Kindergarten. It might just be a few hours a day, but it’s a significant event. Prior to kindergarten, Missy’s days were the sole domain of Mum. My wife organized playdates, activities, trips and home fun.
Now Missy is going to spend a few hours each day without Mum. That’s a hefty adjustment for both of them. The early stages of this metamorphosis from home baby to school girl are filled with little pleadings to stay home, or a rush out the door to get there; (well, “rushing” Missy style, which would be termed “glacially slow” by normal standards.)
Of course, on the occasions I am home to see Missy off to school, it is sometimes easy for Dad to trivialize a child’s fears or apprehension on embarking on a new adventure, dismissing them with a loving but ill-informed “you’ll be OK, darling”. Mum also needs some tender love and care, as well.
For the better part of 3 years, mums (and dads, if they are the primary carer) who have the gift of not working, spend every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment with their mini charges. To relinquish that to the wilds of school, even if it is a brief few hours, is a significant change.
Part of that change is interacting with other kids. Now before this, it was possible to vet little friends. It was possible to hang out with parents you like. Kindergarten is the first process in losing control of my child’s choice of playmate, and our choice of parents we want to hang out with.
Still, on the upside, my wife get’s a bit of her time back. Any full time parent, in fact, any parent will know that raising kids is:
#1- the best job in the world and
#2 – the most physically exhausting job in the world.
Just to get a few hours to get your hair done or have a cup of tea without getting covered in cereal (or in my wife’s case, get 3 hours at the gym done) can be liberating. It does, however, bring on some new stresses – as time in the morning becomes a much more valuable commodity.
Missy is slow. Nope, not slowish – she is slow. She gets out of bed slowly, eats slowly and dresses slowly. There is no urgency in Missy. So getting her to school on time is the old immovable object meeting the irresistible force. But typically, mum gets it done and so far, no late slips have needed to be issued.
The other upside is mixing with kids we may not necessarily choose to hang out with. Every class has a naughty kid, (never your own) and they can be a bad influence. Why is that an upside? Previously I have mentioned the allegation that I was suspected responsible for a bout of swearing Missy embarked on some time ago (I stress “allegation”, it was never proved), and now I have a much better alibi than just a deer like, wide eyed stuttering denial.
I love school.