My youngest son is about to start Kindergarten. He is very excited to start “big boy school.” However, the thing that 5 is most excited about, is the opportunity to ride the bus. He is beyond psyched for the day that big yellow behemoth swallows him up and spews him out upon the school grounds.
My oldest son, 8, has been attending this same school for a few years now, considering himself somewhat of an expert in all things related to bus riding. He has made many attempts at helpfulness, trying to explain what 5 may have to expect. When he told 5 the rules for the bus, the response was, “well, if anyone gives me any trouble, they’ll just get paybacks.” He then explained to the hubs and I that it meant he would just punch them. Obviously, we then spent a large amount of time reviewing the rules, adding “do not punch anyone” as rule number 1!!
Despite this newfound violent streak, 5 has been completely zen and composed about the entire Kindergarten process. I thought he would be more apprehensive, but so far he is calm and collected. Then again, he did go to pre-school at the same building last year, and will already know some of the kids from his pre-school class. G.I. Joe had that shit right . . . knowing is half the battle!
In a further attempt to give my youngest as much advance information as possible, I signed him up for a class at our library called, “Kindergarten, Here We Come,” which included a chance to ride a real live school bus! I figured he would love it, since he was so excited to ride the bus to school. So, the night in question, I told him I had a surprise for him. That we were going to go do something special.
Once we arrived at the library, and he discovered the special surprise, he wasn’t very excited. He figured “surprise” meant going for ice cream or to Chuck E Cheese. And while every parent knows that ice cream is a brilliant idea right before bedtime, you would never find me in a Chuck E Cheese, unless my family was being held for ransom and the only place to get money was in their swirling air pit of death. And even then . . . I mean, I love them and all, but a person has her limits.
His lack of enthusiasm continued when the class started and he realized that he was going to be sitting through an actual Kindergarten class. The look of disdain and disappointment he threw back at me was epic. And hysterical. Apparently, he was less than enthused about mom’s “surprise.”
Eventually, the very long and boring classroom activities ended (during which my son vacillated between chewing on laminated paper crayons, and looking at me like, “really, Mom . . . really?”), and the kids finally got to go outside to get on the school bus. Wheeeee!!
Although, they didn’t actually get to go anywhere. Instead, they just all piled on, sat in the seats, and the bus driver explained all the rules to them. I was happy 5 didn’t tell her his theories on how he would handle any issues that might arise.
All told, though, the bus “ride” was a bit anti-climactic. But now, he’s been on a school bus, knows all the rules, and experienced a close facsimile of an actual school day. Pretty sure that is as prepared as he’s gonna get.
Between that and the paybacks, I’m sure G.I. Joe would be very proud.