The First Day Report

M heading to school, 2007

M started third grade, which I still consider to be the Most Difficult Grade Ever, with 2nd place going to my first year of graduate school.  Not that I’m telling her that.  I don’t have to worry, though, because she currently appears to have no school anxiety whatsoever.

This morning, as I was packing her specially-requested snack, Smart Food Popcorn, I mentioned something about her possibly not feeling too hungry today, anyway.  “Why?” she wanted to know.  “Oh, just in case you feel a little nervous. . . ” I hedged, not wanting, now, to plant a nervous seed in her brain.  “Why would I be nervous?”   Ummmm, never mind.

After school, she mentioned that she was one of only five kids who’d done her presentation on her Paper Bag Book Report (they write on a paper bag about the plot, characters, & setting of  a book they’ve read, then put three objects related to the plot inside, presumably because it’s easier to present when you have props).  “Oh,” I answer, “That’s good.  It’s nice to get that done early.”  She’s puzzled, “Why would I want to get it done?”  I mean, is she messing with me?  Seriously?  So I explain that some kids get nervous about presenting in front of a group.  Not her.  She loved it.  She got the biggest laugh of the whole class, too, she said, when she pulled out a pair of W’s underwear (The book was The Girls’ Revenge).

J ready for school, 2007

J, meanwhile, had a brief meeting with her kindergarten teacher.  That went fine, although we parents did what we could to turn it into a fiasco.  As W, J, & I approached the school building, we were walking among the elementary school kids getting off the bus.  When J veered toward the playground, W & I both called out to her as if she were some kind of four-year-old baby.  She was humiliated and upset.  She walked ahead of us quickly, and as W signed us in, I trotted to catch up to her and pulled her aside so that she could compose herself and get a drink of water.  W didn’t see us, assumed that we’d left him, and headed straight for the kindergarten room.  I looked for him and then assumed that since he was carrying M’s stack of ten library books to return and the library was on the way, he’d head that way.  What followed was a sort of Three Stooges routine of missing each other in the school building, made worse because you’re not allowed to run or yell in the hallways.  We finally caught up to each other, although by that time we were late.  And sweating.

Once we were actually in the classroom, J did fine.  She’ll probably do much better on her first “real” day, Friday, when W & I won’t be there at all.

Hope everyone else who’s starting a new routine is adjusting. . . .


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