Posted by Shannon
Where, oh where, did my sweet kindergartner go? Oh where, oh where could she be?
The first day of “big school” she was so sweet, so fresh-faced! Now she’s just fresh. Smart-mouthed. A smart aleck.But I shouldn’t generalize. She’s not like that all the time, definitely not. However, I can’t help but contrast the first day of kindergarten with the (next to) last. On the first, she skipped happily into her new classroom with her new hot pink backpack bouncing and her cotton skirt swishing. Today, she left sweaty and grumpy with a package of melted Rolos in her hand and bricks (judging from her heavy, slow progress to the car) in her shoes.When we hit the front door at home, she requested chocolate milk. Since she’d indulged in numerous juices and junk foods throughout the day, I told her no, that she’d had enough. Apparently she felt robbed. Not being able to taste the sweet nectar of The Skinny Cow ultra-pasteurized evoked her highest displeasure.To demonstrate what high displeasure sounds like, here is an excerpt from her EXTENDED time-out rant (time out because sound beating was imminent): “My mother never even wanted me!” and “I really wish I had choosed another mom!” and the I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself “No one wants me, not even you!” followed by “If you knew I got hurt, you wouldn’t even care!”
And, of course, the ever popular: “I wish daddy married somebody else!”
For her closing remarks, Ladybug posed this one last existential question that’s typically saved for the teenage years: “Why did God even make meeeee?!
The rant was so impressive I called her father and held the phone out in the direction of the hallway so his ears could bleed, too (because I’m thoughtful like that).Although I had started out monstrously miffed (see earlier comment about imminent beating), as she sat on her time-out perch and vented loudly, I stopped being mad. Her well-turned phrases didn’t even hurt my feelings.I know that sometimes, like with the proverbial toothpaste cap, it’s not really about the chocolate milk. The grown-up mommy in me understood that today it was about strong emotions tied to saying goodbye to her classmates, too much sugar and sun and a typical kindergarten schedule that was thrown out the window. Sometimes I need to vent, too. And sometimes I really think it’s all about the chocolate milk, but when I step back and consider other options, I figure out what I’m really all stirred up about. Kids don’t have that kind of perspective. (Heck, that’s a hard concept for us grown-ups!)After an apology (hers), an acknowledgment of her angry feelings about the lack of chocolate milk (mine) and a hug (ours), she got up and carried on. Within 10 minutes she was humming happily and stirring up an elaborate science experiment of water, Bil-jac dog food, Betty Crocker butter cream icing, Bond’s medicated powder, Epsom salt, table salt and honey.And then my mind was free to contrast all the pleasant things from her first day of kindergarten to her (next to) last. Like how tall she’s become since then and the fact that she can READ. REAL. SENTENCES. now. I also consider how much more mature she is – except when she isn’t. That’s part of the ride. When they’re little bitty and they start sleeping through the night, we’re warned about “regressions.” And they happen. They suddenly stop sleeping through the night. And just when you think you can’t get up one more time between midnight and 6 a.m., you find yourself rushing into the baby’s room at 3:30 a.m. to make sure they’re still breathing.Sometimes we all regress. And then we pick ourselves up, wipe the chocolate and frowns off our faces and begin anew. Happy summer.
What a perceptive mama you must be! It says something about you that in the middle of a meltdown you can keep your head and understand just what your [bigger but still] little girl is really yelling about. The world would be a better place if we could all do that for each other, wouldn’t it?
Happy summer to you. May yours be mostly you-bug-me free.
I’m afraid I would have just yelled back. Or worse.
Girlfriend, you are a MUCH better mom than me! LOL!
My response would have been more along the lines of a Bill Cosby routine:
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!”
All kidding aside, you handled that exceptionally well.
Hey, I gave you a shout-out on my blog.
A (usually) happy,