Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tales from Kindergarten

Four weeks ago, Allyson started Kindergarten. She was beyond excited. Here she is on Meet the Teacher night, which our whole family attended.

She Picked Her Dress

Getting Her Supplies Organized

As you can see, she didn't dress up nearly so much on the actual first day; she was about the only girl in Kindergarten who wasn't wearing a dress:

She looked so little walking into the school next to Daddy:

Ethan wanted to come along too, which warmed my heart. Of course, it wouldn't be cool to act like he was enjoying it...

We stood around watching Allyson settle in, but she soon forgot we were there and got to work on her very first assignment, "Summer Fun":
She Drew a Picture of Our Pool

As ecstatic as she had been about starting school, her first impression wasn't all that great. "There's lots of rules," she complained. One thing she does like, though, is buying her lunch in the cafeteria.

Bill helped her read the first week's menu, and she laboriously wrote down her choices:
Wednesday: "NO"; Thursday: "TAKO"; Friday: PIZZA (of course)
Each morning she consulted her little calendar so she'd know what to order for the day. She did have one bad experience. On Tuesday, they gave her baked potato to another kid and she got a ham and cheese sandwich. She tried to tell the lunch lady, but I guess it's hard for a five-year-old to get someone's attention. At her table, she told her teacher about the mixup, but either she didn't believe Allyson, or there wasn't enough time. "Just eat it," she said.

"But I hate ham and cheese," Allyson protested. So all she had was milk and some graham crackers. By the afternoon she was ravenous, but we had to head straight over to the high school to pick up Ethan. We got trapped in an absolutely ludicrous double line of cars, maybe 100 of them, and the 107-degree heat (42 Celsius) quickly overwhelmed my car's crappy air conditioning. It was literally blowing hot air, so I had to roll down all the windows.

We were both streaming with sweat, and Allyson wailed incessantly that she was hot and hungry and she wanted to go home. When the bell rang, over a thousand teenagers streamed out, but then they all milled around aimlessly. "Find your ride and go home," the vice principal hollered through a bullhorn, but the kids ignored him and went on with their conversations. We strained to find Ethan, but it was impossible in that crowd, and even if we could find him, there was no way out of the gridlock.

When Bill phoned to inform me that Ethan was staying late for band practice, I started wailing louder than Allyson. "I'm hot and hungry and I want to go home!" We sat for a total of 40 minutes in that inferno, and Allyson and I were at each other's throats by the time we got back home. But after a snack and some water, we loved each other again.

Since then, we've settled into a routine. I work at home for the seven hours that Allyson is in school, and then I start my daily taxi run to the two schools. I think Allyson is enjoying school more now. She comes home saying words like "hypothesis" and telling me all about Leonardo DaVinci, whose paintings "look like music."

Maybe Mom and Dad
Last week she brought home her first fundraiser: $15 boxes of cookie dough. Can you imagine, in this economy? She came home full of plans about all the prizes she hoped to win, including some sort of electronic floating shark. Bill gently explained that she would have to sell 40 boxes to get the shark, and there was no way she would sell that many.

"Will you buy some, Daddy? And Mommy? And will you give Ethan money to buy some too?"

"We'll see," I said. "They're pretty expensive, baby."

She sat down and made a list of her prospects, all on her own:

She figured the neighbors might buy some--we never asked--and "mabey" Mom and Dad.

"Aw, that's so sweet," I said later when I found the list.

"Poor thing," Bill said.

Budget or no budget, there was no way we could say no to a box a-piece after reading her forlorn little list. Bill hit up his friends and she sold four more boxes, not too shabby at those prices.

Bill's First Kindergarten Project
Another first she had last week was a big art project. She had to make a model of our house with our street name and house number, with a picture of herself in her bedroom window.

Bill spent hours building a scale model out of cardboard boxes, Duck tape, and construction paper. I reminded him that the teacher said it needed to look like a Kindergartener made it, but he just couldn't help himself.

She did draw the bricks, and she did most of the cutting and gluing. She also selected, cut, and glued the photo of herself. She picked a rather old picture, and she cut off almost all her hair, but it still looked cute.

Isn't the house amazing?

Well, I think that's all the Kindergarten news.

Ethan is doing very well in high school and still loving band. At his recent parent night, his algebra teacher gave me a fist bump and said, "You've got a great kid. You should be proud."

And I am. Of both my school kids.


Gen said...

She looks adorable in her dress!! I totally dig the house! I can't believe how grown up Ethan looks!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

God bless her and your whole family too.

Sarah said...

Thank you, Gentle and Victor!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Hi Sarah,

Just testing to see if the comments box works OK.

God bless.


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