It was a big day in the Crocco household… Kindergarten!
Yes, we recently sent our little 5-year-old man out into the world with our fingers crossed that it would be kind to him and that he would take the world by storm… and hopefully come back without any behavioral notes from the teacher.
In preparation for the big day we went out and bought a new backpack and lunch box. The school had this very convenient program where I could just scan a URL code and choose a box with all the necessary school supplies to be sent right to his classroom, so I didn’t have to bother going up and down the aisles at the store, list in hand, looking for crayons and folders and whatnot.
At $55, I sure hope there were some golden pencils in that package.
Anyway, Mike and I weren’t too concerned with Mikey having fears about starting kindergarten, since he has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old, and went to preschool and pre-kindergarten. He’s used to a long, structured day. Well, weekday, anyway… The weekends at home with Mom and Dad are another story.
Now, when it comes to the school bus, Mikey had never ridden one before and while he said he was excited to ride it, I was a little concerned that when the first day came he wouldn’t want to get on, and then we would be in a pickle. No way would I be able to push him on the bus if he was scared, but I also have no desire to drive him to school and get in that miles-long parent drop-off/pickup line.
So we really talked up the whole experience. Mike and I told Mikey how jealous we were that he gets to ride a bus, and how fun it’s going to be. He had an orientation day where he got to ride the school bus for the first time, and meet his teacher and see his classroom.
We got his new back-to-school haircut, and he requested a mohawk. (I now spent extra time coifing his hair each morning… Ask me when the last time was that I put product into my own hair.)
After a sleepless night by Mom and Dad, the big morning came! We talked about how he could order lunch by raising his hand when the teacher asked if anyone wanted to order, but that he also had a lunch from home we were sending along in case he didn’t like what the school was serving.
We made sure he had a breakfast of champions, which consisted of pretzel rods and a yogurt drink.
We tightened his backpack straps before we walked a few houses down to the bus stop so he could get on with the neighbor kids.
And before we knew it the bus pulled up and we hugged our big guy and he walked right onto the bus without even looking back! My husband and I waved to him through the window, and continued waving as the bus took off and drove out of sight with our most precious cargo on board.
And then we waited. Mike and I both worked from home that day, and although we were both busy, we kept wondering what our little dude was up to.
Finally, the time for school dismissal arrived and we waited at the end of the driveway for Mikey to get home. We saw the bus pull up and the door open, and Mikey came bounding down the steps smiling and giddy, wearing a paper “first day of school” hat.
We hugged him and asked him how his day went.
“Fine,” he shrugged.
“What did you do today, bud?” Mike asked.
“Uh, I dunno.”
“Did you read some books?” I asked.
“Did you make friends where you sat? Did you have your own assigned seat, or did you sit wherever you wanted to?”
“Uh, I dunno.”
Mike and I looked at each other. “Well, did you at least have fun?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Mikey replied, climbing the front steps to the house. Once inside he kicked off his shoes and plopped onto the couch. “Can I play Roblox?”
And that’s it. That’s all we got. And that’s all we’ve gotten every day.
Mike and I have no idea what our child does all day at kindergarten and, to be fair, I guess it doesn’t really matter. He’s definitely happy and likes going. But for all I know he could be taking a field trip to the moon and back while he’s gone.
One day he said he was going to order pizza for lunch, and when he came home he said he had a hamburger… but hamburgers weren’t the menu that day. Maybe he went to McDonalds?
File that under “what I don’t know can’t hurt me.”
Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 5-year-old. She can be reached at email@example.com.