Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adalyn {Kindergartner}

We are 7 months into the school year and having a Kindergartner in school all day still feels exciting for her and I.

Oh, how I was SOOOO upset that she wasn't going to be able to do half day Kindergarten this year. I was mad that the option had been taken away one year ahead of when it was suppose to arrive. How I thought for sure we were going to role right through the new mandatory full day Kindergarten roll out. But in the blink of an eye, half day was gone and full day it was. I dug my heals in. I walked through every possible option and solution, but none were the right fit. Keeping her at her preschool in the 5s class wouldn't give her enough foundation to head into 1st grade. Sending her to a private kindergarten would be a cost we weren't prepared for and still meant two changes in schools in two years. Pulling her out of a full day class at our elementary school, making her half day, was a Horrible option. Though the school district considered that an "option" if I wanted her in half day.

In my heart I knew she could do it. I knew that she would eat it up. Though my heart knew she could do it, my brain didn't want to make her do it. I see half day as such a perfect baby step into the long life of education she would have ahead of her. That I had the ability to give her that slow roll out into school even if she would be "just fine".

My brain lost out and my heart set her free to her first full day of kindergarten on Friday, September 9th. Shane started school on Tuesday the 6th. The kinders had a late start to the school year. That Friday, Kenny and I both took the kids to school. We lined her up in the line outside of the building. We got their early so she could be the first one in line. She clung to me. As the commotion of the morning got under way, friends arrived and said hi, she just clung to me. The bell rung and she clung harder. Her teacher, Ms. Allan, came out to get the kids. Parents have always been asked to stay out and not come into the first day of class. Which I'm totally okay with. It just makes the separation that much harder. I kissed her good-bye and she walked into school with tears in her eyes.

BUT WAIT! There were parents filing into the school!!?? I was so confused! They aren't suppose to be going in! Kenny and I held back. I panicked. I didn't want her to be in class with parents all around and wonder why we weren't in there! I had told her parents weren't allowed in, which was what we had been told. I decide to go in and check on her. We found her hanging quietly sitting at her table. She was so happy to see us and show us where her cubby was. Ms. Allen was settling the kids in and working on getting the parents out. We kissed and hugged her good-bye again. She waved us off with just a tear or two.

I couldn't wait to pick her up! I was so excited to see her come out of school that day. All smiles. And hangry! Yes, her biggest issue with school is not eating enough. She arrives to me hungry and angry most days. It's so hard for her to focus on eating at lunch time. There's just to much going on. In her words there is not enough time. Truly, there just isn't enough time to eat and talk at the same time. She is slowly getting better at consuming more food at lunch time and either talking less or figuring out how to talk and eat at the same time. She is also allowed to eat snack before and after lunch. Though she struggles to get that afternoon snack in. Just to much learning going on. So we battle hangry after school. Which means I come prepared with snacks and a LOT of patience.

I thought besides food we'd really see her struggle with being tried at the end of the day. I've been amazed that I don't she isn't any different in this area any more then Shane is even as a 3rd grader. Monday they are energized and ready for the week. Come Thursday and Friday, they are in much need of a weekend full of down time. Trust me, they aren't even over-scheduled kids. I can't even imagine how they would be if I was whisking them off to this or that every day after school!? Generally, we come home and eat food, do homework and play.

For the first month, she had a really hard time at drop off at school. I would wait in line with her until Ms. Allen came to get the class. While she cried and clung to me, refusing to play or talk to her friends. Shane started to regress and was making drop off even harder because he would want me to wait with him in his class line, too. I still haven't figured out how to make myself be in two places at once. After a few weeks of crying and fighting over who I said good-by to first or who's line I waited in. I said no more. Car drop off it is from now on. (Mama doesn't really enjoy hanging outside the school in the pouring rain for 10 minutes either.) Now there are no more tears. Everyone kisses me good-bye, hops out of the car and has a lovely day. They also now happily play on the playground instead of huddled around me like it's the end of the world. Most of the time the best practice is to rip the band-aid off fast!

During the first month I also got an insane number of calls from the wonderful front office ladies. Adalyn managed to hurt herself daily at recess one way or another. If you bump, hit, or do anything that involves your head, you get a ticket to the nurses office, a concussion wrist band and a phone call home. I no joke, got 3-5 calls for multiple weeks in a row. I don't think she was purposely seeking attention, but she knew that if you got "hurt" and told the recess lady, she would get a trip to the office and I think that felt comforting to her. And if she wasn't in the office, then she was taking a friend to the office. After many talks about what warranted telling the recess lady this trend slowly faded and the calls from the front office stop. 

Socially she is a butterfly. I love seeing her run around at school on the playground. Playing games with boys and girls alike. The flip side of this is she is super dramatic. Most days she has some complaint about someone did this or said that to her. I don't think this will change any time soon. She's a bossy leader as well. We work on her "leadership" skills during play-dates. Some day this trait will bring her success. For know it's tiring. I'll be using my listening ears and empathy for a long time to come with this girlie!

Academically she is soaking up every sound, letter, art, music, pe and math lesson that comes her way. This week she was sent home with her first ever homework packet. She couldn't get it out of her backpack fast enough to get started on it. The following day she walked in the door and asked to do her homework. It's the sweetest thing ever. I know with time this wears off and the shiny idea of homework wears away. For now we embrace it.

I still wish we could have had our last year together where she dabbled in school via half day. Though in the end I'm just overwhelmingly grateful that Shane was able to do the half day path. I wouldn't have wanted to see/live through him adapting to full day kindergarten. Little Sister was fully prepared and ready to jump into full day kindergarten. She was comfortable with the school from years of hanging out waiting to pick up Shane. She knew the front office ladies and they knew her. She adored Mr. Sando, the PE teacher. I think she talked about him equally as much as Shane did before she even started school this year.

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