During bath time last night, I took the opportunity to give the boys some advice for the new school year – Kindergarten for Dylan and the nursery level for Riley. In my day, it was called nursery school, but that was a time when kids went to school for the first time in nursery school, and after that, they went straight to half-day Kindergarten. (That’s what I did, anyway.) Now it’s the nursery level because preschool includes the toddler level, the pre-nursery level, the nursery level, and pre-Kindergarten. At the ripe old age of three and a half, Riley is starting his third year of school, and Dylan is starting his fifth. No wonder there were no tears this morning (and no wonder Kindergarten is the new first grade), but I digress.
Here are the four school rules I made for them up during bath time:
- Be nice. (First impressions are everything, even in Kindergarten…perhaps especially in Kindergarten. Please and thank you go a long way.)
- Be friendly. (I can’t help but sing in my head, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other’s gold.”)
- Be a good listener. (You will be your teacher’s favorite.)
- Have fun! (If anxiety or fear makes this last one hard, Mommy will hug you at carpool…and make you “big” popcorn as soon as we get home…and give you a “first day of school” surprise from the toy store. Promise!)
I made the whole thing up as I was went along, and I think I did okay, but in hindsight, I realized there were a few rules that might also have been good to mention:
- Don’t blurt out to your entire class, “I have to poop!” For heaven’s sake, just go to the bathroom. Speaking of which…
- If you pass gas (or fart like a grown man, ahem, like Riley), remember to say excuse me. Which brings me to…
- For Riley only (I hope): Don’t pee on the floor next to the toilet. The spare clothes I sent to be stored in your classroom are your least favorite items from your closet. I did this on purpose to teach you a lesson should you decide to pee on the floor next to the toilet at school. That’s right. Your spare set of clothes has pockets, tags, buttons and all sorts of accouterments you dislike. (Sorry, Lovebug. This is a battle Mama can’t afford to lose.)
Here are a few non-bathroom rules:
- Don’t cry when I drop you off. Please! It’s torture. It makes me feel like a bad mother and will totally and completely ruin my day. Don’t give me a reason to announce “Guilty Mama!” on social networking sites. Please.
- Don’t try to get your teacher’s attention by tapping her boobs. She might not like that. As long as we’re on the topic, don’t try to get her attention by grabbing her face either. If she’s anything like me, that might make her want to hurl you out a window.
Alright. I think that covers the Runaway Mama’s first day of school advice. As we speak, my boys are busy being kids, growing up, and having new experiences (without me) that will shape their lives forever. I can’t wait to see them both later today, ask them, “How was school today?” and hear the predictable one-word response that my non-communicative boys have perfected over the years to describe a day at school: “Good.” Even though this frustrating-to-no-end, vague, and non-descriptive word drives me crazy, I’ll take it any day over “Bad.”
Have your kids started school yet? Do you have any first day advice to share?