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Monday, August 27, 2012

My Heart Was Picking Its Wedgie

It was Elizabeth Stone who said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Well, my heart started its first day of kindergarten today. My heart dressed herself, put her own cooler in her lunch bag, buckled her own shoes, brushed her own teeth, and put on her own backpack. My heart boarded the school bus with only one look back and headed off into the big world. Ouch, that went fast!

The teacher had asked for any willing parents to come help with the lunchtime chaos, so I was consoled by the fact that I would be seeing my little heart just a couple of hours later. Silly me, I used to teach, I should have known what to expect.

Let me start by saying, I would like to set up a mental health fund for Ana's kindergarten teacher. God bless her! At the start of the year, no child knows the classroom rules and most are so hopped up on excitement that they can't sit still or stop their mouths to save their lives. That was the scene that I walked in on at lunchtime.

I was glad that I went because Ana was too embarrassed to eat lunch in front of the other children. This, despite the fact that she was sitting across from a boy who dropped his BLT on the floor, picked it up and reassembled it, and then proceeded to shove it into his face squirrel style. Or, there was her next door neighbor who ate her PBJ by stabbing it with her yogurt spoon and digging in popsicle style. I'm not entirely sure Ana couldn't have done worse, but I was glad to be there to convince her that she would have to try rrrrrreally hard to come close.

Then it was trash time and line up time. Again, glad I was there. One boy, had apparently worn cotton in his ears for the first day had only taken two bites of lunch in the 20 minutes the class was allotted. Distressed, he stayed behind at the table to shovel food while the others threw away their trash. The 3 boys around him, taking a cue from Young Food Shoveler, were also unaware that the entire class had lined up. I helped Y-F-S pack up his lunch and by the time he, the other 3, and I were finished, the class had left. Y-F-S thought it meant that maybe they could pick what they wanted to do and therefore they could head to the playground, but I explained that no, we had to go back to the classroom and I was the leader.

Get back behind me, I am the leader.
Stop running! Do you remember you are supposed to be behind me?
Me, line leader. You, line.

Back in the classroom I was invited to help out with a class song. Ana's teacher, who I will refer to as Mary Poppins, plays an autoharp and makes up her own songs. I'm not kidding. I love this lady. Anywhoo, everyone was supposed to sit on their own colored square on the carpet. After I was able to re-approach the carpet (I had had to take a step back due to someone's off-gassing), this was the scene that I saw. Of approximately 20 kids:

4 were paying attention and looking at the teacher
3 were laying on the floor
12 were talking to their buddies
1 was sitting in the back picking her wedgie. Yes, you can guess who that one was.

Sadly, it took us 5 minutes to get to the actual song because we had to break up 3 good buddy conversations. The hard part about those are that while you break one up, 2 or 3 more form, so it's a bit like Whack-a-Mole. They just keep coming.

Then, there was the laying down epidemic of 2012. One child asked when nap was (Never, by the way). That set off a round of, "I'm tired! I need a nap!" Then, like fainters, they started to go down. The 3 laying on the floor turned into about 7. I thought Mary Poppins (MP from here on out) had lost the battle, but she rallied with another song, that included - wait for it! - sign language. Yet again, I kid you not. I love MP.

Finally the song was on. It was BINGO and I was the clapper for when a letter was omitted. Not sure I was all that necessary because a letter was never omitted. Oh, sure, MP and I omitted letters, but not so the rest of the laying down, whining, wedgie picking hearts in the room.

As I made my exit I heard one little boy say, "Is it snack time yet?" Hmmm... I believe we had just come from lunch. Perhaps that was my buddy, Y-F-S.


Christine said...

Kindergarten teachers are amazing! I told Jackson's Kinder teacher that I thought she had one of the hardest jobs in the world and her reply was "But it is so much fun! The kids all think you are beautiful, the best singer in the world and smarter than anyone!" Hope Anna loves it!

ellen said...

Your second paragraph has me sobbing on the soda this afternoon. Beautiful!

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