The first half. Of the first week. Of our first year. OF BIG SCHOOL.
Kindergarten is big for all of us. Its not just that our biggest is getting BIGGER, it is a big change for our entire family.
Check out that awesome "green with my name in blue and a cheetah on it" backpack. Isn't his mom the coolest? Well, except for the fact that this is now his "Leopard-cousin-of-a-cheetah" backpack. Because his mom apparently doesn't know the difference between the spots. I've got a lot to learn this year, too.
I'll admit, I wasn't one bit sad about KJ going to school. He was SO ready and I'm genuinely excited about him growing up. That doesn't mean I didn't have some serious anxiety over the weekend leading up to his big debut. Cbug has been like KJ's wingman at their preschool, they loved being there together. And this time KJ was heading out on his own. This would be his very first time to really have to make a name for himself. His first time to shine on his own. In a 6-year-old way, it was his turn to be salt and light. Would this be too much responsibility? Did he know how proud we are of him? Will he remember to be encouraging, to help his friends, to be respectful? All of that and...
Do they seriously expect us to be there EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. and ON TIME? DUDE!
So far we are 3 for 3 getting there on time. Including the first day, when his amateur mom took him to the completely wrong hall. Hey, even mom's make mistakes sometimes. Isn't that on the "everything I need to know I learned in K" poster?
I've loved his excitement at the end of each day. I've been taking some notes of some of my favorite first-week-sayings:
One of the very first things he told me about his first day of Kindergarten was a really important fact.
"This is both a good and bad thing. The good part is they had chicken rings in the cafeteria. The bad part is that I brought my lunch."
Which was not his only observation about the cafeteria. Also: "They have a TON of chocolate milk there" and "I should always remember my water bottle because the water in the cafeteria is very expensive" (love my little accountant)
His favorite part, by far, is that his school has a gym. He doesn't even know yet what they are going to do there, but he knows he loves it.
"THIS IS REALLY exciting. Today we divided into teams and it was my turn to go to PE. And do you know what? I go BACK to PE on Friday."
In response to me apologizing for the car-rider line taking so long
"Well, it DID take you a long time to get here. And I was just sitting on the pavement waiting for you. It did have a roof, so that's good, but it WAS really hot today. Good thing I didn't start crying. I thought about it."
Some big things are pretty different now in his public school than they were in his little private preschool or even than they were in our home.
"Do you want to know something about my new school? They don't even pray before lunch OR snack. I was just sitting there with my lunch box, waiting patiently, and everyone else was eating. Finally, a teacher told me I could go ahead and open my lunch. So, I was like, well ok, I guess I'll just have to eat without praying then. Can you believe that?"
I love that this was not embarrassing at all to him, it was just sheer disbelief that someone wouldn't pray before a meal. We talked about how he can still just pray for his own food and he can pray during the moment of silence and the cool thing about praying is that really you can do it ANYTIME you want.
As he was going to sleep one night he told about an important rule in their classroom
KJ: "We CAN-NOT run at school. Ever. Well, unless there is an emergency."
ME: "Well, what would be an emergency that would make you run in your class?"
KJ: "Oh, well, maybe if you really have to sneeze and you run quickly to get a kleenex before the snot comes out"
By the time he got home from school today, he asked to go take a nap.
"Mom, Kindergarten sure is hard work"
Tell me about it, bud.
And tomorrow (and for the next 13 years), we get to do it all again!
But I'd do it a thousand times if it means getting to come around the corner in the afternoon to see you jump up and down with a smile the second you see your favorite mini-van. Promise you'll never be too big to be glad to see me, ok?
I love you and I'm so very VERY proud to be your mom. You are totally going to ROCK this!
Give me some pounds ('cuz that's what all the cool kinder moms do),
I love that a few of my blogger buddies are good about documenting funny things their kids say. I know this stage will fly by and I want to soak it all in. I’ve started trying to take some notes to remind myself of what they say and I’m going to be moving some things from facebook over here, too, to save.
Here are some of their summer sayings…
- Lou, at preschool, was asked about her new pink room: “Lou, did you paint your room pink?” She declared (in her all her sassy glory): “OH, NO!" (and with a wave of her little hands) "Some Paint-uhs, painted it fuh me!”
- Cbug, upon arriving at the hospital to see his baby brother for the first time, touched my belly and then we had this conversation:
Cbug: “Momma, baby C came out of your belly, right?”
Me: Yes, Baby, he did.
Cbug: (while squishing my leftover baby chub) Well, is there one more smaller baby still in there?
- I asked KJ what kind of back-pack he would like for school. I thought I had him pegged. He would want spiderman (fav superhero) or green (fav color). Instead, he said,”I’d like a green back pack with my name in blue and a cheetah on it”. Um, ok. I guess you’ve thought about this a little. Note-to-self, you need to narrow the choices for your uber-planner of an oldest child.
- Lou’s favorite phrase right now is BOOYAH! She uses it to declare extreme excitement (“Booyah, I’ve got a princess plate”), to indicate that she is proud of herself (“I got myself dressed, BOOYAH!”) or just when she doesn’t know what else to say. It cracks me up when mid-sentence she forgets what she was about to say and instead just smiles and says BOOYAH, throwing her hands in the air, and then walks off.
