Lessons I learned in the first 26 hours of Kindergarten ... - Baby Steps in High Heels

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lessons I learned in the first 26 hours of Kindergarten ...

We did it! All of the anticipation and planning and school-supply-buying is over, and we survived the first day of Kindergarten. What a day. I’m sure Miss Mighty learned a ton, but so did I … some lessons were easier learned than others. 

These are just a few things I learned in the first 26 hours of Kindergarten.

- It's important to dress for success. No matter how many times you discuss the ‘first day’ outfit in advance, it will change once the actual first day arrives. The pink will not be pink enough {“MOM! It’s NOT even magenta!”} or a tag will itch or a mind will simply change. If the new choice is within dress code, let it be.

- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I prepared enough food to feed the entire class of children and my child only wanted 3 mini-waffles from a box. So much for starting the day on a full belly, but at least the trash can wasn’t hungry any more.

- What’s that saying about idle hands?? This may have been my least productive day at work. Ever. Had I been one of those high schoolers who daydreamed and doodled ‘Mrs. Brad Pitt’ on my notebooks, I would have accomplished more than I did yesterday. I spent nearly the entire morning wondering if she was okay, if she was being bullied, if she was making friends or having fun or learning. Longest 120 minutes of my life, and it wasn’t even lunch yet. Yes, I counted the minutes.

- A mother’s work {worry} is never done. Did she eat her lunch? Did she like it? She asked for something I didn’t expect her to really want. What if she’s starving?! Maybe I should pop up there and check? Just for a second. No … no. Probably not. Well? Maybe …

- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The long anticipated end-of-the-day reunion will be utterly anti-climactic. I won’t point fingers, but some moms (not me, of course) miiight watch the clock, nervously waiting for an appropriate time to rush go up to school and embrace retrieve their child. Said child might greet the mother with a lackluster, “go get brother first, please” remark while snacking on a granola bar.

- Flip flops are not allowed at school. You will learn more about your child’s day based on how they describe it, rather than the words they use. I took away three key pieces from Mighty’s retelling of her first day: 1) there is an invisible TV in her class room (the projector screen, I assume); 2) flip flops are not allowed; and 3) Kindergarten is magic. I really wanted to press for more details, but I decided to just agree that that seemed to add up to a pretty awesome day.

- Mother/daughter drama begins well before the teenage years. However awesome the day, a decompression phase will always follow. Imagine my surprise when I simply asked my child if she was hungry for dinner yet (remember the aforementioned granola bar she had just finished only an hour earlier? Anyway … ), and she responds with a full-on turbo-nuclear meltdown: “MOM! It was my FIRST DAY of KINDERGARTEN! And you just ruined it!!!” Oh, the tears! I had interrupted the first chance she’d had all day to play.

- Kindergarten is exhausting. Not only was my big girl, fast asleep by 7:08 p.m., but I don’t think she moved a muscle until the wee hours of the morning. She did jump out of bed, happy and ready to go back to school this morning, which was a good sign until …

Enough sleep is not always enough sleep. Eleven hours in bed last night was simply not enough to abate first-day exhaustion, but five-year-olds don’t understand that. So, instead of just telling you they’re still tired, they say things like: “This bacon is disgusting. This dress itches. I don’t know how to brush my teeth.” Apparently complaining about their favorite foods, the clothes they picked out themselves, and completing simple chores they’ve been doing for years is the most appropriate way to behave when your mom announces that we need to leave the house in 7 minutes, people, get it together.

Despite the angst, and the fits, and the bumps in the road (for both mother and child), the most consistent word Mighty used to describe her day was: magic. I hope she always feels that way about school. How did school start for your kids this year? How about for mom?


  1. I'm so nervous about my son starting school- even though it's 2 years away! A Momma's worrying is NEVER done!

  2. Magic - I LOVE that! My kindergarten girl is loving it too!

  3. I'm so glad she was looking forward to day 2!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter

  4. I can definitely relate to this post! My baby started Kindergarten on Monday. I worry all day long and ask myself those questions over and over. Today is the first time Mason is buying his lunch at school and I am a ball of nerves. Did his teacher see his money and note in his folder? Does he know how to go through the line? Will someone help him? Ahhh…