Posted on | August 5, 2015 | 5 Comments
Kindergarten may kill me. I’m not quite sure why they don’t do like a “Parent Survival Day” a week before… a trial run to get us all where we know what’s coming, even if it means that some parents realize they’re lions and the rest of us realize we’re just the lame gazelle the herd tossed back to distract.
We started on Monday and drop off was a breeze. In and out in under fifteen minutes and my kid seemed happy and adjusted. I was at work on time, everything was sunshine and roses and I texted a friend and was all “This is so easy. I am so awesome at all the things.” She warned me about pick up and I mocked her. She said she gets there at 2, over an hour early, just to wait around for her kids.
“Lame,” I thought to myself. “How bad can it really be.”
So I left my office at 2:45 and drove 15 minutes down the highway to the school exit, lauding my ability to rock out at all of this parenting stuff. I pulled up to the stop light three blocks down from the school and realized… I was apparently already in the line for pick up. Three blocks back and it was already winding a maze of sadness down through a neighborhood. Parents were glassy eyed and twitchy, watching carefully for the side swiping vulture cars who think that the line is just a suggestion, or perhaps a convenient opportunity to show that they are above the rules. It took me about three minutes to go from totally relaxed and ready to see my child, to stressed out, gripping the wheel and following so close to the truck in front of me that I was basically cleaning their grill for the first football tailgate. NO ONE WOULD GET IN MY WAY TO SEE MY CHILD! NO ONE!
I left work at 2:45 for 3:15 school dismissal. My child didn’t get into my car until 3:50. The majority of that time, I could actually see him but was not sure if it was okay to get out of my car and get him or if I had to wait my turn. Other parents got out and got their kids. I never could quite figure out if that was frowned upon. When we finally got home, I wasn’t sure who was more traumatized so we basically just drank for dinner. Both of us. (Okay no, not really).
But because it’s what we do, we got up and did it all again the next day. Only this time, I dropped him off for breakfast, thinking it would give me extra time at the office. Little did I know what that entailed. On day three, when he refused to get out of the car because he hated breakfast time, I walked in with him.
I’m fairly certain prisoners have a better time during meals.
Someone, somewhere, decided that allowing children to talk during meals leads to choking hazards or maybe not eating or maybe it just annoys people. So there are no-talking nazis everywhere telling children at 7:45 in the morning that there is to be absolutely no talking at any time. They herd them into a room where they are seated “criss cross applesauce” in a single file line… silently… until the
warden guard teacher announces their line can go get breakfast. Once they get their tray, they are ushered to a table where they sit next to anyone from K-5 in straight up silence to eat food. Well.. not exactly silence because while they eat, they are subjected to yelling like ‘YOUNG MAN ON THE CORNER? SIT DOWN. YOUNG LADY IN BLUE? NO TALKING.” I’m not actually sure what happened after that because I was suddenly too concerned I might drop something in the hallway and have to bend over to get it.
Ultimately, we ended up in the library, in the peaceful quiet of some good books and the tension in my kid’s shoulders dropped away. I was able to walk him down to his classroom and leave him in the hands of his awesome teacher without any further issues. It seems like there should be a better way for kids to start their day… some option like reading books in the library, or playing on the playground… something they can sign up to do other than be yelled at by Nurse Ratchet as they shovel poptarts and sugary cereal into their mouths. But what do I know… I’m just trying to not get eaten by one of the more ferocious foes around me and just make it through week one peacefully.
Until, you know, survival of the fittest at 3:15.