I wrote something down on my calendar last week that made me aware of how fast Caitlin is growing up and it scared me a little.
It’s coming soon.
How can this be? How can my sweet little chunky baby girl, with no hair to speak of at her first birthday save a few blonde wisps that defied all manner of girlish barrettes and bows, the baby with the delicious fat rolls and the penchant for the paci and the strawberry birthmark on her ample belly that has all but faded…how can she be ready to start kindergarten? Real school? Real school with a cafeteria and big yellow school buses and chalkboards and recess? (And bullies, and mean girls, and peer pressure, and cafeteria food…mama panic ensues!)
Thankfully we are zoned for a great public elementary school. And Caitlin seems genuinely excited about going to “big school.” Two of her friends are already attending kindergarten and her weekly fall soccer practice was held on the school grounds, so she’s familiar with the school. And I like to think that because she has been going to daycare since she was infant, the transition won’t be as tough. I think…I really have no idea. I hope I won’t be the psycho mom peeking in the window after drop off. I hope I won’t be the crushed mom whose annoyed child looks at her and says, dismissingly, “Mommy I am OKAY!” I hope I won’t be the sad mom who spends the first day of school gazing at her child’s pictures, sniffling and mourning the loss of her “baby.” (Note to self: Wear WATERPROOF mascara that day.)
I’m also trying to determine what we’ll do in the afternoons because “big school” is out at 3, and I don’t officially leave the office until 5. I really want to be able to pick her up at least two days a week, possibly three as I’m already off on Fridays. Between the hubby and grandparents,we should be able to work it out so that she does not have to attend an after school program. And my trusty manny (my dad) has an antique Lincoln Continental and I’ll be willing to bet at some point Caitlin will get picked up from kindergarten in style and then she’ll never want mama picking her up in her old boring SUV again. I’ve heard the local afternoon YMCA program is great, but I’d really like to pick her up and help her out with her homework in the afternoons. Yes, you can quote me on that this fall when I’m complaining about it.
Here’s an interesting article I found about a study on after school programs. If you are a working parent whose child is about to start kindergarten or who is already in school, what do you do or what do you plan to do as far as after school care? I’ll definitely check into the YMCA’s summer program.
It’s going to be a big change for all of us. Ready or not kindergarten, here we come.
Edited to add: Yes, the week is here. I submitted this post to today’s Carnival of Family Life at Lil Duck Duck. If you’re here from the carnival, enjoy! Click over on my “best of” posts on my sidebar to get to know me a bit better.