|A bit scared, but no tears, thank god. That would have been my undoing.|
Ooooo, boy. Mr. Patrick has been none too pleased with his new school. I tried to make the first day special by taking him for ANY TREAT HE WANTED right after I picked him up, and that was somewhat helpful. (Ice cream makes everything better, right?!) But on the second day, we drove by the school building after-hours and I said, "Hey, wave to your school!" and he said in a sarcastic, sing-songy voice, "Hi, new school. I hate youuuuu." And the subsequent days were equally tough. Not wanting to go. Hanging on to my leg at drop-off. Telling me after school that he had no friends. Heartbreaking stuff!
We were worried, but not all that surprised. He's always been reticent to dive into new things, and this experience was proving no different. But unlike riding the merry-go-round or learning to swim, this was a place that he was going to have to go every single day. Unless, of course, I home-schooled him, which, I won't lie, quickly flashed through my mind as a way to ease his discomfort. Insane, I know, but I was just thinking of quick fixes for him, however irrational they may have been.
But since homeschooling was not an option, we piled on the encouragement. And bribery. Lots of bribery. Chocolate milk for breakfast. Park outings after school. End-of-week gifts. A special sleepover with the grandparents. Encouraging notes from Gaga. Lots of extra hugs and high fives.
And, lo and behold, in the past week he has started to actually like school. I think our actions helped a bit, but the biggest helper was time. Just getting familiar with the new routine is his biggest motivator and source of comfort. Knowing what to expect is essential for him. We're so relieved that he is making friends, doing his homework and has even gotten a couple of special "good behavior" slips. And–BONUS–he's sleeping really well. The first couple of weeks, as his pediatrician warned us, he was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. Exhibit A shows him sleeping wedged between the couch and wall on the hardwood floor. I guess he had been waiting for me to walk into the living room so that he could jump out and scare me.
|Exhibit A (I can't get over how long his legs have gotten!)|
So, things are good now! Very good! I'm glad that Patrick is liking it, because this school is pretty awesome. It has some of the highest test scores in the state, is newly remodeled and seismically sound, is in a safe nearby neighborhood, employs a great mix of veteran and new teachers and a seemingly agreeable administration. And most noticeably to me, it has super-involved, super-perky parents at its PTA helm! We went to the Back-to-School Open House about an hour after it started and nearly all the volunteer opportunities were gone. It's crazy! I mean, it's great and amazing and wonderful, but it's just foreign to me that that many parents have so much time to head up so many activities–and actually are willing to! I have friends who teach at other Salt Lake City elementary schools where there is almost no parental involvement. Like, only a couple of parents even bother going to the Parent-Teacher Conferences. Maybe we should send them some of our overzealous parents. Geez.
So, the school is great. But allow me to be slightly snarky for a moment about some of the moms I have encountered. I guess that first you should know that this school is in a somewhat posh neighborhood. Don't be fooled, The Holtys are not posh. We are on the verrrrry outskirts of its boundary, basically the ghetto, in comparison. I would say that 80% of this school's mothers stay at home full-time. They are young. They are pretty. They are rich. They have many adorable children. They are wearing Lululemon. Everyday I am fascinated by what I see and hear at pick-up. Actual snippets of conversation:
"You know, this 2nd-story-remodel is just sucking the life out of me!"
". . . picked it up at the Nordstrom sale . . . "
"We took all six kids to Greece this summer. We're crazy, riiight?!"
"I need to stop volunteering for things. The Junior League is just so time-intensive."
". . . he just ordered an M-Class, but it's not available until October."
Not lying. All these things were overheard in a span of 10 minutes being said by different women. It's a pretty crazy scene there. Tory Burch sandals. Range Rovers. $700 strollers. SoYoung backpacks. And then there is me: Target shoes. CR-V. Used stroller from KSL Classifieds. A Keen backpack I bought out of some guy's garage. I need to stop comparing and judging, I suppose. Though I have to say, it's pretty entertaining!
Anyway, that is the kindergarten saga. More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure! Happy fall, y'all!