Thursday, August 2, 2012

Readin', 'Ritin', 'Rithmetic...

In less than one week I will be the parent of two school-going children.  Ordinarily I believe you’re only as old as you feel but statements like the previous one occasionally make me believe otherwise.  Before I wrote that and you were to ask me how old I feel I would probably answer to the tune of twenty or so.  After having written that I now feel like I should be looking for my reading glasses that are perched on top of my head which is sporting some type of Mom/Mia Farrow hairstyle, as I sit half asleep on the couch with a book in my lap and the TV remote on my knee, mouth slightly agog.  Sound like anyone you know? My oldest is starting real live pre-K next week.  I am very excited for him.  Most parents are so upset when they have to surrender their first-born to the school system.  I think a lot of times that stems from mostly worry at how said kid is going to handle the whole thing, and that’s ok.  You will see no tears from me, however.  Connor is bored at home.  He gets very little attention and is not challenged in any way.  The kids he sees most frequently are his siblings, and let’s face it, a three-year-old who doesn’t talk and a baby girl toddler who is always trying to kiss you is just not the company a burly preschooler wants. I keep telling Connor about stuff he has to look forward to at school, partially to get him excited and partially because I already am.  I had asked him if he wanted to take his lunch or if he wanted to eat in the cafeteria.  First he wanted to take his lunch until I talked up the idea of eating at school so much it was nice and shiny to him.  I don’t know why I bothered to give him the choice if I was just going to lean him in the other direction anyway.  Then I found out that the concept of eating in the cafeteria wasn’t entirely accurate.  He’ll be eating food that came from the cafeteria but pre-K classes eat breakfast and lunch in the classroom.  Oh, well.  He’ll see the lunchroom in passing I guess. I told him that when you eat at school you get something different every day.  I made it sound like a new concept when really it shouldn’t be.  That has only just now struck me as odd.  Huh.  You can go on the school website and see what’s for lunch and breakfast every day, which I love.  I have an unnatural affinity for menus and cookbooks. Connor is a little rough so I can’t say I’m not at least a little afraid of him becoming THAT KID.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The one that says off-color things to girls, which in this case might just be spouting ‘poop’ at random.  The word, not the bodily function.  The one who mixes up all their food at lunch just to try to gross people out.  The one who will punch himself in the face for a quarter, oh dear God, that’s my kid!  The one who uses any manner of body parts to make inappropriate noises to then blame on some unsuspecting quiet kid!  The one who will break into some type of breakdancing seizure at random on the playground!  Oh, WHY? Still, I feel he’s better off at school than at home.  Kids always behave better for other people than they would at home.  I daresay it’s a law. Granted, I have my own share of miniscule worries, but I feel like they’re pretty garden variety.  Like what if no one will be his friend?  Is there anything sadder than your kid coming home after his first week at school and reporting that no one will play with him?  Frankly, I don’t know but I hope I don’t have to find out.  What if someone makes fun of him?  Or worse, what if someone makes fun of his brother, who will be just a few doors down in a special ed. class?  Kids are mean, yo.  That particular worry may not be relevant for a couple more years, but I know it’s coming. I may have a couple of little fears for Connor starting school, but I’m about 97% sure he’s going to be just fine.  I feel like he’ll do well.  I’m pretty sure he’s smart for his age.  I’m not around kids his age all that often, at least not enough to glean anything about their intelligence, so I can’t really say with much confidence that I know he’s smart for his age.  I know he can count to thirteen and he knows his ABC’s.  He’s not doing calculus in his head or anything but then again I haven’t asked him to.  I know he can do basic adding and subtracting, though. So, yes, he’ll be fine.  I’m just waiting for the first note he brings home from his teacher that says “Connor ate an entire eraser today because another child told him he wouldn’t.   Just thought you should be prepared for the bowel obstruction.  Otherwise he had a great day!” Yeah, thanks, Teach.

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