Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Miss Summer (or...The First Week of School)

Q started grade one this week.  I know, right?  Cue the tears.  Only not the way you'd think...

All the tears were from Q.  Poor lil guy.  But really, the point is...poor mommy. 

My mornings start like this...after getting roughly 5 hours of sleep myself (we all know I do not function without 10, but preferably 12...) I try to rouse the sleeping monster.  I start off all warm and loving, "Q, baby...It's time to get up, baby."  with little kisses to the top of his head.  He completely ignores me.  Five minutes later, and, "C'mon Q, honey.  It's time to wake up lovey.  Don't want to be late for school.  Your clothes are on the bed."  He moves, but that's only because he's grabbing the pillow and putting it over his head to muffle the sound of my voice.  Five minutes later..."Q.  I'm not kidding anymore.  Let's go.  Your cereal is getting soggy.  Rise and shine.  Pitter patter, let's get at 'er..." and I pull the blankets off the bed.  "I hate school,"  comes a little voice.  "I hate it."  I leave to make his lunch, and come back five minutes later to Q asleep. 

"Dude.  Let's go.  I'm not telling you again.  Your cereal is soggy.  I'm not making you more.  And you cannot be late for school."  I start to nag.

"Can't I just skip school until grade 8?"  He asks (well, more like whines)

"Um, no.  Then all the kids would know how to read and write, except you..."

"Okay, then I'll skip until grade 12."

"Nope.  Sorry.  Let's go, mister."

"My cereal is soggy.  I hate soggy cereal."

"I know, but I'm not making more. So you'd better eat it, or else you're going to be hungry all morning."

And then I have visions of my poor lil guy not learning anything, because he's so hungry he can't concentrate.  Just like the commercial that says breakfast is the most important meal of the day and hundreds of kids all over the country are going to school hungry.  But I understand why.  Who can deal with the battles first thing every. single. morning. 

Every morning I hear, "I HATE SCHOOL" roughly 10 times in an hour.  Maybe more.  The next 12 years have flashed before my eyes every single morning this week.  I have 12 more years of this. 

Side note:  It never really occurred to me that Q going to grade 1 would be so traumatic for me.  He's my baby.  I don't know if he's eating the sandwich I made for him at lunch.  I don't know if he goes hungry until recess.  Does he get enough fluids?  What if he only eats his cookies and not his sandwich and becomes completely malnourished?  He's super skinny to begin with, he needs to eat.  Do the teachers make sure he eats his sandwich first?  (answer: yes!!!)

I don't really know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.  I think I had visions of him bounding out bed every morning, eager to learn how to read, learn about the earth and all the planets and meet new friends.  I had visions of him being a teacher's pet.  I had visions of him being so smart his teachers would wonder if maybe he should skip a grade or two just because he was that brilliant. 

I wonder if it is all my fault for not having a more structured routine for him.  Maybe if he had that basis none of this would have been such a big deal.  Kids like structure.  Or so I've heard.  It makes them feel safe and confident when the know what the boundaries are.  So, once again I've failed him.  Well, that's how I feel anyway.  Where was my mommy manual?  Why didn't I listen to my momma?  Grrrrrrrrrr.

All goes fairly well (as far as I know..."How was your day?"  "Fine." "What did you learn?"  "Can't remember." "How's your teacher?" "Nice.") until bedtime.  Waking Q up is a cake walk compared to bedtime. 

Although, this was pretty funny...

"Mommy, my teacher is really mean."

"Oh really?  Why do you say that?"

"Well, she's just really mean."

"Mommy needs to know about that."


"Because, I will go to your principle and say to her, 'You have a bully working at the school.  That is not okay.'"

"Oh,"  and he gets this little smirk on his face.

About a half an hour goes by of him tossing and turning, muttering "I hate school" and "I'm not tired" under his breath, and then...

"Mommy, I really do think my teacher is kind of a bully."

"Really?  What makes you think that?"
"Well.  She just stands there and makes us do things."

The kid had been thinking about this.  He knew that there would be consequences for his teacher if I really did believe that his teacher would be a bully.  And he was willing to sacrifice her for the greater good.  I think it's hilarious when I get a little glimpse into the mind of Q. 

"Honey.  That's her job."

"Oh."  I could hear the disappointment in his voice.

My poor little guy.  I feel totally overwhelmed for him.  It's such a big deal.  12 years of school.  And he has no say in the matter.  He is completely powerless to change any of it.  Don't get me wrong.  I get it.  Every single kid in the world has to go to school.  I did it, my parents did it.  But if it's something that you absolutely hate and something you have no control over, wouldn' t it be overwhelming for you too?  Just think about being in a job that you hate for the next 12 years.  In a relationship with someone you don't love for the next 12 years.  Doesn' t it seem like a death sentence?

I get that he's a child.  And that children don't get the responsibility of making their own decisions.  Mostly because they'd make the "fun" choice over the "right" choice.  Hell.  I think most times I choose the fun option, too.  But it seems to me that kids just get thrown into the real world so damn soon.  School five days a week, six hours a day.  I mean, they're six for crying out loud.  In B.C. we've started sending five year old's to kindergarten full days.  They're five.  They need to play in the backyard, ride their bikes, and be kids.  They don't need to be in school all week long.  We have so much responsibility in our lives that is thrust upon us, can't we just let kids be kids for as long as possible?  I'd be totally supportive of four day school weeks.  Especially if t meant four day work weeks too!!

It's not all bad, though.  On the way home from school one day last week, Q threw me a bone. 

"You know, mommy.  School goes by pretty fast."

Phew.  We might make it through the next 12 years without going completely insane.

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