My loyal reader Pat (probably my only reader since I began my summer long blog neglect, brought on in no small part by my addiction to Facebook) asked me why I wasn't writing about kindergarten. The answer is simple, I just don't know that much about it. Other than the brief asides I have with his teacher four times a week, I have no idea how it's going. He started school a few days late because of our week long hospital stay. I think this photo kind of sums up how he was feeling about it. We showed up a bit late and visited the nurse briefly to give her his asthma medicine and a copy of the hospital's instructions. Then she brought us up to his classroom where we interrupted the morning meeting. But his lovely teacher made him feel welcome and the children scooched over and made some room. He clung to our hands like he was going to fall in deep water as we hugged him godbye, and wiped tears from his eyes as he steeled himself to be brave. And we left the room. The nurse assured us that he did much better than they general histrionics of a lot of kids in that situation. But in some ways a tantrum would have been easier to walk away from (hey, that's pretty much how I handle them in general!) than the quiet stoicism I was witnessing.
Seven hours later I picked up a completely cheerful, excited and thoroughly exhausted child.
The next day he trotted right in and waved goodbye and he's been pretty much like that ever since.
Now, I am a smart enough parent (just barely) that I don't ask, "How was school?" because that question is pretty much guaranteed to be answered with "good" or "fine" or this weird thing he does when he tries to communicate with an invented language that involves strange grins and rapid, manic eye blinking.
Until now, I've had reasonable skill at drawing him out. But kindergarten is like those channels on my cable box that say "for more information call Comcast!" I know that he really likes it. He doesn't feel like he's making a lot of friends yet. But whenever I drop him off five girls waiting at the line up shout "Hi Eric!" and then he hides behind me and tries to use his crazy blinking language. The first Saturday, he woke up at 6:00 AM and decided to do the math work that he knew they would be doing the following week to surprise his teacher. He laughs at me when I ask if he's met Ms. Trunchbull yet or if he's had a turn in the chokey. "Mom, Ms. Trunchbull isn't real and they don't have a chokey!" Seems like Matilda wasn't such a bad chapter book to read the summer before kindergarten after all...
I know I adore his teacher and I love how she is enjoying his own quirky brand of brilliance. She's already figured out he's about a year ahead of the other kids academically. But, that's in part due to the fact that he's a year older than most of the kids due to his September 1 birthday. We've told her that we're way more worried about his social skills than his academic ones. She seems like there is nowhere she'd rather be than teaching kindergarten and Eric just adores her.
But after two weeks, that's about all I know.