Monday, August 10, 2009

Kindergarten, Ms. K and KCafeterias, Oh My!

Even though the calendar tells me otherwise, yesterday marked the official end of summer for me because of the simple fact that Ethan started Kindergarten today. My baby officially became a big boy today (and you know how I feel about this all official school stuff...).

Speaking of official school stuff, shopping for Ethan's school supplies proved to be no small task. First of all, I didn't expect the stores near me to run out of Crayola crayons, or every other item on the supply list for that matter. I went to no less than five stores to find the coveted "2 boxes of 8 thin Crayola Crayons" finally finding the last two packs that an out-of-the-way Rite-Aid had in stock. And if not for my friend Julie telling me what a "primary paper tablet" was, I would've sent Ethan off to school with a bound pack of construction paper rather than the writing journal we were supposed to send. I read "primary" and immediately thought "primary colors". I guess I stretched the interpretation a little too far. But the "8 large Elmer's glue sticks" still eludes me. Five stores. Zero large glue sticks. I found glue sticks, just not large glue sticks. And I found lots of single-packs of large glue sticks, but not eight. And not Elmer's. And also not priced at an amount of money with which I am willing to part for a glue stick.

But back to today. The drop off went as smoothly as I could've hoped. Ethan was bounding toward to the school doors with glee, encouraging Adam and I to "hurry up" behind him. His new teacher was as kind and friendly as you would expect a kindergarten teacher to be. And my eyes filled up with tears at all the appropriate times. Like when I was driving home yesterday afternoon. And before dinner last night. And during dinner last night. And when my alarm went off this morning. And when I put on my seat belt to drive to school. But thankfully, the tears remained tucked away while we were at school. And stayed away after I returned home. For a whopping 80 minutes.

And then I managed to keep them away for a few hours longer. Until I realized it was lunch time and began imagining all sorts of horrific scenarios unfolding in the cafeteria. Like the lunch lady not understanding Ethan when they asked his name to verify that his lunch has been prepaid and that because I sent him with no money, he would starve. Or that he wouldn't be able to reach any of the items on the food line and would starve. Or that he would need help opening his milk and no one would be there to help him. And he could starve!

Of course, all of these fears were unfounded. Ethan informed me later that his thoughtful and lovely teacher had the kids "practice" carrying a lunch tray during their "planning ahead" time. Sigh. I think I'm smitten with Ms. K. Planning ahead time!? She had me at hello.

But back to lunch. Ethan reported the following information in regards to holding the tray:

"I handled it with two hands! That's the important part of holding a tray." Very important, indeed.

Here is some more commentary direct from Ethan regarding the rest of the day outside of managing a cafeteria tray.

The first thing they did this morning after being dropped off:
"I got to find a place to sit and then we colored gum balls. We also had story time on the magic carpet."

His favorite classroom activity:
"We got to go to recess and play on the playground! I played General Grievous by myself. All the kids were playing by themselves." (I don't know about you, but this sounds like the saddest recess I've ever heard of, though Ethan seemed to be truly fine with wandering about the playground solo. However, I've encouraged him to approach some kids tomorrow to see if they might like to play with him.)

Ms. K's funny antics:
"We were getting ready for rest time and she took out two towels. [They rest on towels from home rather than mats] One was Batman and one was Spiderman. But she called the Batman towel Spiderman and the Spiderman towel Batman. It was so funny! We laughed and laughed!"

But Ethan would only let the one-sided interview I conducted last for so long before he turned the tables around on me.

E: So, what did you do while I was at school?

Me: Went to Ms. Amanda's house.

E: What did you do there?

Me: Drank coffee.

E: That's it? Was it boring? That's all you did?

Me: Mm hm. That's it.

E: (Now incredulous) The only thing you did was have coffee!? Nothing else! That sounds so boring! You're so boring! No joke!


The sharing about our day promptly ended when Ethan looked at me seriously and very politely asked, "Should there be a reason that you're talking to me all this time?".

We returned to our coloring without talking. And tomorrow morning Ethan will return to Ms. K's class. And hopefully I won't cry.


Susan said...

So cute. I can just picture him holding his tray with 2 hands...that is very important. Don't worry...the kids will be playing together by the end of the week. Have you tried Office Depot...they may have the glue sticks. I am so happy he has a sweet teacher! It makes all the difference in a happy child wanting to go to school every day!

Dad said...

Jenn, What awonderful story. I had tears too by about the third sentence. It took me back to when we lived in Bradford. I remember being home one day waiting for you to come home from school. I saw the most adorable little girl get off the bus and walk up the lawn. I always remeber the backpack, a jacket and that long beautiful hair and the msot wonderful smile when I greeted you at the door. Great memory!