Prepping for the Big K

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.




55 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hippie Cahier
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 16:27:48

    I hope you don’t experience any paybacks for the lack of ice cream in this surprise.


  2. She's a Maineiac
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 16:49:16

    Aw man! The bus didn’t go anywhere? I’m a little bummed for him. Sounds like he’s very well prepared for the big day anyway. My kids both went on a trial bus ride a week before school, the bus would just go around the block. It was pretty funny. Miss J thought she was going on a ride at Disney she was so psyched about it.


  3. andrea-maybe it's just me
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 17:41:33

    I can’t decide which vision is causing me more distress…the thought of having to ever go back to Chuck E Cheese, or riding on a school bus. Hooray for 5, and what he perceives as the thrill of it all!


    • pegoleg
      Aug 21, 2013 @ 18:00:49

      Hope it’s not creepy that I’m commenting on your comment and you don’t know me, but since I did so for everyone else, I didn’t want you to feel left out. Hello.


      • mistyslaws
        Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:13:12

        Peg – well, since it took me over a week to respond, at least there was somebody talking to all of my friends. Do you rent out your commenting services. Because I may have a customer for you.


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:11:59

      Chuck E Cheese, hands down. I’m not saying that I have good memories of my years on the bus, but there is no hell like an automated rodent and a thousand kids hopped up on sugar trying to hump him. No contest.


  4. pegoleg
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 17:59:02 the sunglasses ready for when you send him off to his first day?

    Our kindergarten was in the basement of the school, a bit dungeon-y, and between the sunglasses to hide my eyes and the buckets of tears I was bawling, I tripped up the stairs on the way out. Smoooooth Mom, that’s me.


  5. joannerambling
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 18:21:33

    The first at kindergarten.can be stressful and filled with tears and not wanting to part well for mum and dad it is often more for mum then dad, oh and it is a big step for the child as well who may or may not shed a few tears of their own……..

    I remember Natasha’s first day she came home with blood on her uniform and we asked what happen,she said some boy pushed her so she punched him and it was his blood……..


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:16:21

      I was ok. I teared up a little with my oldest, but now I felt like an old pro.

      I’m waiting for blood. I imagine paybacks can get quite bloody. 😉


  6. bluzdude
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 18:31:14

    I’m going to email you something I’m sure you’ll appreciate… Bill Cosby’s classic bit about Kindergarten. It may be a little dated, sure, but you’ll relate, I’m sure.


  7. Joseph Cereola
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 19:54:11

    You need to make it up to him by getting him some ice cream.


  8. icescreammama
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 21:21:16

    nice… the set up for kindergarten was boring and anti-climatic. and your kid was excited. he definitely needs some ice cream to sweeten the deal!


  9. PinotNinja
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 21:59:48

    I love that he’s already mastered the “I am so over this face.” That kid is ready for anything now.


  10. Linda Roy
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 22:11:49

    That’s pretty cool that the kids have the chance to get on the bus and get acclimated with things before the big day. A little less of the unknown. Great idea. And “Don’t punch anyone.”!! Great advice! haha


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:20:18

      Yeah, we didn’t get that with our oldest. It was nice for him to experience. I think advising your kids not to punch anyone is just good parenting, right? 😉


  11. Valerie
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 22:14:34

    WhAt he’s gonna wanna do is on the first day, find the biggest kid he can… Then kick him in the balls and steal his shoe. Their wise he could end up…

    Oh. Wait a minute. My bad, that’s prison rules. Never mind.




  12. rachelynne
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 22:39:20

    He’s going to have a great time! So exciting. I love the line: “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.” It’s just perfect.


  13. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 23:16:18

    Oh, I loathed the bus. It’s anarchy and/or takes up so much time. Revenge punching seems about right to me – Valerie’s right, it is a little like prison rules up in that big yellow taxi.


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:23:16

      I think he’s probably ok for now. Although . . . there have been some bus incidents, not gonna lie. Punching may be allowed eventually. There are a couple kids that could use some paybacks.


  14. zoe
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 05:52:31

    my mother not only cried openly when I went to kindergarten , but she also cried when I took my entrance exams for high school…ah the youngest…


  15. rachelocal
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 07:58:54

    Former kindergarten teacher over here and I think this is an excellent idea. Less crying on the first day, because like you and GI Joe said, knowing is half the battle.

    But I do hope you went for ice cream after the bus debacle.


  16. thoughtsappear
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 09:41:30

    Tell 5 I have ice cream for him.


  17. iasoupmama
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:09:57

    Oh, kids that age hate waiting for the real thing, don’t they? Around here, the preschool starts a week after the regular school, but all of the kids meet their teachers on the same day — the day before elementary school starts. The poor preschoolers have to wait a week after meeting their teacher. Most have older siblings that get to go to school. I know of no four-year-old who likes to wait a week after getting excited about something…


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 17:28:07

      Oh man, that sounds like torture! He met his teacher on the Thursday before, and then waiting until Monday to start, and I thought THAT was pretty long.


  18. Ken
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:48:10

    Our kids got to do the whole bus orientation as well. Although, I don’t really think they expected there would be as many bus riding rules as they got while they were there. Funny thing is, when we were taking them to the event, I never would have thought, some years later, I’d be driving the bus. At least on field trips, anyways.


  19. nataliedeyoung
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 12:21:03

    Hah! Good training for real life… 🙂


  20. Sam Merel
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 13:05:58

    I think ice cream is always a good idea 🙂


  21. kirsten oliphant (@kikimojo)
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 15:58:38

    “Knowing is half the battle”– best line from a kids’ show perhaps ever. I am terrified for this day to come. It’s next year. Though I think our school is close enough that we’ll walk. But still. I remember riding the bus that young and I can’t even believe it. I don’t know why–I have terror about my kids on the bus.


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 19:59:27

      Walking is a good idea. Not gonna lie, the bus can be a pretty mean place. My oldest has had to deal with quite a bit of bullying on our bus. I’ll be curious to see how my kindergartener will react.


  22. Larks
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 16:10:30

    It’s so good that they got a chance to get acclimated to the bus. My 5 y/o starts kindergarten in a few weeks and the whole bus thing hadn’t even occurred to me. ::: runs off the google bus route. :::


  23. Valentine Logar
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 20:36:19

    I went to Chuckie’s once. My oldest thought it was prime food fighting environment, my youngest being a good follower selected the targets (girls). I being a lacksidasial mother with nose in book, ignored the entire incident until other mother complained about my hooligans. In the meantime, boys and girls were having a terrific time trying to get something out of a large machine stuffed with cheap toys, I believe they trying to stuff the smallest girl into the slot. Hmmm.

    I can’t believe the bus didn’t at least go around the block. Hope there is a different bus driver on the first day of school or this might be the first payback.


    • mistyslaws
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 20:02:07

      Ha. I like how you said you went “once.” 😉

      His bus driver is no nonsense, man. I’ve never seen him smile. I fear that paybacks would be faced with a much harsher payback.


  24. Nelson - One Old Sage
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 22:43:36

    Riding the school bus was never one of my favourite things. I did it for 12 years. The only benefit was the ability to move further back in the bus the older you got, so by the time grade 12 rolled around, I owned the back seat! I hope 5 keeps his sense of wonder at the big yellow bus. Great post.


  25. Andrea
    Sep 01, 2013 @ 22:13:52

    Might as well give him a reality check early. Bus rides and classrooms are straight up snoozetown. 😉


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