My sweet Miles,
Well, what do you know? You’re a kindergartner. And you love it. The transition was as seamless as I could have hoped. You like your school, your teachers, your playground. You’re even doing a good job eating a packed lunch. Every day it’s the same: two muffins (one blueberry, one poppyseed), grapes, Wheat Thins, and a juice box. Lately you’ve been having an apple, too, because we picked such good ones at the orchard over Labor Day weekend. You had an early stumble with remembering to put your lunch box back where it’s supposed to be after lunch, but you worked it out, and now you’re doing great.
You were so proud of yourself last week when you came home with an enormous gold bead necklace. You had earned a purple designation for behavior that day, the highest available, and that made you eligible for a prize drawing. The teacher drew your name and you picked your treasure, and you have been wearing it a lot since then. You don’t like it very much when Tobin tries to get it, and you two have gotten into some screaming matches lately. Apparently you save your purplest behavior for school.
Actually, that’s not true. You definitely have sweet behavior at home a lot of the time. As long as you’re fed and lemonaded and not too much screen-timed, your attitude is pretty good. You love to hug Tobin when you see him at school pick-up time. Your dad and I went to the first PTO meeting at school the other night, and Tobin wasn’t very interested in being in the childcare room. If we’d known exactly what it was going to be like (just one sixth-grader in charge of about 5 kids, most of whom were probably age 10-12), we wouldn’t have brought Tobin at all. You, however, were happy to be there with the big kids. Tobin was being such a distraction that at one point I planned to just take you kids home and get you ready for bed while your dad stayed at the rest of the meeting. I went to the childcare room to ask you if you wanted to go, but you were having so much fun playing games with the big kids that you didn’t want to leave. Tobin and I ended up playing with a playground ball in the empty hallway for the rest of the meeting.
Shockingly, you’re even trying some new foods at school. There’s an afternoon snack every day, and you’ve revisited some things you used to eat but had given up, such as Goldfish crackers and string cheese. You drew the line at Jell-O, though. I can’t really blame you. Jell-O is kind of weird.
We walked a different way home the other day—in fact it was the same day you got the gold necklace. You wanted to stop by the Flavor Ice stand to show it off to the owner. Plus, we’d filled a punch card, so you were pretty psyched to get an enormous, free Superman treat (blue raspberry, cherry, and lemon, your own invention). She thought it was cool, you thought the Flavor Ice was good, and everyone was happy.
You’ve had seven early-release days already this year. I think the weather is turning now. The forecast for tomorrow calls for a high of 64, which is pretty amazing considering it was in the 90s Monday and Tuesday. When I told you that you’d have a full day on Wednesday, you cheered.
It makes me so happy that you love school so much. For the time being, it’s pretty rudimentary. Kindergartners don’t all come to school with the same skillset, and I know the teachers are just trying to make sure everyone has some rudimentary skills to get started. Still, when I see the work you and your dad do on your whiteboard at night, making elaborate number lines and grids and writing out words (last night you sounded out silent all by yourself), I wonder if you’ll get bored in school. It doesn’t seem to be the case so far. You love music and P.E. and computer time, and you were excited to tell me about the garden you’re making in art class. Yours has a hummingbird, I understand.
You are still a very tender little fellow. Last night we were outside playing with a friend, and you wanted to go in to get a towel to help her somehow (the details of how a towel was going to help her are still foggy for me). You couldn’t get in the door through the back porch, and the garage door was closed. The front door was unlocked, but for some reason you didn’t think to try that. Then, on your way back to the park, you slipped and fell. The screaming—oh man, I seriously thought you’d broken your leg. Even our 85-year-old neighbor Martin heard it and came out to check on you, and he can’t hear anything.
You just fell on your butt. You were okay. I think you just got overwhelmed by the frustration of closed doors and thwarted plans, and the pain and indignity of a butt injury pushed you over the edge. I remember something like that happened to me once. I was having a bad day, and I was tired and grumpy, and I bent my fingernail back. I cried for an hour. I was in college, I think. It hurt, but it didn’t hurt that much. Your butt was probably the same way, just the final trouble that opened the floodgates.
Once I got to you and assessed the situation, I found that you didn’t need a trip to the E.R., so we went in and got a towel. Then you were worried that your friend would have left during your longer-than-expected absence, so that was a source of stress. Fortunately, she was still waiting, and the towel helped her (mysteriously).
You’ve been so tired after school that we haven’t been doing many of our old favorite activities. Mostly you just want to cuddle up and watch a video, though I can usually drag you away after a while of that to read some books. We were playing an online game of Family Feud the other day, and the subject was, “Things someone might get angry at his/her spouse for doing too much.” You suggested, “Screen time?” Lo and behold, the game accepted that answer. You know the rules, even if you don’t always want to follow them.
Today is a normal Thursday, which means the usual early release of 2:00. That’s kind of a tough time around here, considering it falls right in the middle of Tobin’s naptime, but I admit I like it despite the inconvenience. Extra time with you wears me out, but I always love it when I get it. I miss you when you’re away, but it makes me feel better to know how happy you are at school.
I also like the fact that, when you spot me in the parent waiting area, you run to me and give me a big hug. I know you won’t do that forever, so I’m soaking it up while I can.
Congratulations on making the big transition, my little Miles. You make me proud every day.