5 on Friday: Lessons from the first week of kindergarten

So, it was a big week for us. Our daughter started kindergarten.

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And the rest of us got an education in buses, neighbors and a one-child household.

Here are five observations from this week.

  1. My son’s love language is torment. He misses his sister so much he wants to punch her in the face when she gets home. Okay, not quite that, but he did tell me he wanted to scream and chase her when she got home. Apparently if he loves you, he gives you zerberts on your neck (which is basically  just spitting in your general direction) and hits you with his monkey. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. School burns calories. The girl who whined every hour that she was hungry now comes home with a half-eaten lunch. But within minutes, she’s devouring the portions she didn’t eat at school. Carrots, grapes, raisins. She eats like she’s never seen food before and then eats a double helping at dinner. Using your brain muscles is hard work.
  3. There still aren’t enough hours in the day. When I first heard the words “all day kindergarten” I wondered what Corban and I were going to do with all our time. Some days this week, I was like, “Wow, we have to meet the bus in an hour and I still haven’t done laundry!” The day still passes pretty quickly.
  4. Community happens. A couple of days into her school year, we saw Izzy’s bus driver at the grocery store, where she works her other job. Yesterday, we met a neighbor kid new to the district who would be riding the bus with her. For the first three days, we were the only ones at the stop. I’m looking forward to meeting other parents and school staff in the coming weeks and months.
  5. Parenting practices exposed. People tell me sometimes that I’m raising her right. I appreciate the encouragement but I don’t always believe it. One day this week, Izzy skipped off the bus and told me she had over half of her lunch left. I asked her why she didn’t eat it, and she told me a story about a girl in her class who wouldn’t stop crying for their teacher at lunch time. “I kept telling her, ‘Calm down.'” We’ve seen glimpses of Izzy’s compassion, so it’s nice to know that it sticks in settings where we can’t see it. A call from the teacher at the end of the week encouraged us that Izzy’s first week was as good as we thought. (P.S. There’s still the potential to get a different kind of call from the teacher. She is Izzy Fierce, after all.)
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