Okay, now I’m starting to panic. School starts exactly four weeks from tomorrow. I know that lots of other parents start to get antsy around now, the back-to-school shopping must be completed, the summer schedules must be changed…not unattainable goals, but some of us have never done this before!
Back in January when I registered my Big Boy for Junior Kindergarten I thought, “Well, there’s nine months to get him ready for school, lot’s of time!” Then, in May, we went to orientation day and he got to experience school for a few hours while we parents gathered in the back and watched with baited breath to see how our little ones would do. I still had all summer to get him ready both mentally and physically.
Now, all of a sudden, it’s August. Only four weeks left and there are a number of things on the “What Your Child Should Be Able To Do Before Beginning School” list that just aren’t happening in this house!
- Use the bathroom by himself – he can get his pants down by himself (although often chooses not to) but can’t pull them up with rolling the waistband so many times that his shorts turn into a weird Speedo-type garment. He is also capable of washing his hands but can’t dry them. He certainly cannot wipe his own ass when he has a poop. Fail!
- Open his food containers for lunch by himself – well, first off, he currently is only eating pizza and toast (neither of which will be good lunch choices). I can envision getting a letter from the teacher in the first week of school berating me for sending him food that he won’t eat. I’m really hoping that he’ll go to school and see the other kids enjoying all kinds of things that he’ll then request for his own lunch. (We did buy him a lunchbox yesterday, perhaps only wishful thinking but I’m betting that at some point he will actually get hungry and eat whatever is available!) Epic fail!
- Recognize his written name and be able to somewhat write it – He can recognize it just fine but printing is completely beyond him right now. He will barely sit still long enough for me to get him holding a pencil properly. Not quite a fail but not really a pass either.
- Put on his own shoes and coat – as long as it’s summer, he’s good. He can do his own sandals (on the correct feet!) but is lost on coats. To be fair, we haven’t had to wear a coat for a while now and he may pick it up quite quickly once the need arises. Pass (because I’m tired of fails!)
I really don’t think that there is a list of supplies that kids need for Junior Kindergarten, if there was then I could at least have a solid accomplishment for getting ready. I think the thing that bothers me is that this is really the start of the world witnessing the results of my parenting.
I have a wonderful husband who loves our boys like crazy, he works hard to make sure that we can give our boys the things that they need (and, in his opinion, too many things they don’t!) while having me stay home to be with them. Every family is different, this is what works for us. That being said, the majority of the parenting duties fall to me. (That’s the way I feel at least) When the boys demonstrate some impressive skill or impeccable manners, I feel like I’m doing a good job. When the boys act badly (or just plain crazy!) I feel like it’s my parenting skill that is being frowned upon as much as the boy’s behaviour. I would like to insert a quick but very heart-felt apology to my husband for my behaviour in Walmart yesterday when the boys were acting like demons. I felt as if the whole store (including you) was judging me because the boys were insane! That doesn’t excuse my behaviour but hopefully will explain it somewhat.
Up until now, the boys have mostly been surrounded by family and friends. People who will understand (and hopefully excuse!) their less-than-stellar behaviour having known them their whole lives. These people know that I’m doing the best I can and they recognize the challenges I face with these two little individuals. Now that Big Boy is starting school he will be out in public every single day! He will be under the scrutiny of his teachers, principal, bus driver, hall monitor, who knows how many people. What if they see him and think, “Were you raised by animals?”
School hasn’t even started yet and I’m already dreading that first parent-teacher meeting. I don’t want to be presented with a list of all my child’s deficiencies, I want to be praised for having an intelligent, polite, inquisitive little gentleman. All parents do, I’m sure! This morning though, my panic arises from the thought that in a few short weeks there will be someone outside the family that will be forming an opinion on my parenting prowess…and that scares the hell out of me.