Monday, June 1, 2009

Here Comes Kindergarten: Sniff, Sniff, Hooray!

I got a glimpse of the future earlier this month when I took Nels in for kindergarten registration and orientation. The school district makes it a fun experience for everyone. Parents bring in all the paperwork and meet the teachers and administrators. The kids get to go spend some time in the classroom and then ride the school bus around town with the principal.

We weren't exactly in top form for the occasion. I had taken Nels in for his immunizations the day before. "How many pokes are there going to be?" he asked the nurse. There were five. And that kid is pure muscle. He could barely walk the next day. His lurching gait combined with my sore throat and pink-eye made for a difficult morning.

When we arrived at the school, I almost collapsed from sensory overload. There were masses of parents, and new kids, and students. The whole building seemed scaled for small people. Every square inch of available wall space was written on. The school is slated for demolition in the fall (a new school is being built alongside it), so a few weeks ago the public was allowed to come through and write whatever they wanted wherever they wanted. There were several body outlines on the carpet underfoot. Someone even wrote in a toilet bowl. It was fun, but overwhelming.

Unfortunately I missed most of the pertinent parent information because Willem kept telling me he had to go to the bathroom. The first time I took him a helpful teacher said, "Oh, the boys' room is just down the hall, across from the gym," and so in I walked with my two boys. It was very disorienting to see those urinals that went to the floor. My first thought was not that I was in the boys' bathroom but that I was in a European bathroom. My second thought was "thank heaven no one is in here USING those urinals." My third thought was "must get out of here before someone comes in." My fourth thought was "I hope no one sees me coming OUT of the wrong bathroom." My fifth thought was, "so THAT's what the boys' bathroom looks like."

Bathroom misadventures aside, I was glad to get to spend time at the school during the school day. It had a really good feeling to it (sounds cheesy, but it's true), and I am glad that Nels will get to go there. The classrooms were all full of fun-looking projects and semi-organized chaos. I hope the new school is not too sterile. The old school seemed pretty great.

Alas, kindergarten is only 3 hours a day, so I have a few more years yet until I'm free to do something other than be home with the kids most of the day. And I know that school will be busy, and that when my kids are big I'll miss these precious pre-school years. Everyone tells me so. I'm sure I'll need a tissue when Nels gets on that school bus for the first time. But still. Hooray.


Karen said...

Big stuff -- I was always glad to see the bus come in the morning, as just as glad to see it arrive after school!

Gypmar said...

That sounds exactly right!