I worked really hard all summer preparing my 5-year old for Kindergarten. We drove by the school on occassion, even picnic-ed there once, read books about “the big day,” shopped for school clothes and supplies, ordered a backpack…and did a little prep work for safety (like teaching our address and phone number). I made plans for what I would do after she headed off that first day (a meet-up of several mommy friends at Starbucks) and thought I was in good shape.
But it was harder than I imagined. It’s not that I was total basket case crying as the bus drove away or calling the school to make sure she arrived safely. I wasn’t even too concerned about lunch in the cafeteria (she’s in full-day Kindergarten). No, it wasn’t any of that.
It was my little sweetie who is still home with me. Kelly is 3 going on 20–a total love bug who seems to “get” transitions and nutures everyone and everything around her–heck, she even rubs my back sometimes! So after all of the prep work I did for her big sister, I sort of assumed she got the hint: Kate was going to Kindergarten and life as we knew it would be a bit differerent for everyone. Better, even. I’d have more time to spend with Kelly and her big sis wouldn’t be pestering her. That all sounds good to me, doesn’t it you?
Instead, what I got was a clingy kid. She wanted my every minute, my every thought, my every ounce of being. Now. Yesterday. She has been asking about 5 bazillion questions a day, refusing to nap, and requesting me to do things I know she knows how to do on her own (like take off her sandals or wipe her sticky hands with a wipe).
It didn’t take me long to learn that Kelly, too was going through a bit of a transition with Kate off to Kindergarten. Once I had this epiphany, I decided that we’d do something fun, just the two of us (yes, instead of boring errands like running to the post office or Walgreens). We went to Airtastic. Sure, I wanted to pop my eyeballs out one by one. Sure, two runs through “Wacky World” has my heart rate up and my bra falling down, but she loved it. The grin on her face and the exclamation, “This is fun!” was enough to make me want to do it again. For a full 60 minutes, we ran, hopped, jumped, slid, and climbed.
We even went out to lunch afterwards, just the two of us. Then, she let me run an errand, a boring errand (thanks,Kel).
And now she gets a nap. I get some “alone time.” And maybe by next week, we all will have adjusted to this thing called Kindergarten.