“List on the 3s” is my meme where I post a list on any date that has a 3 in it. But I missed yesterday’s because I suck.
Ah, kindergarten. That’s been the focus of my entire week. It’s only been three days since it began, but it’s literally turned my world upside-down. Gone forever were my morning commutes all by myself, making a direct beeline to work, replaced with getting a five year old up at 6:20 to be ready to leave the house at 6:55. And you know what? He’s actually been living up to the challenge. And welcome to the world of the two hop commute — driving him to school, waiting for the doors to open at 7:30, signing him in, and then proceeding to work. And then, of course, leaving after work, tires-a-screechin’ to get to school at a decent hour, sign him out, and drive home. All in all, a 70 mile round-trip commute.
But it’s been worth it. And that’s because of the learning that’s occurred. Not the kid’s. I mean, that’s probably also pretty important, considering the massive tuition costs for a Jewish private school. But this is all about me! So I present:
Top 6 Things I Have Learned from Kindergarten This Year
6. It’s worse to be the last kid picked up after school than it is to be the first kid dropped off. Fortunately, Avi was the last kid picked up only on the first day of school. And that’s because all of the other parents love their children far more than we love him — and decided to rush in right away to get their kids.
But in the morning? We’ve been the first ones in every day. And he’s been okay with it. A champ, even. Truthfully? He’s probably happy to just get rid of me in the morning! Whatever works…
5. “Hospital Tag” is a brutal, humiliating game. In the car on the way home from school today, he told me what they did in gym: they played hospital tag. And then he told me the rules: Whoever was “it” had to tag everyone. The first time you’re tagged you “lose an arm.” Which I thought was kind of radical for kindergarten, until I discovered it only meant you put that hand behind your back. The second time you’re tagged? You “lose” the other arm. Third time is one leg (hop around); fourth time is your other leg (crawl on the floor). And the fifth time you’re sent to the stage area, which is the “hospital” for the rest of the game.
What a sick, sick premise. You go to the hospital only after dire trauma has set in? There’s no preventative care? No urgent treatment centers for all? Kind of explains the political motivation behind such a game. And if anything, it teaches the person who is “it” to prey on the weak. Gotta love the values the kid is learning…
4. “Blind people are people without eyes.” He told me this one on the way home today. Seems straightforward enough…
3. My kid has the same neurosis as I do about asking colleagues for names. There are 22 kids in kindergarten this year — divided up into two classes of 11 which rotate between the two teachers — one for general studies and one for Judaic/Hebrew studies. Avi came into the mix knowing one kid: Andrew, whose mom happened to be a good friend and housemate of mine our senior year of college. Which was kind of a relief. Because at least he would come in knowing Andrew’s name. Life was going to be okay.
Andrew was out sick for the first two days of school.
So Avi was on his own. But he did a good job acclimating according to everyone. But when I asked him if he knew the names of the kids in his class, he couldn’t give me any of them.
I know. He’s five and it’s only been a few days. But he gets it from me. It’s tough for me to ask for people’s names — especially when that acceptable window has passed. So it reminded me a bit of me.
Then again — he did tell us that Ethan was the other boy with glasses. And that Leah had to go to the back of the line during recess for talking. Maybe he’ll know everyone soon enough…
2. “The kids who get hot lunches it the Chadar Ochel (Cafeteria) sit at separate tables to make sure that the kids who bring their lunches from home don’t get their lunches too hot.”
Let me give some background info: Community-wide Jewish school. Which means that it caters to Jewish students of different denominations with different rules and norms about keeping kosher. Because of the diversity of norms, there’s a rule that kids aren’t to share food with each other (which is also helpful for preventing food allergy related incidents).
One of the norms that comes about in the laws of Kashrut (keeping kosher) is the separation of dairy and meat/poultry products. To make things a bit easier, students are limited to bringing dairy and not-meat items from home. But there is a regular “hot lunch option:” which involves meat-oriented meals prepared in the school’s kitchen. Students who eat these meat meals sit at different tables than those who bring dairy meals from home.
This probably sounds very cruel and isolationist to those of you not used to it. And a bit confusing. But Avi got the hang of it — just not quite the reason as to why. Either way, segregating McDLT style — to make sure the “hot stays hot” and the “cool stays cool” — is good enough for me.*
1. It’s never too early to teach kids about theology. He summed up the first day quite profoundly — after giving us a laundry list of what happened in kindergarten that day. He did this and that and sang this and ran around to there and found this and gravitated towards that.
“And we thanked God for a lot of stuff.”
Well, yeah. Of course! Jewish school. With a Jewish curriculum. I can’t remember exactly when I felt like I had the God concept in my head originally, but I doubt it was the first day of kindergarten. In any case, I’m sure he’ll expand his feelings about religion over the next few decades…
* No. The McDLT was not kosher.