Carpooling, kindergarten, fails at making school parent friends
I planned to do a big picture post tonight with my new! entry way walls and my new! shoe cabinet and my new! coat tree, but I'm too tired. SORRY, INTERNET! I know, the lack of forty-seven paragraphs detailing my Quest For The Perfect Entry Way Rug is a huge disappointment to you all. Next time. Pinky swear.
I also considered describing my walk of shame back to Weight Watchers, but I am genuinely depressed about that, like, I don't even feel like trolling for sympathy and encouragement on my BLAWG, which means I'm REALLY SUPER DUPER DOWN ABOUT IT. Which is all we're going to say about THAT. Got it? FIN.
So WHO KNOWS what is going to come out of my brain tonight! Oh wait. I was going to say something about carpooling.
I was thinking about carpooling because today was one of the kindergarten then wait then preschool then come back home then back to preschool then an hour then go back to kindergarten then all come home and start dinner kind of days and DUUUUDES. It's not, you know, the WORST thing in the world, but it can be annoying at times and heinous at others. This week, I remembered, is FEBRUARY and I actually counted out the months until the kindergarten/preschool/baby thing is over. (Four and a half.) Then summer. Then a year in which both big kids are in school all day and I hardly know what to do with myself. EAT ALL THE BON BONS.
Oh, that reminds me. Someone was asking why we're going to put Molly in kindergarten next year even though her birthday is past the cut off date. So! The answer to that is several-fold. The first thing is that her birthday is ONE DAY past the cut off date. So I don't feel like I'm trying to get away with much. (You know me, rule follower and all that.) Another thing is that she's Child #2 and has seen kindergarten up close and personal for months now. Nearly every day her brother comes home from school and makes her PLAY kindergarten. She sits and does "homework" with him in the evenings. He's teaching her everything he's learning. When we're at the school, Molly blends in with the kindergartners. She and Jack are 15.5 months apart in age, and having them be two years apart in school seems bizarre. She may be my preschool dropout, but 4.5 year old Molly seems to have No Fear about kindergarten and when I tease her about keeping her home with me she does NOT have a sense of humor about it. I've asked her preschool teachers, Jack's teacher, and my personal crew of teachers and they all think Molly will be just fine. I have to apply for early entry in April, then have her tested in a group setting, then (if she passes that one) an individual assessment in the summer, then (if she passes that) a four-week "trial" in kindergarten in the fall. Though Jack's teacher tells me they never pull them out, even when they should. I'm not particularly anxious about it, it's just another pile of paperwork and appointments.
The last thing, though, is that I'm not one of the Err On The Side Of Keeping Them Back parents. I think it depends on the kid, obvs. I feel confident about Molly, but if we were talking Jack I'm not sure what we'd be thinking right now. Also, I'm a mid-July birthday and was always one of the youngest in my class. This never once mattered in school, seriously, not that I can think of. The only thing that might have affected me was driving, but since I went to school on an overseas military base and you had to have a stateside license AND be eighteen, pretty much no one drove anyway. I got good grades and was "a leader" because that's the sort of irritating brownnoser personality I have, not because of (or in spite of) my age. And I swear to God, if I'd been another year older in high school? If I'd been turning 19 when I graduated instead of 18? I can't fathom the misery. (SORRY MOM!) I mean, I was just SO READY to go away to college and meet different people and live in a city and GROW UP. I'm not saying that Molly is just like me, and who knows what she'll be like when she's 17! But right now she's READY and it seems like crazy talk to hold her back.
But I was going to talk about carpooling, right? Right. Okay, so CARPOOLING. Another thing you've said to me is, "Why don't you find someone to carpool with!" WHY DON'T I?!
I don't know, internet. It just hasn't been so easy. Ideally I would be friends with another preschool mom, or I'd have befriended the mom of the little girl that Molly seems to like best, but it hasn't worked out that way. For one thing I live WAY OUT OF THE WAY - no preschool family lives near me. I don't quite see what they'd get out of it, honestly. And the other preschool moms haven't exactly appeared to REQUIRE carpooling. As far as I can tell they have nowhere to go before or after preschool, they hang out and chat and even if I WANTED to do that with them, I have this BABY in the car whose nap is always getting jerked around. This is unfair - the other moms have younger and older kids too, but they really do seem to have it much more together than I do. They're not unfriendly, but they've developed some sort of relationship with each other while I've sat in my car waiting for the teachers to open the door. I'm FINE with this, but it hasn't really gained me any benefits either. Oh, and until last week, I was the only one who picked up her kid at 12:30 - all the other kids stayed that extra hour for lunch and more playtime. Emma's napping later now, so Molly's now staying that extra hour too, but carpooling definitely wouldn't have worked before.
As for KINDERGARTEN... it's different and the same. Most kids either take the bus or go to the on site daycare after school. There are 4 or 5 moms in the hallway with me every afternoon, but none of them (of course) are parents of the kids that Jack talks about most (which would be THE GIRLS). A couple of them were even kids Jack didn't particularly like the first few months. So there was no ORGANIC way of striking up conversation. We small talk, but not much. And there's one mom who even seems to be annoyed by Molly and Emma and moves away from us if we're standing nearby. I KNOW.
I guess I'm saying I've failed at making School Friends. I wasn't inclined to do so at preschool and I haven't been successful at kindergarten. I also haven't noticed another parent who looks like she could use a carpool friend. Actually, there is one mom at Jack's school who is also toting two smaller kids along each afternoon, but her son is in a different kindergarten and the one time I initiated with her it didn't really go anywhere. BLARGH.
It's my own fault? I guess? It hasn't been easy. Molly's school is full of the chatty, involved, on site type of mom, Jack's school is not. I feel haggard when I'm at both places, just trying to get in and out as quick and efficiently as possible. I don't WANT to stick around and chat. I mean, I do, I just, well, YOU KNOW.
So that is why 1) early kindergarten and 2) no carpool. Four and a half months, you guys. Four and a half months, then a few weeks of summer, then TWO KIDS IN SCHOOL UNTIL 3PM EVVVVVVERY DAAAAAAY.