For the month of August, I have been nesting – and not for the arrival of a newborn. I nested for kindergarten. Instead of preparing for countless hours cuddling a new baby, I prepared to send my daughter away for eight hours a day. As a first-time kindergarten mom, this is uncharted territory for me. However, the path feels familiar.
The bag is packed and waited by the door. Honestly, I am not entirely sure why I did this. It is not like kindergarten starts before its scheduled date. I guess, I just felt better knowing her backpack was packed and ready when the time came. In the same way, I organized the pantry, the office supply drawer, and all of our closets. Because who knows, once kindergarten begins, I may never find time to clean or organize again.
Her new clothes are hanging in the closet. This time, however, I left the tags on. Because, as much as I hate to admit it, she has developed her own sense of style and sometimes refuses to even try on the frilly number I love – the one with the mismatched patterns. It makes her look like a baby, she says. And what is so wrong with that? Babies let you dress them in whatever you want. I love babies. Fine, I will just leave the tags on. But I will insist she wear her designated first-day-of school outfit and hold a sign, marking the momentous occasion. Right now, I have big plans to bring out that chalkboard again on the first day of first grade, and then on the first day of second grade, and so on and so on. However, after the monthly baby sticker debacle, I also acknowledge the small chance she might have to hold that first day of tenth grade sign sometime in mid-December.
We went on a kindermoon. With the start of kindergarten, I knew family vacations would never be the same, so we took a trip to Disney World last May before most schools let out. I also took the kids to the museum, the zoo, and to every play place I could think of, relishing in low crowd levels and discounted weekday rates. When August arrived, however, we kept close to home. Because who knows when kindergarten will come. The bag is packed and waits by the door.
I have been doing my research. And this time, it has not been on nursing and sleep patterns. I have, instead, been reading endless packets and pamphlets and flyers about bell schedules and carpool procedures and meal plans. Good thing I stayed close to home.
I decided on a brand of bento box. Bottles are so five years ago. Bento boxes are what’s on my mind now. Choosing which box was a commitment, but I found the perfect one. It has four dividers and a small removable carton. It is the only box that will do when it comes to feeding my daughter the nutritious smiley-faced lunches I found on Pinterest.
What it means to be actually be a kindergarten parent still remains a mystery to me. However, I have a feeling that when I send my second – and last – child off to school, I will wonder why sending just one seemed so hard.
What did you do to prepare for the school year?