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Kindergarten is Kicking My Butt!

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My oldest child started kindergarten. I remember my own kindergarten days fondly: I colored pictures; I made a macaroni necklace; I played Goldilocks in the year-end kindergarten play, which I’m pretty sure was the only thing we worked on the entire month of May. Kindergarten will be a breeze! I thought.

I was wrong. Kindergarten is completely kicking my butt.

Don’t misunderstand me, my son is doing great! He loves school. He can’t always tell me what he is learning, but he never forgets what he ate for snack or which friend played what Avenger at recess. Thank goodness for newsletters from the teacher.

I, on the other hand, have been somewhat blindsided by this rapid change of pace that comes with having a school-aged child. If I’ve seemed a little scarce lately it is because all of my mental energies are being harnessed by this thing called kindergarten.

Just getting out the door in the morning is like my own personal Mommy Hunger Games, except that in The Hunger Games Katniss battles vicious monsters and opponents in order to stay alive and I am trying to get three small children dressed, fed and in the car in order to get brother to school on time SO IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING.

No matter how early we get up, no matter how much preparation is put in the night before, countless obstacles arise to keep me from my goal as the precious minutes tick away. You want to know the worst part? I think my kids are in on it! It’s like they’re in cahoots with some crazed Game Maker who is directing them from behind the scenes as he plots ways to make me lose my mind. Quick! Topple an entire box of Cheerios on the floor! Hide the shoes! And as soon as she’s walking out the door, SOMEBODY POOP!! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Sometimes I glance towards the sky to see if someone has sent me a tiny parachute package of Xanax, but apparently my district has forsaken me.

Most days I call it a success if my son makes it to school wearing actual clothes instead of a costume. I give myself bonus points if his hair is free of food debris.

There has been only one day since school started when I woke up extra early, fixed his hair and pleaded with him to wear a collared shirt and stain-free pants. That day was picture day. Except, when I picked him up from school his sweet teacher said, “Jack looked so handsome today, but picture day is actually next week!” Unfortunately, since I had already spent all my effort on fake picture day, by the time real picture day rolled around I was like just wear whatever! I have 8,000 pictures of you on my phone anyway!

And if getting to school is a scene from The Hunger Games then coming home from school is exactly like The Shawshank Redemption, or The Green Mile. Or any movie that involves prison where the inmates are making trouble and trying to escape while the warden is all DO YOUR HOMEWORK OR ELSE NO DINNER!!

But seriously, homework? I don’t remember agreeing to homework when I brought my cuddly little eight pounder home from the hospital.

On the first day of school Jack brought home a worksheet for homework and I realized that we did not have one pencil in the entire house. Sure, we bought all the supplies on the list for school, but it did not even occur to me to buy some supplies for home. And I am a former elementary school teacher. THE SHAME. That first day Jack completed his homework in purple crayon. OH THE SHAME!

One day last week he came home with his homework folder bulging with new assignments. I don’t know if I was more panicked over the sheet that detailed a “Family Project” due next week or the worksheet that included the directions “cut and glue.”

Turns out it was “cut and glue” because when I went out and bought pencils for the house I totally forgot about kid scissors or glue sticks, but giant shears and rubber cement work just as well, right? Just don’t inhale, Sweetie!

Of course, then my 3-year-old decided he needed to use the “special glue” on his own “homework,” and that is how we ended up trapped in the kitchen for an excruciating amount of time. Just like prison.

Thank goodness we’ve got eight more months to figure this kindergarten thing out. Maybe by Christmas we will be fully stocked on school supplies and I will have figured out how to get the kids out of the house without tears or bloodshed.

Otherwise, I will just have to play dumb and NEVER EVER admit to the teachers that I used to be one of them. What? It’s not ok to complete homework in crayon? Well, it’s not like I have a college degree in this or anything! OH THE SHAME.

Anna Hargett is a blogger and recovering perfectionist. After having 3 children in 3.5 years, she is learning to let go and let life happen (but she may still reorganize your office supplies if left unattended). Find her at This Perfect Mess or on Facebook.

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