom! A cream cheese and jelly sandwich was waiting when we got home.)

Bad Mom! I had to pack up some playdough tools I'm loaning out, and I didn't let him play playdough while he was eating lunch. Good Mom! He got to play with it while I was washing up dishes.)

Bad Mom! Kiddo had to clean up the playdough to do his homework. Good Mom, "I see you need a little break before your homework. Let's go lie down and read some Uncle Wiggily" ((from the new book which Good Mom had kindly ordered last week from Powell's.))

 Bad, bad Mom for making him do his homework. SUCH a bad mom....Where do we start with the story of How Mean Mom Is? 

Good Mom made him a snack. Good Mom let him play outside during Quiet Play Time... AND Good Mom let him go play with the neighbor boy for 40 minutes, after a short moment wherein an 'agreement' was discussed for expected behavior at pick up time.

Bad Mom, for coming back and actually picking him up and not letting him LIVE with the neighbors. 
Bad Mom for not giving someone all the attention they wanted while she tried to cook dinner. 
Bad Mom for suggesting that an early bedtime was necessary. It was.

Here's the thing: when they a child is so tired as to be disagreeable, constantly, I have decided that, for sanity's sake, it is okay for that child to go to bed a half-hour early. Even if you don't sleep, child. Even if you are awake, looking at the ceiling--- this will not kill you. However, staying up and complaining at me, I cannot guarantee the same result...staying alive, that is.

And if you hop out of bed to complain to me once more about how you can't sleep, your life may indeed be in serious jeopardy.

At eight o'clock, the house was serene. Kiddo was asleep. Joe and I watched a movie, I had a beer, then stayed up later to watch "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and make our schedule for today. Imagine, I can do a much better job scheduling  and planning proactively late at night after a strong beer than I ever could in the morning. Why? Because I am NOT a morning person. But Kiddo woke up, right as rain, no complaints... 

And so we roll on into Day Three of Kindergarten. Stay tuned... the story continues....



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