First grade sweatshop

PhotobucketToday was Boog’s first day of first grade. I was feeling a little sad about my baby growing up, but seeing how excited he was and how much confidence he has gained since this time last year just made me really proud and excited for him. He picked out his “cool” outfit (down to the boxers and socks), loaded up his “awesome” backpack, and grudgingly posed for a few obligatory mommy photos. He had been talking about walking to school (which is what he did for the last part of kindergarten) by himself, but then as I was walking to the car he changed his mind. “Actually, mom…I want you to drop me off.” No problem. We got in the car, and as we were pulling into the parking lot, he changed his mind again. “Actually…can you walk me to the door?” No problem again. As we approached the door…his grip on my hand getting tighter with every step…”Actually…I want you to walk me all the way to class.” I had to stifle a laugh, because I pretty much laid out this exact situation…play by play…on the phone with my BFFLMNOP last night. I can read this anxious little boy like the back of my hand (maybe because I’m a ball of anxiety myself). The difference between him and his sister was hysterical on our journey to his classroom. He’s walking stiff as a board, stone-faced anxiety written all over him, squeezing the remaining life out of my hand…gently tugging if I move a half a step faster than he wants to go. PhotobucketDrama, on the other hand, is skipping down the hall, offering a cheerful “hello” to everyone she passes, and making sure to slow down to yell “Hi Miss Tolley” as we passed Boog’s kindergarten class. Once we got to the class, he was of course too big for a hug or kiss, and sort of offered me his shoulder to pacify my need to mommy him. Drama and I turned to leave, and again I watched my independent free spirit barrel down the hall in front of me. We got out to the parking lot, and the scene out there was beyond bizarre. I hadn’t really paid much attention to it on the way in, since I was so focused on Boog and his nerves, but half of the parking lot was blocked off and decorated with inflatable palm trees, monkeys, limbo poles, and a big inflatable swimming pool. The teachers hanging about directing traffic were all wearing leis, and the annoying chorus of “Copacabana” was blaring from giant speakers. I don’t remember a spectacle like this at all last year, and I was very perplexed. Drama loved it though, and was devastated that we had to go to daycare instead of stay and dance.  Silly girl.

PhotobucketI left work a little early so Boog could walk home on his first day, rather than go to his normal after school program.  I sat on the front porch for what felt like an eternity, and finally saw his happy little face rounding the corner.  It’s so funny how different he is after the initial pressure, nervousness, and anxiety has passed.  The stone faced stiff little guy from this morning was now all smiles…hopping and smiling…barely able to contain himself as he made his way toward the house.  I went to him to give him a big hug (public displays of affection are still OK within a 2 block radius of our house) and instead of hugging me back, he shouts out “I am so thirsty!” and bolted into the house to fill up a water bottle.  I turned around, rather taken aback, and followed him into the house.  After sucking down nearly anPhotobucket entire bottle of water and half a cup of ice chips, he finally spoke again.  “The only time you get to drink in first grade is at lunch!  Can you believe that???”  Now, Boog’s always been kind of a sweaty kid, and as a result gets insanely dehydrated.  He’ll go from casually mentioning that he’s thirsty to screaming and writhing around as though he’s been walking through the Sahara for weeks with nothing more than a cactus leaf to suck on in a matter of seconds.  He went on to complain about not being able to drink for two more bottles of water (in the school’s defense…I’m sure they don’t deprive their students of hydration.  He probably just didn’t speak up and let his teacher know he was thirsty).  Once his cells were rehydrated enough to speak, I asked him how first grade was.  “Boring.  Can you believe it…there are no free centers  in first grade!  None!  First grade is just work work work.”  I asked him if he had recess.  “Well, yeah…but it wasn’t our day for the climbing stuff so we just played games in the field and I just really needed to climb and stuff.”  He immediately got up and ran Photobucketupstairs.  I went up after hearing a few bumps and bangs, and found him swinging from his loft bed.  He hopped down and said “I just really needed to climb on something.”  Apparently my son is also part monkey.  He returned to the water bottle, drank some more, and then played a little water bottle guitar while singing a song about first grade.  It went a little something like this…

“First grade is boring…..boring…boooooooring….No free centerrrrrrs….No water fountains outside of the roooooooommmm.  Work work work work…Boring boring boooooooring…Oh yes it is so boooooooooooooo-riiiiiiiiiing.”

I guess the fun stuff is over…welcome to real life big guy.  They’re starting them young these days.

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3 Responses

  1. My Eldest starts 1st grade tomorrow! We’ll have to compare notes!

  2. Too cute!

  3. First day jitters and boringness was the same for kindergarten and us this year! I feel your pain!

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