we did not go to the preschool open house

We did not go to the preschool open house tonight because Philip isn’t going to preschool. He starts kindergarten tomorrow.

Kindergarten.

Tomorrow.

Instead, we went to the kindergarten open house. Correction: we attended the district-wide open house. We dodged students of all sizes in the hallway, and the parking lot was full.

We parked on the grass.

Philip’s teacher arranged the room so that parents would stop at different colored balloons, read the instructions next to each balloon, and then either drop off supplies, fill in forms, or pick up materials. It was such a kindergarten teacher thing to do. However, the balloons and the notes were too much for my brain. We were the only family in the classroom at the time, so I felt like less of a jerk for asking questions that could have been answered by reading the beautifully printed cards.

I remembered to ask about the art shirt (answer: any shirt will do). Did I remember to ask anything else? No. I did not write down any of the questions bouncing in my brain since the back-to-school letter arrived a week ago. This omission was in keeping with my general lack of preparation for the start of school. Sure, the required supplies, sans art shirt, have been stored in our pantry since we purchased them two months ago. Unfortunately, I behaved as if stashing them there meant my work was done.

For example, the potty-training fairy refused to come to our house. So I had to call the school last week to let his teacher know. In addition to the rest of the supplies, we delivered a pack of training pants.

We forgot the wipes.

While meeting Philip’s intervention specialist in her austere, I-just-got-hired-ten-days-ago classroom, my phone rang. It was Philip’s bus driver. Philip has a bus driver now. Dad will no longer chauffeur him five minutes to the preschool door to be assisted out of the car and escorted inside. Nope. Now Peter will take him to the end of our street, put him on a school bus, and pray that he arrives happy and safe at school forty minutes later.

I did recruit a new mother hen for Philip to replace his preschool girlfriend: Marissa, a fifth-grader who lives behind us. She’ll keep an eye on Philip, but I’m sure she has friends to chat with and can’t be expected to watch Philip every second to make sure he doesn’t lose his backpack or stand up or get scared by a fly or cry on the way home because he’s never gone to school for eight hours before.

Lunch. I forgot to ask about that. I’m lucky I remembered to buy lunch stuff while grocery shopping last night. It’s not that I want him to starve, it’s simply further evidence that I’m in denial about kindergarten. Also, I can’t picture Philip eating in the school cafeteria. Philip grazes throughout the day. He eats peanut butter from the jar, not in a sandwich I can cut into crustless triangles for him.

I’m freaking out.

I know Philip needs to go back to school. I know that Peter and I need Philip to go back to school. As summer whizzed by without me preparing, it simultaneously dragged on. I laughed and told his teacher that he has been deconstructing our house. That was my polite way of saying that, out of boredom and the lack of structure that school will soon provide, Philip has been tearing sh*t up.

So, tonight, we went to the kindergarten open house. We let him tear sh*t up there instead.

34 thoughts on “we did not go to the preschool open house

  1. It feels a bit like a bungee jump, right? Wait…wait…wait…and then you decide if you’re going to LEAP or fall into it. Either way the fall is at the same speed and with the same result. Fingers crossed for a gentle beginning!

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      1. For him it was fine, he had a great day. I however could not find his shoes when i was getting him ready, I also forgot to bring his ‘1st Day Name Tag’. So I had to have him wear his slippers to school and wear a hand written name tag. His shoes were in my wife’s car, which was 20 miles away at her work, the name tag was back on the kitchen table. I wasn’t the only one who forgot the name tag, and at least two kids were wearing their pajamas to school, so that made me feel better!

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  2. Wow kindergarten and the school bus too aka the great leap of faith 😉 I hope Phillip has a wonder beginning and supports are in place…and an understanding teacher. Take a deep breathe and watch him spread his wings. I swear us Mom’s finding our own way of managing all the school stuff is a feat in itself. I ended up using post it notes like crazy for packing his lunch etc and buying a label maker to label every single thing ’cause I swear public schools have a black hole in them for kids stuff. lol. As for eating….I decided at the beginning I would only pack what he liked and if he wanted to eat humous like pudding and have garlic breathe for the rest of the day….oh well..he’s eating:) Good luck BTW Johnny’s little sister starts kindergarten next week….(i’m not ready to let her go yet..where did the time go?)

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  3. I remember these back to school days so well . . . I remember the anticipation, the excitement, the fear, the worry . . . Oh, the first time my son rode a bus I thought I would forget how to breathe! It’s strange, I thought those days would last forever, but now now my youngest is just around the corner from graduation and the oldest was wearing his cap and gown almost seven years ago. You are doing everything *just right* :o)

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  4. Calvin started kindergarten this year as well and Katy went through similar emotions! She cried most of the first day – he was fine! Looking forward to reading more about Philip’s year in kindergarten.

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    1. It was probably just as well I went to work and wasn’t there for the waterworks. I did, however, make the mistake of drinking coffee to compensate from my lack of sleep from nerves and I was jittery all day.

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  5. My monkey is starting K too this year! We inner city folks don’t have school busses but I imagine that’s the hardest thing about starting K is putting your baby on the bus. I hope Phillip has a smooth transition and I hope his little mother hen isn’t too preoccupied. Good luck!

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  6. This is hard, I know. But it will be so good for Phillip. Which doesn’t really help YOU, exactly. But you’ll adjust! And think of all the gained writing time!

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    1. It will be good for Philip. I can’t wait for all of the things he’ll learn this year.
      Mommy will have the same amount of writing time since he leaves for and gets back from school while I’m at work.

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  7. When I was little I couldn’t wait to go to school. I didn’t get to go to kindergarten so I would look for things to read, add, I so wanted to learn. Plus my curious mind, and (strict but caring parents) left me way too much time. My Mum came with me the first day of school. I was so embarrassed, I was a big girl now. I met a new friend and said, ‘Mum you can go home now,’ to let her know I’d be alright. I was worried she didn’t have time to be there, but my poor Mum, she must have been so stressed out, and probably thought I meant I didn’t need her. But we always need our Mums.

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  8. You and your family are brave! Just gotta take it one day at a time and forgive yourself for forgetting. So glad you are sharing your experiences. I’m sure other parents in similar situations benefit just knowing they’re not alone.

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