I have been trying hard not to think too much about the dreaded “K” word for the last year. Kindergarten + first kid + mom = TEARS, ALL THE TEARS. I knew all the tears would be mine, as Annabelle was super ready to be a big Kindergartner. But what I wasn’t prepared for was when the first day of Kindergarten ended in her tears, not mine.
I’ve enjoyed spending the summer with my precious Annabelle, mainly because she’s quite simply the easiest kid on the planet and I have heart explosions several times a day at all of her sweet cuteness.
I wanted to soak up these last few days of summer with my girl doing fun things, so we did the zoo, the splash pad, and the children’s museum. I asked my in-laws to take my son over night so Annabelle and I could enjoy a full day and a half of quality mommy/daughter time, and they happily obliged. Getting to be at the museum with ONE KID for the first time since the birth of my 2 year old son was heaven. After that it was kindergarten beauty prep: a hair cut and a pink glitter mani! Then we had dinner together, a grocery store run, and it was off to bed. We slept in on the last day of summer and hung around the house relaxing. Then it was lunch at her favorite restaurant, and a shopping marathon with mom!
Annabelle attends a Catholic school so she has to wear a uniform to school. I tried to give her some uniform flare by adding little girl jewelry and some super cute rose gold sneakers from the Gap! I added a high braided pony tail and she was ready to take on Kindergarten! On our way to school I thought to myself; I’m doing pretty good! And then an image of her as a baby flashed into my mind and hot tears streamed down my face, unbidden.
There is a car drop off lane but I wanted to walk her in on her first day. So we parked and all four of us got out, my husband and little Leo in tow. I took a couple pictures of Annabelle at her seat, much to her mortification, and then I gave her a hug and kiss. And then I went back for one more. As I was walking through the doorway, tears sprang. UGH, WHY! SO MANY PARENTS IN THE HALLWAY!! I stepped into Annabelle’s old pre-K room to dry my eyes with the Kleenex I stuffed into my pocket before I left. My husband was beckoning me to go so I emerged from pre-k, not free from the waterworks, but momentarily so. I saw other parents leaving the kindergarten hallway with puffy red faces and blood shot eyes and I felt a kinship with them. GAWD, why is leaving kindergarten so hard?
Tears at pick up, my worst fear
The day went rather quickly, it seemed like 3pm was upon us in no time. I was excited to pick Annie up at the door and see how the day went. When she got into the car I turned around and said; “So, how did your first day go?” with a massive grin and positive head nods willing a happy reply.
Annabelle’s button lip curls, her chin quivers, and she says; “It didn’t go good. I was bad.” And she wiped a tear from her eye.
My heart sank. WHATTHEHELL happened to my baby today???? Mama Bear is fighting and clawing at the surface.
She said she only got one green sticker today, and that meant she was bad. If she got two purple stickers that meant she was good. In my world, green always = good. So I was pretty confused. When we got home I picked her up and laid on the couch with her, covering her with a blanket because we were wet from the rain outside. She told me she was put in timeout and I pressed 1000 times to hear why she was put in timeout but she couldn’t tell me.
My husband suggested I call the teacher but I was hesitant. I didn’t want to be THAT mom calling the teacher on the first day of school. But since I wasn’t getting clear answers from Annabelle, I texted her teacher. Within minutes she called me. I explained the situation and she rested my fears, assuring me that green is GOOD and Annabelle got a green behavior score today, and there was no timeout at all. So two purple stickers is for the super duper listeners and rule followers, and as it tuns out, on the first day of school many kids struggled to raise their hand before talking, and staying in their seats. Mine and Annabelle’s spirits were immediately lifted after that phone call. Annabelle loudly declared; “I LOVE KINDERGARTEN!” Phew!
So tomorrow is a new day and Annabelle knows that two purple stickers is when you do your very best to follow the rules. I pray she gets two stickers and comes home with happy vibes on day two.
In a week and a half my little man starts preschool three days a week, 4 hours a day and to say I’m ecstatic is an understatement. Someone asked me if I’ll cry and I looked at them like they were #batshitcrazy! I’ll literally be having mimosas at 10am with my friend on that day. Hallelujah, freedom — even if it is only for four hours!