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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Grade

Today is the first day of first grade.  I am in awe of how time flies.  I didn't write as many summer snippets as I had intended.  That said, I am living a life without regrets as I see no reason to fault myself since most all of our summer days were well spent biking, swimming, playing, skipping, dancing, singing, laughing and spending time with friends and family.  

On Friday we went to the school open house where O met her new first grade teacher, visited her new first grade classroom and looked over her new first grade class list.  Before we left, she told me she had one more thing she wanted to do...visit her kindergarten classroom and her darling kindergarten teacher, Mrs. M.

O waited patiently as Mrs. M was talking to another parent when we walked in.  As soon as Mrs. M saw O she took her in her arms and gently and lovingly welcomed her back to school.  It was in that beautiful moment that all the wonderful emotions of the past year flooded over me.

For students, Kindergarten is a part of growing up.  For parents, Kindergarten also is a part of growing up and realizing that their children are becoming less intensely reliant on them.  There's some very big steps to take and sometimes some difficult bridges to cross, but along the way there are the most incredible teachers, family, friends and blog readers (that's you) providing encouragement and support to get us all through.  From the bottom of my heart I thank you!

This morning O told me her tummy kind of hurt because she was a little nervous about her first day.  I told her to remember that she can tell her tummy it will all be ok, because it will, and that her tummy knows from experience.  She nodded and smiled.  Last year, I had to set her in her seat on the bus while she screamed and cried not wanting to go.  This morning she boarded the bus without any reservations.  In fact, as her daddy went to kiss her goodbye, O reminded him, “no grown-ups are allowed in the bus”.

And now this blog comes to a close.  I certainly have enjoyed the journey.  I thank each of you for all the heart warming ways that you helped me find my way in the blogging world.   I clearly gained and I hope you did as well.  For all the many moments when Kindergarten Sucked, it was also those moments that O and I grew the most.  We grew closer and our hearts grew bigger.  Kindergarten doesn't suck.  No, not anymore.  Kindergarten ROCKS! And guess what, First Grade ROCKS too!  There will be moments where I may think differently, but those moments will be the ones when I will remember to tell my tummy, "Everything will be ok just like it all turned out in Kindergarten".  Yes, I truly believe, Kindergarten ROCKS!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

4th of July Moon

On June 29, 2012 a huge storm swept across our area and millions of people were without power for 4-5 days; some of them were without any power over the 4th of July.  Oh, and did I mention it was also during the hottest couple days of the year?  

We considered ourselves very lucky as we did not lose power.  We opened our home to whomever wanted to come and crash, even the dogs.  Everyone that lost power was overwhelmed.  Road rage was at its all time high.  

However, it didn't stop any of us from celebrating our nation’s independence.  Was it hot?  It was so hot.   Was it worth it?  Every minute.  Why?  Because it only happens once a year.

On the way home from the fireworks display, O and her friends commented on the redness of the moon.  
O said, "I bet the moon turns red every 4th of July."  
G said, "Maybe."  
C said, "I bet it's from the fireworks."  
K said, "Maybe."  
O said, "Next year we will have to remember to look and see if it's red on the 4th of July."  
C said, "Maybe next year it will be red, white and blue." 
K said, "Yeah, that would be cool; and there will be stars and stripes in it too."
G said, "Yeah, let's remember to look and see what it looks like next year."

It was such a beautiful conversation, and then somehow from out of nowhere, Katie Perry started singing on the radio and every child in the car had their hands up singing/ screaming at the top of their lungs, "Cause baby you're a firework, come on let your colors burst, make em go up up up, till they shoot across the sky sky sky.  Boom boom boom...Kindergarten SUCKS!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Running Away!

After getting mad at me because I wouldn't let her go on the bike path (it was the equivalent of rush hour for those that commute to work by bike), O yelled, "You are the meanest mommy ever.  I am so mad at you.  I am running away!".  Knowing its important for children to express their anger, I calmly told her that was just fine and that I loved her.  I also waved to her and yelled, "Bon Voyage!".  I then headed towards our house while she turned to go the other way on her bike.  However, it wasn't long before she followed me home to find me relaxed with a glass of wine on the porch.  

As she came through the back gate she was pushing her bike ferociously and stomping her feet. Her eyebrows were cross … her lips were pursed and her cute little nose was flared.  She was mad and she was having no problem expressing it.  I calmly looked at her and said, "Did you decide to come back for dinner first?". She said, "Yes, but I'm still running away!".  I replied, "Of course you are, but how much better of a journey it will be when on a full stomach.  Why don't run up and pack your bags while I make you dinner so you will be ready to roll out when you are finished.  I should tell you, however, that anything that mommy and daddy bought for you, you cannot take with you."  She said, "Not even Marie Grace (her American Girl doll)?"  "Nope", I replied. 

