January 29, 2013

The real world starts in Kindergarten.

Do you rember Kindergarten?  Kindergarten meant learning colors and letters, writing your name, helping feed the class pet, going to get the milk from the cafeteria to bring back to class, show and tell, easel painting.  Half way through a day one of your parents came to pick you up to go home and have lunch and you would be sent off to take a nap. The good old days of Kindergarten, I remember those days fondly and often think "If only work was like Kindergarten, I need a snack and a nap right about now".  Well...that is NOT, I repeat NOT the Kindergarten of today.

My dearest Thing One will be completing 100 days of Kindergarten tomorrow.  It's been blood, sweat, and tears for 100 days.  There, I said it.  It is the hardest thing since, well since I went to college! No wait, I enjoyed college. Nothing about Kindergarten is easy.  The kids are in school all day, no naps allowed. NO SIR! No time for napping.  There is numbers to be counted by 100 and done by groups of 10.  There are sentences to be formed and read.  Alphabet...pfffshh if you didn't get it the first two weeks of school you surely were lost.  Frequently used words have replaced phonics.  Just learn it kid.  Get on it or get out.  Did I mention homework?  I don't think I ever saw homework until 4th grade. I feel like I am school too as we sit and go over homework day in and day out.

I feel as overwhelmed as my handsome Thing One.  There was so much for him to learn in the begining.  I am not just talking academically there was the whole social system.  There are not 12 other individuals to deal with, there are 20 plus children in your class plus the teacher and volunteers.  There are also the other kids and teachers from other classrooms that go out to recess with you.  Then there is falling into a routine and finding your way around school. Remembering jackets and lunch bags before going home along with that glorious homework packet.   Did I mention that Thing One had just turned five two days before Kindergarten started?  He also is learning in a Dual language classroom which is more things he needs to learn in a different language than he is use to. 

I have had two parent-teacher conferences with Thing One's teacher and many letters back and forth about my genuine concern about how he is doing in class.  He is my distracted little fellow.  I observed him in class once and it just broke my heart to see him struggle with the language and with paying attention in class.  There is so much that he is dealing with.  I don't know what to make of it.  The teacher in the last conference had some concerns with him.  She confessed to me that he tends to take longer with his work and that other children tease him and make fun of him.  It saddened me to hear that.  No one wants to hear or see there child struggle.  It takes on a geniune pain in your heart like nothing you have ever felt before. It sinks in and you are angry, sad, desperate. 

Today in our daily conversation I asked if he played with his friend Jordan.  He said Jordan was not in school.  So then I asked if he played with anyone else.  The words that came out of his mouth next broke my heart.  "Mommy no one elsewants to play with me.  They say I am different."  I stopped what I was doing and asked him "How does that make you feel?".  His response was a daggar "I get sad Mommy". 

It may be just a phase and it's all a learning process but this whole 100 days of Kindergarten has taken my breath away. I know that I just have to give Thing One more time to learn and pick up the pace.  It is similar to being new on the job.  You just have to keep doing it and eventually all things fall into place.  We have our successful days and then the not so successful days.  There will be people that will not like you and you will always have one good friend.  Life lessons truly start in Kindergarten these day.  I just hope that he knows that no matter what or who he is  I will love him as an individual.

Oh and can I get a gold shiny metal star sticker now???!!!! *sigh*
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