I wrote earlier that Kindergarten hadn’t fully taken over our lives, but at the time I didn’t realizes that we were in fact circling at the top of a vortex getting ready to plunge into the depths.
There is paperwork almost every day, releases to fill out, volunteering opportunities galore, a fundraiser here, a field-trip there. We have early release days and non-school days, and parent-teacher conferences to schedule around.
When we do something that was previously easy to do, like go to work at 7:00am instead of 8:00am, we can’t just do that. His before school care doesn’t open up early enough to drop him off in time to get to work, so we have to ask a friend for help. We have to call to let his before-school care know that he won’t be in during the morning but will in the afternoon. Then we fill out paperwork to let James’s teacher know that we are changing the drop-off plan but pick-up will be the same. Then we have to make sure that the paperwork changing the plan is submitted and received (via backpack) in advance.
I’m shelling out money like I’m printing it myself. There’s the monthly book club, field trips, supplies, meal cards, tuition for full-day care, tuition for before and after school care.*
There’s the emotional side as well. Some of the children in James’s class have never been in school before and seem to be having trouble adjusting. James isn’t coping well with them not coping well. Every day there’s some story about a dramatic incident from hitting to teasing. Plus he misses his old friends.
We are in a whole new world and I’m not used to it yet. I miss familiarity and flexibility of the routine we had for five years with pre-school.
*Why pay for before and after school care? Because “full day” kindergarten runs from 9:00am to 3:15pm. We are expected to be at work during normal business hours or 8:00am to 5:00pm. Before and after school care makes it possible to be at work when we need to be. But, before and after-school care is open from 7:00am to 6:00pm so if we need to go in super early or stay really late, which sometimes happens, then we have to rely on our friends.