Only one week into the school year and already the girls are giving me a hard time every day about going. They don't want to get up, they don't want to wear that, they don't want ham sandwiches in their lunchbox and they don't want to get ready, brush their teeth, wash their faces, eat breakfast (because I never have anything for them to eat except for grapes, bananas, apples, watermelon, three kinds of cereal, french toast, pancakes and waffles! Why don't I get something that's GOOD to eat? Good grief.) It's a battle every morning.
The thing that really gets me though is that they seem to really like school. They tell me all about their day when they get home and show me all the cool things they did. Tonight is "Back to School" night and they are both so excited that I will be seeing their classrooms and meeting their teachers.
I, however, am having panic attacks about Back to School night. Why? I had a bad experience last year with one of their teachers and I have since tried to stay under the radar. There are lots of mommmies who apparently feel it's thier job to volunteer at least four days a week, which means that they are familiar with the routine, the rules etc. They have thier own little "mommy" group.
And then, there's moi.....
Apparently, I don't know the correct way for children to paste foam hearts on a piece of paper (they should NEVER overlap or touch because HOW will you count them that way?????) and it was suggested that perhaps I should move to a different activity table and supervise....which I also did incorrectly (when reading a story and asking the children what they think will happen next, it is inappropriate to allow them to shout out thier answers in excitement and they should be whipped with a wet noodle if that happens). But the kicker was snack time. Oh boy did I screw up!
What did I do you may ask???
I allowed my child to get up from the table, wash her hands, and throw away her paper plate ALL BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE WAS DONE AND BEFORE HER TABLE WAS DISMISSED TO LINE UP, THROW AWAY THE TRASH AND WASH THEIR HANDS. As my daughter got up from the table - at my instruction - to wash her very sticky hands, heads turned and you could hear a pin drop.
Then came the announcement which made me realize I failed Pre-K:
Teacher: "Class - Mrs. Henry doesn't know the rules. Are you supposed to get up before you are dismissed from your table to wash your hands?"
20 four year olds and five parent volunteers: "Noooooo."
Teacher: "That's right. I don't want anyone else getting up until you are dismissed. Do we follow the rules in our class?"
Teacher: "Good. Make sure you remember that just because Sydney got up from the table today, doesn't mean that you are allowed to get up anytime you want."
I stood there - all by myself on one side of the room with Sydney, while the other parent volunteers and the teacher stood together on the other side of the room - and felt my face, neck and ears turn red. Chastise me all you want lady, but leave my kid out of it and is this how you enforce the rules? By embarrassing someone? And I'm 38 - how does a four year old feel when they are called out and made to feel like an idiot because they ate paste or put the red crayon in the green crayon slot?
Really. I could have punched the witch. I swore I'd never go back to that classroom and I haven't. But it's a new school year, so I'll make another effort - it's a fresh start! And hopefully I won't fail Kindergarten this time.