Apparently, Small Town now has a little program that is basically an introduction to kindergarten. PRACTICE kindergarten, if you will. It’s kind of the dress rehearsal for the real deal, which will start at the end of next month. Kids can sign up and pile into their kindergarten classroom for two weeks of fun and games and stories and ABCs, while their mothers leave them behind, with tears streaming down their faces, as they think to themselves, “And this is just the PRACTICE for the MORE REAL TEARS, which will come again in 29 days.”
That about sums it up.
Hubs and I decided to put Thing 2 in the dress rehearsal, because if there’s one thing that small boy of ours can use, it’s practicing how we behave at school. We took him to the school this morning at 8:00, and we watched as his teacher showed the small batch of kids how to check into their classroom, by moving their name from the I’M AT HOME board to the I’M AT SCHOOL board. Thing 2 slapped his name card from one magnetic board to the other and asked, “When do we go outside to play?”
He seldom wastes time getting to the real feelings in his heart.
(He decided to throw back a glass of drinkable, packed-with-probiotics yogurt exactly like he was at a frat party, slugging shots back, approximately three minutes before we had to leave this morning. That’s why his shirt bears the scrubbing administrations of his mother.)
(And bless again, because I need it.)
I had no idea raising the boy how parents felt when a teacher looked at them and said, “Well…” The “well” that trails off at the end, so that you know more is coming, and maybe you’d better just hold up your hand, and ask the teacher to press PAUSE for thirty seconds, while you pull a plastic wine glass and stainless steel flask full of Chardonnay out of your purse.
You should always be fortified with aged grapes for any conversation that starts with “Well…” I never knew this when the boy was little, because teachers never had to approach me with the look that said, “Are you packing wine? You might want a little about now.”
Thing 2’s teacher let us know that they had suffered through a space of time this morning where Thing 2 didn’t want to follow directions or listen. I wanted to pour a glass of wine for her from my purse, pull her down on the bench outside the school beside me and say, “You don’t say? He didn’t want to follow directions? I can’t imagine that MY SECOND CHILD displayed that behavior.”
Instead, I swallowed my pride down, and said, “OH, SWEET HOLY MOTHER OF IRONMAN! THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST DAY!!!” And then I asked if the school nurse kept little Valium tablets in a bottle next to the band-aides and cotton balls, because WHAT IS DAY FIFTY-FOUR OF REAL KINDERGARTEN GOING TO LOOK LIKE? And also, WILL WE EVEN MAKE IT TO DAY FIFTY-FOUR OF REAL KINDERGARTEN, WITHOUT MAMA NEEDING THE SMELLING SALTS AND A MEMBERSHIP TO A HOT YOGA CLUB?
His teacher hurriedly went on to explain that she had SOLVED the problem by whipping out the behavior chart, lined with clothespins. The chart was broken into different colored sections, and as the kids demonstrated remarkable behavior, worthy of being knighted with a sword touched to each shoulder by the Queen herself, they moved their clips up. And for those rapscallions who chose to ignore the LET’S PICK UP THE CRAYONS NOW suggestion completely, their clips could migrate in a SOUTHERN DIRECTION, toward Hell itself.
Thing 2’s teacher today said, “I let the other kids all move their clips up a space for following directions so well, and explained that I had prizes for getting their clips to go upward, and that turned our entire morning around.”
Clearly, this wasn’t her first rodeo in the classroom. She’s one in-tune, fully-present, I’VE-DONE-THIS-BEFORE-WITH-WORSE-KIDS-AND-WE-HAVE-ALL-LIVED kind of wonderful teacher.
Apparently, Mr. Competitive wasn’t going to be left out of a competition where prizes could be earned.
She told us later that he had gone to the bathroom, and he came out to announce to the entire class, “Well, I peed standing up in there, and I got it all straight into the water like a big boy, without any of it getting on the floor, even though my dad sometimes gets pee on the floor.”
Thing 2’s teacher, who used to be our next door neighbor, said, “I laughed so hard, I cried. I couldn’t breathe, with all the laughing! All I could envision was your bathroom floors needing a good mopping, because Hubs can’t aim well.”
People! Listen! Of the three members of the male tribe living here, HUBS is the one I have the LEAST amount of problems with, when it comes to aiming for the big bowl of water.
Thing 2 got to move his clip up for doing such an outstanding job in the bathroom.
And he earned a prize today.
He came home at noon to report, “I liked recess the best, but we’re not supposed to push and shove out there, or we have to move that wooden clip down to the spots that don’t earn any prizes. And we got to see the library today, but we’re not allowed to read any books in there, because all the books are just for decoration in that place.”
And that’s how our dress rehearsal for kindergarten panned out today!
… since Thing 2 was occupied PRACTICING real kindergarten all morning, and since the boy FINALLY had a moment where he wasn’t working or golfing with friends, I asked if he’d like to hang out with his mama.
I was thinking COFFEE SHOP and SWEET CONVERSATIONS WITH MY FIRSTBORN, WHO WOULD HAVE EARNED A PRIZE FOR FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS AT THE AGE OF FIVE AND NOT FOR CLEAN PEEING. And that’s when the boy said, “Sure! Wanna watch me golf?!”
Of course I did. We loaded up, and I rode along in the golf cart with that handsome teenager, while he smacked a ball around and told me that he wished summer vacation could go on forever, and that he wouldn’t have to go back to a life of homework and waking up before 7 AM.
This is how a boy looks when he pulls off one of the best shots of his life and sinks a golf ball quickly, as he shouts out, “Birdie, baby!! BIRDIE!!!”
I always say that I miss the boy as a LITTLE BOY, but having a teenager is really the bomb. He’s funny! He’s funny and he’s charming and I absolutely LOVED watching numerous men and women at the golf course call him by name, pat him on the shoulder, and make remarks about what a wonderful kid he is.
That big boy of ours IS a wonderful kid.
And the honest truth is that his little brother is a wonderful kid, too. He’s every bit as sweet and fantastic, and their mama loves them both, with every fiber inside her heart.
Plus, Thing 2 is a prize-winning, Peeing Champion now. We have a Peeing Champion AND a Birdie Champion in the family tonight.
Y’all have a good Monday.