She then ate her chicken nuggets, some grapes and a few carrots.  After a long silence, I then asked where she thought she might go if she ran away.  She said, "Well I can't go to G’s, K’s or C’s because they will call you.  But I could go to Mia’s.  Mommy, you were so lucky that you had a playhouse that you could run away to when you were a little girl!  I wish I had a playhouse."   

I replied, "It was lovely to have my own space to retreat to when I wanted to be alone.  I'm just wondering if Mia will have milk for you to drink before you go down to sleep tonight.  Do you think she will have a microwave to warm it up for you?"

After another long silence she climbed onto my lap and said, "Mommy, I've decided that I am not going to run away after all."  

"I'm so glad, O.  I would have missed you a lot", I replied.

Then I asked, "By the way, what was it that made you decide not to go?"

Smiling she said, "Because nobody else knows the song you sing me before bed every night."  

Phew!  This time me calling her bluff worked to my benefit.  Next time I may not be so lucky!  Kindergarten SUCKS!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Part of Me by Katy Perry

O and I love to dance especially when we are in the car driving.  We call it the car dance; all upper body.  The other day I was taking her and her friend Mona to the park, and all along the way we were dancing and listening to Katy Perry's song called "Part of Me".  

Katy Perry sings, "This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take away from me..."  From the backseat, I heard O and Mona singing, "This is the part of me that you're never gonna ever take a wig off me."  I turned down the song and asked, "What are the exact words to this song?"  

O confidently explained that it is definitely "take a wig off me."  

Mona continued, "Yes it really is.  I know because think about it."

O adds, "Yes, think about it, Mommy.  Otherwise what would you be taking away?"  

Katy Perry gets it.  Love can be hard.  Maybe her next song will be called, "Kindergarten SUCKS!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Snipets

Good-bye Kindergarten...Welcome Summer!

Although not as frequent, throughout the summer, I will continue to write brief snipets about O's summer after kindergarten.

Many of you have asked me what will the tabloid will be for the next school year.  I have a few ideas, but would love suggestions.  Let the creativity flow and send me your thoughts via comments or by email.  

And stay tuned as kindergarten (still) SUCKS and first grade is set to be a grind!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Yesterday, two of O's friends came over after school for a play date.  They were playing American Girl dolls when I overheard O putting her doll McKenna in timeout.  With a stern voice she said, "McKenna, that is not OK.  I'm surprised with your behavior.  You know that you are not allowed to eat in the attic.  You are going to timeout for five minutes."

I could not help but be reminded of the times O has spent her minutes crying in timeout.  At first we thought it was a remorseful cry, but then we realized that she was not crying because she was in trouble, no.  Rather, she missed her dog Porkchop (died when O was four).  You see, Porkchop would always go to time out with her and keep her company.  Our dog now isn't allowed to go upstairs and since her timeout location is on the stairs, our dog has been trained not to go near them. As a result, O tears up and becomes sad about Porkchop not being there for her.  

At the end of the play date there was a frantic search for McKenna.  O was asking me what I did with her.  Her friend, G reminded her of the sequence of their make believe play and before long McKenna, who had been in timeout for over an hour, was retrieved.  

O picked her up and hugged her and said, "Oh McKenna, I'm so sorry.  I would never leave you.  I love you so much I would never leave you.  You make my snuggles so special.  Who would I snuggle with at night?  It's OK sweetheart.  I would never leave you.  Never.  What's that, my love?  You miss your doggy?"  There's no point in timeout.  I'm thinking we need a new discipline strategy.  Kindergarten SUCKS!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stupid Choices

My husband and I work hard not to yell at O when parenting.  However, sometimes it's very hard to avoid it.   
Lately, O has been yelling as a means to interrupt a friend or to argue with her parents that Oreos before bedtime will help her sleep better.  

Yesterday in the car she said, "Mommy, I'm stupid."  

I took a deep breath knowing this was her way of getting my attention.   Then I said, "O, nobody is stupid.  Some people make stupid choices, but nobody is stupid.  What makes you say your stupid?"

Her response, "Because I yell at you."

I said, "Oh sweetie, I'm sorry.  I yell at you sometimes too."

Giggling O says, "Mommy, you're stupid."  Kindergarten SUCKS!