On Friday we attended the Open House for Spice’s upcoming school year. She will be attending kindergarten in our town’s newest school. It is fairly small and houses only morning and afternoon preschool and kindergarten classes.
She was up bright and early asking if it was time to go yet. Unfortunately, the event wasn’t scheduled until 1:00 pm, so we decided to run a few errands in the morning to fill time… mostly so she wouldn’t drive us too crazy.
Finally it was time to go and she could barely contain herself. We got to the school and found Spice to be over-dressed in her pink dress and silver lame´ (really) sandals. Most of the other kids were in t-shirts and shorts. She couldn’t get from the parking lot to the school fast enough and pulled me along. As we got inside, some foreign being took over the body of my child. Gone is the sassy girl I know and I had Shy Spice at my side.
She flushed a bright red when she was greeted by a woman she knows. She couldn’t even bring herself to say thank you when she was complimented on her spectacular outfit. She hid behind me and I nearly dragged her to her classroom. We were given a scavenger hunt to work on, a great way for her to become acquainted with her classroom, cubby and coat hook. She met her teacher and the various aids that work in that room. She could barely answer their questions and I found myself biting my tongue to not answer on her behalf. Sugar was glad to pipe up whenever she could.
We left the classroom with a sticker and forms to fill out. Because I knew footwear was a bone of contention with her, I was happy to see the principal at the entrance. We went over and introduced ourselves (I have a feeling I’ll be on a first name basis with the principal by the end of the school year). I asked if there were rules about shoes and the principal addressed Spice when she said “No flip flops.” Shy Spice became Scowly Spice. I thought she was going to argue her case but she did not. The principal told her she’d have much more fun on the playground in safer shoes. With that, she said we should go check it out, and we were off.
We stopped at the waiting school bus so Spice could practice getting in and out and hit the playground. I wasn’t really surprised to see Spice play by herself and not interact with any other kids. I am her mother, and I didn’t talk to any of the parents. Of course Sugar found a kid she knew and was less than impressed when we called her to leave.
I sorted through all of the forms she needs for Tuesday and read through the Parent Handbook. I had to sign a form saying I read it, so of course I read the entire booklet. I came across a section titled “Birthday Celebrations” and let Spice know that on her birthday, she would not be able to bring cupcakes to school to share with her classmates due to food allergies. This is a girl who takes cupcakes seriously and she was not happy. I told her that they suggested she bring something else to share with her class, like pencils. She frowned at me and said, “But you can’t eat a pencil.”
It’s gonna be a long year.