I’m pretty bad with transitions, so it’s no wonder that, more than three weeks after I officially became a Kindergarten mom, I’m still struggling with a few aspects of Kindergarten life. Most aspects, I should say.
There’s the matter of being on time for drop-off and pick up. Which seems like a straightforward affair, but is strangely complicated , because – in my house – not a single clock has the correct time. The upstairs alarm clock, the clock on the stove, the time on the computer and the clock in the car all have different times on them and I’ve no idea which is right. So, inevitably, I’m taking my time heading out the door, only to find that the car tells me I have five minutes to get to school – and it takes at least 8 or 9. Or I rush out of the house like a woman possessed by a fear of showing up late, only to find out, once I plop myself down in the driver’s seat, that I’m not late at all.
It’s absurdly stressful – and I have to do it twice daily, five times a week?!
Compounding my problem: the posted speed limit in Calgary for school zones. It’s a whopping 30km per hour. Which, if memory serves is a ridiculous 17mph. It is so slow, I’m quite certain I could put the car in neutral, and push it, and get to school in the same amount of time.
But my problem is two-fold, really. I consistently forget to observe the posted signs and slow down. Or, if I remember to slow down, I find it nearly impossible to actually drive 30 kilometers. Per hour.
Apparently I’m not the only mom with an obedience problem. A recent blip on the radio about school crossings reported that 50 or 55 percent of the offenders (people who disregard marked school crossings) are mothers. I felt like a louse when I heard that.
But it makes sense. We’re so freaked out about getting to school on time, or distracted by the screaming members in our cars that we – well – ‘forget’ to slow down. (Or stop.)
The other problem, I’ve discovered: appearances. Even if I’m on time for drop off and pick up, there’s the matter of how I look. And how my kids look. Perhaps I’m overstating, but it seems like the majority of the moms arrive looking cute. Without spit-up on their shirts and hair that hasn’t been washed…in a while. And their kids look just as cute. Sure, I’m not standing close enough to their kids to see the strawberry jelly in their hair, or the droplets of smoothie on their clothes. Or the perpetual ring of darkness around their mouths. But, from far away they look good.
The same cannot be said of me and my posse. Apparently we just look ‘busy’. (Or ‘shy’, which was the only explanation I could muster today when the Hen put his forearm over his face as we walked past two strangers. Like a celebrity on a perp walk past a line of obnoxious news reporters.)
And if all this wasn’t enough, the Gort emerged from school yesterday carrying a blue tote bag. His ‘free’ library bag, containing actual library books. From the school.
Which means I have to keep the books out of the Hen’s clutches. Muy importante, since the kid spent today’s nap-time tearing pages out of the encyclopedic Monster Truck book.
There’s also the matter of returning the books on time. ‘Just look in the newsletter’ a fellow mom told me when I asked her about the books’ due date.
Ah, the newsletter. Where might the newsletter be?
Jason witnessed a library book incident at pick up today. One of the boys in the Gort’s class made the mistake of bringing his tote bag and books back to school. Even though they only received them yesterday. And one of the books was found on the playground…..by a teacher. Dum dum duuuuuuuum.
No one wanted to claim the book as theirs. Until the name inside the bag identified the culprit. ‘Why did you bring the books to school, anyway,’ the teacher wanted to know, ‘you only got them yesterday?’
‘Well, to be honest,’ the book mishandler replied, ‘it wasn’t my idea.’
The implied culprit was his mother. Who probably decided it was better to send the books back, just in case, than risk the teacher’s wrath (or her boy’s) if the books were actually due.
There’s just no winning sometimes.
A thought that was confirmed as I sat on my couch today, trying to read a Clifford book. In Spanish. Because when you enroll your kid in a Spanish bilingual Kindergarten program, they actually learn Spanish words and check out Spanish books from the library.
My whopping one semester of Spanish circa 1995, is proving insufficient. I was lost after ‘Hola, me llamo Emilia Isabel’….yada yada yada…something about a big red dog, last day of school….vacation.
Yo quiero Taco Bell.