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