Here we are, over two months into Kindergarten and I was waiting to write a blog because it was going to have to entail much progress from the first week of school. Well…I have to admit, progress has been slower then I hoped. I’m not sure why? My daughter was so easy in preschool and we’ve always thought of her as a little more social then her brother (wrong!). But he had a hard time in Kindergarten and she is having the same experience.
The main complaint appears to be the long days. At a recent gathering of friends from various states, I discovered that amongst us, Virginia was the only state mandating full-day Kindergarten. For other states, they have a half-day with an option to pay additional fees for full day school. I wish that were the case for us. Asha is happy once she is at school but getting there has been a continuous struggle. The bus is my son’s favorite way to get to school but she refuses to get on it at all. So…we walk Rohan to the bus stop after which we go home and leave to take Reeya to school. I know…you think I should just throw her on the bus crying…well judge all you want…but I didn’t Feberize and I’m doing that either.
It’s not all bad; there has been some progress. We don’t have to walk her into school, she’ll get out in car line. We still walk in to pick her up. And, she appears to be doing very well in school. She gets on ‘purple’ daily and she is the helper in the mornings who organizes the folders. She has told me that she and her friend Willow are the only two students who consistently behave, follow all the rules and consequently “get on purple.” After five purples, you get to pick a prize. In true Asha fashion, her first few prizes were picked out specifically for her brother. She was more excited to give them to him then she was to get something for herself. But several prizes later, she is getting herself little presents as well.
She still says her favorite part of the day is when she sees me at pick-up. She insists that she doesn’t play with anyone at recess. She does not want me to pack lunch because the cafeteria is too loud and the lunch ladies are mean so it’s not conducive to eating. This makes me sad because my food-loving daughter ate pasta, cheese sandwiches and even rice on occasion at preschool on the few days she stayed for lunch. She used to bring herself a little bottle of ketchup to flavor her sandwiches. As I re-read this, I recall that she stopped going to preschool optional lunch bunch midway through the year. Her attendance was sporadic and realizing it was her last year at home, I was more lax then I was with my son. I got some new ketchup bottles and of course now, she wants none of it. Now she’ll have a yoghurt drink and bring everything else home because “it’s not fun” to eat at school. That makes me sad. It also makes me sad when she tells me that she plays by herself at recess. My niece Sophia is the same age as Asha and goes to Kindergarten in Richmond, says the same thing about playing by herself at recess and not having a friend with whom to play. They are both social girls so I don’t understand where this comes from unless it’s over-whelming to see so many kids out playing at once. My daughter used to frequently fall asleep in the summer after a busy day. She no longer naps but she gets cranky and tired and I think the adjustment to school is a priority so we’ve canceled all extracurricular activities. She wants to be home as much as possible, insisting that on her birthday, unlike her brother, she’s going to choose to stay home and not go anywhere.
She seems even more anxious to be with her dad or me at all times. I accompanied her class to a farm for a recent fall field trip. Several kids asked her to sit with them but she just wanted to sit with me and hang out with me. I’m not going to lie, I love being around her all the time too but I worry that she needs to be more independent…even just a little! She was upset about a recent birthday party for kids because she wanted one of us to be there. I didn’t even want to feign how excited we were for the two hours both of them would be at the party. I can get used to the no-parent party invites…it seems that with Kindergarten, a whole new set of rules is emerging. I’m adjusting, but my five-year old…well it’s a work in progress!
P.S. The second field trip to a play, Click Clack Moo was too full for parents but it was only half a day. She had a great time and her first words to me were, "Mom, there were three bad words in the play: flip, what the quack and stupid." She repeated that to her dad and her brother...perhaps the excitement of hearing three bad words kept her distracted, I'm not sure but nonetheless, a solo field trip was a good step towards independence!