Friday, September 10, 2010

School Daze

School seems to be going well.

This morning it only took Jarrah remembering that today is "Friday Fun Day!" to bounce her out of bed. I can't get any intel on what the "Fun" in that catchy moniker might entail, so hopefully I'll be able to crack the code later. I don't kid myself, though--someday (and that someday might be Monday) she will stamp her feet and whine "I don't WANT to go to school!" And I will sigh and think to myself: Now she sounds like a normal child.

I've learned a few things in my first few days of kindergarten. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Although Jarrah claims she's never spoken to anyone in her class (except the two kids she already knows) an orange-haired moppet with big, brown freckles named Kayla comes out to bear-hug her at pick-up time each day. When questioned about Kayla, Jarrah waved a hand in a dismissive gesture and said "Oh, that's one of my new best friends."

2. I am way behind the power curve by not knowing The Kissing Hand. Damn if that book doesn't come up in conversation every day now.

3. Jarrah's teacher gets things DONE. Thursday was Red Day, and last night Jarrah was saying "Red is spelled R-E-D." I've never heard her spell anything before. And this was after only three days! Also, Mrs. R. sent out an e-mail last night detailing what they've studied this week, the books they've read and the inside scoop on The Mystery of Hot Lunch. I didn't get this much info when Jarrah was in private school!

4. That said, public school bureaucracy is kind of hilarious. So far. I had to download an application to volunteer in Jarrah's class, and next week I have to take a TB test to go with it. Jarrah's teacher told me I could turn in my packet of forms to the office ("I'm taking them there right after this anyway") but the office said I had to give them to the teacher. When I said "But she said she was just going to bring them here!" they sighed like I had looked behind the wizard's curtain. When I picked Jarrah up early yesterday, the principal himself (lovely man, Mr. McD.) wrote out an "early dismissal" slip in triplicate, but mentioned that in future I should call ahead. I couldn't stop myself from saying that I'd asked if I should do that, and been told not to bother.

5. I am proud that I've had a run of three days packing lunch the night before. I did forget to put out clothes last night, so that makes only two there. I've mastered the "separate snack bag" issue but Jarrah tells me in no uncertain terms that she wants to buy her lunch from now on, and that she "hates sandwiches, all sandwiches." Sigh. She saw a couple classmates eating chicken nuggets, and it's all over for my turkey and smoked gouda. I'm just happy that the only options are main dishes and salad bar, or my girl would be eating chips, cookies and candy for her three choices, every day. She has been given a four-digit code and a pretend "pin pad" to practice it on, and Monday will be the day. It's like she's in training for the lunch line Olympics.

6. Jarrah suddenly seems so mature. Maybe it's the mastery of a new place and schedule, or being given more responsibility, or something about the way her teacher is treating her. I expected tired and cranky at home, and instead she's been more cheerful and reasonable than ever. (Hope I don't jinx that.) Oh, and none of this legendary tiredness I'd heard tell of: the first night, we tried to put her to bed early, and she came out and complained about it until after nine.

7. Recess is still the biggest thing since sliced bread. Scratch that: it's way bigger, since sliced bread is now totally anathema around here.

8. Backpacks are a lifestyle choice. Everything goes in there in the morning: lunchbox, water bottle, snack bag, change of clothes, jacket, folders. In the evening, I mustn't forget to take the lunchbox out, and more importantly, the folders, with their "Keep at Home" and "Return to School" sections. So much to be Returned to School. Hard to stay on top of it.

9. It's only been four days, and I am totally over MY new lifestyle. Oh, the school part is great, and I can even accept the snack bags. But the alarm clock? Readers, don't hate me when I say I haven't used the alarm clock (except for plane trips) in years. Now it makes a terrible noise every morning in the middle of my dreams. The days feel bizarrely long--it gets to be 6:00 p.m. and I think "Have I been awake for two days?" Afternoons are a blurry haze of "Where and when can I get more coffee?" And if you're hating me for that alarm clock comment, you really will lose respect when I tell you I haven't made it through a single morning without tumbling back into bed, stone-like, for an hour. And it's only an hour because I set the alarm. Will I ever adjust? At night, I sit in bed, reading my book, holding back a wave of panic: Will I be able to fall asleep at this ridiculously early time? And if not, will I be nodding off all day tomorrow? So far, the answers have been a resounding No and Yes.

10. Weird to think all of this will become...ROUTINE. And so far, everyone has been very nice and we've gotten a lot of personal attention. Hope that lasts.


Caroline said...

Sounds like it's going really well! It's all really familiar. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear there wasn't some awful trauma going on! After you hadn't updated the blog for awhile & your enigmatic comment about needing to "write [me] privately" about what was going on, I was all worried.

But you're just sleepy! I totally get that. :)

All of this may become routine, sure, but that doesn't make the routine any less absurd, right?

By the way, J. Dust has the best mom ever & not just because said mom lets her buy her lunch at school (my mom NEVER would have let me do so).

I hope you have a relaxing, sleep-late-type weekend planned!!


Stephanie said...

After you read The Kissing Hand, I'd love to hear your thoughts as related to your child.

Glad it's going well. N seems to be loving it too and I'm hearing we lucked out with the "best" teacher.

Jen said...

Oh, this is a delicious post! I'm loving all the deets about your routine and Jarrah's experiences. Sorry about the alarm clock thing! :-) (No sympathy here, though!

And I love the keypad thing. She's so adorable.

Good luck as you continue to adjust!

Anonymous said...

Love the update! good luck with that alarm clock. But I hate to break the bad news to you -- if you want to go to sleep at an earlier hour, you can't take a mid-morning nap... :( lix

Mrs. Chapman's 2nd Grade Class said...

So glad to see an update! I love that Jarrah is enjoying kinder. I honestly can't believe she's not exhausted. Well, I believe you. I don't think you are making it up or anything. I guess I'm just so surprised. I always have parents complaing about how tired their kiddos are after a long day. I know my first week wasn't so bad in 2nd this year, but the second two weeks have kicked my butt!

Maybe you will get used to the early hours, although it's doubtful. ha! If I don't go to bed by 9:00, I'm exhausted the next day. And I rarely see my bed by 9:00.

Glad all is well!

G-D said...

"looked behind the wizard's curtain." Love that! Keep 'em coming, Sam.