Three Kid Circus : Kindergarten Countdown

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Kindergarten Countdown

As my oldest reminds me daily, the life altering, rite of passage - Kindergarten is almost upon us. She's full of anticipation, and is certain of her success in the slightly larger world that is school. Her confidence is inspiring.

Back to school resonates with me, even now. The new clothes. The worries about who your classmates will be. The enticing aroma of new Crayolas and binder paper. The life and death decision of lunch box selection. The promise that THIS year will be better than the last. New Year's Eve has nothing on Labor Day Weekend for new beginnings.

My first day of Kindergarten is still fresh in my mind. I got sent home early, with a black eye.

I had been trying to make friends with all the kids, "Hi! I'm Jenny! Hey, come here, kid! I'm JENNY. You wanna play with me? No? Okay. Hey, kid! I'm Jenny. Jenny. Hey, kid!" and wasn't meeting with much success. In a fit of exasperation, I decided to climb UP the slide, showing off in an attempt to impress. Halfway up the silver pathway to Kindergarten Superstardom, I took a Converse All-Star to the eye from a little boy with green teeth and an evil glint in his eye.

After the collision, I slid down, landing with an abrupt thump on the tanbark. The kid who kicked me whizzed over, with a "Nyah, nah."

Temporarily stunned, I stood up and brushed myself off. The Kindergarten teacher rushed to my side, and began fussing. "Oh, no! Oh, are you okay? We better get you to the nurse!" Box office gold, my friends. All the kids wanted to get a look at my eye, which was now swelling righteously. I mustered a whimper, and leaned into the teacher as I limped theatrically from the playground.

I got to hold a milk-carton ice pack on my face, and my mom picked me up and took me out to ice cream. Instead of souring my school experience, it remains one of my favorite silly memories.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that my daughter is able to embrace the good and laugh at the bad in the school world. She probably won't have to resort to stunts to get the attention and friendship she craves. But if she does, I've got a few pointers for her.