- Cbug is VERY literal right now. If you say it is about time to go, he is already in the van. If you say he can be finished eating, he is UP from the table and gone. So phrases from adults like “you are killing me” are not really best used in his presence- found that out the hard way.
- Lou got some nasty ant bites and for weeks has milked the fact that they were bothering her. Her favorite line was “I need a drink of wat-uh. My daddy said the doc-tuh wants me to have a lot of wat-uh to make my ant bites healed.” Cbug, upon hearing her say this recently, decided to correct her. “Nuh-uh, sister. The doctors are wrong. Only God can heal you.” Bless his sweet little literal heart.
- Then there was the time my own words about waiting until 30 to get married came back to bite me in this conversation with KJ-
o KJ: “Mom, how old were you had me?”
o Me: “About 27 ½”
o KJ (in sheer shock): “WHAAAAAAAATTT???? How could you have a baby before you were old enough to get married?”
- Lou is a little Mommy by nature. She mothers her younger brother AND her older ones. Recently, she was in the car with her cousin C (who is actually 6 months older) and was reassuring and petting her: “ev-uh-thing is just fine. I’ve really missed you and I’m so glad you ah visiting me. Ev-uh-thing is fine.”
- On the fourth of July weekend, we were in Nashville with my parents and decided to go the fireworks show at their church. The boys were not crazy about this idea, so their mini-momma said “Well, one of you can sit in Nonna’s lap and one of you can sit with Papa J.” I asked her “what about you, Lou?” to which she responded (with her signature wave of the hand)“Oh, they ah the ones that ah sca-uhed, I’m not sca-uhed” And she was true to that word, too.
- We went to KJ’s new school for address verification. On the way there he was very curious about what “verification” meant so we talked about giving proof. When we went inside, they asked us for the “documents” and KJ proceeded to give them complete directions to our house from the school. Yep, that proves it.
- We pulled in to Chkn Express the other night to grab something quick before we had to be at a school function. Cbug yelled from the back seat, “I don’t want to eat here. This is chicken fried and chicken fried is not healfy food.” We went to Subway.
- One of my favorite things for Lou to play is when she has “vite-overs”, and invites each of us to come to her room. She asked her brother to come for a vite-over, though, and Cbug responded “Today I am King. And kings don’t go to vite-overs”
- All of the kids are obsessed with Nashville. They love visiting Nonna and Papa J and especially love that we are always on “vacation” while we are there. This means they get to do things like eat places mommy doesn’t usually like to go, play Wii, stay up late, etc. So…KJ: “I’m going to celebrate my birthday in Nashville. Because Nonna likes Chuck E Cheese” and Cbug “I’m sorry you won’t get to see me when I grow up. I’m going to live in Nashville beside Nonna and Papa J.”
-RRL called me into the bathroom while Lou was taking a bath. He said "tell Mommy what you are doing?" to which she responded "Just shavin' my legs". She was using her brothers plastic pretend razor to shave.
- Cbug works "which is" into nearly every sentence, and when he says "which is" he often raises his pointer finger for emphasis. Why make a sentence simple when you can add complexities? For example, instead of saying "May I have some cereal?" or "I'm going to build a firetruck", or "I'm going to play with KJ"... CBug usually asks "May I have something for breakfast, which is cereal?" or "I'm going to build something with my legos, which is a firetruck?" or "I'm going to play with my brother, which is KJ."
I'm excited to start keeping some of these snippets of memories. And my friends will be glad I have an outlet other than telling them everything my kids say. It is certainly hard to contain yourself when you believe your kids to be brilliant and hysterical. What mom doesn't?
I about had a heart-attack tonight.
And it came courtesy of the USPS.
Actually, it came courtesy of the local Children's hospital. By way of the mail.
We've been getting a TON of "welcome to your new home" mail.
And not in a way that makes you feel welcome.
Mail about how to reduce our mortgage. Mail about such and such alarm service, pest control, and cleaning companies. Mail with coupons to Lowe's (Actually those did make us feel welcome. Thanks, Lowe's).
And tonight, mail about the best Children's hospital in our area.
It was thoughtful. You know, a magnet to put up to remember how to get information about children's healthcare. We DO have a lot of children, so this is useful. We also have several children who love magnets. Bonus.
But as I walked toward the trashcan, peeling out the magnet and flipping through the mailer quickly, I screamed as I was dropping it into the trash.
No, surely not. It can't be. That was YEARS ago.
Do you remember when I wrote about pictures with my "fake family?" The pictures I wasn't supposed to be in. The ones I was certain might end up on a billboard somewhere.
It couldn't be those pictures coming back to haunt me. It couldn't be possible. But yes. Yes, it was.
Cbug and I were IN THE MAILER.
And, as if I had seen a ghost, I about had a heart-attack.
And spent the rest of the evening thinking how crazy it was that 3 years ago, we took some random pictures, at a random park, and never heard anything else about them.
Until this year, the year that we actually did have this very same child in this very same hospital. The year we did move to a new house. The year we needed to be welcomed to the neighborhood- by ourselves in a brochure.
So, thanks for the "welcome home" heart-attack, Cook's. And, you are welcome.
As a side note, I tried to tell you at the time that my 15-month-old was very advanced. He was already thinking words like "pediatrician" and making good choices about his future health care. Smart boy.