Bunny Starts School

by Kelly on March 4, 2010 · 12 comments

in Life. People. News, Parenting. Relationships

dscn1195The past month has been a very big change in the life of our family as Bunny finally went to school. Here he is in his school uniform on his first day - doesn’t he look gorgeous?

And notice how he’s standing - he had to get the right “cool” stance for the photo. He’s such a showman sometimes.

Luckily, he was very excited about becoming a “big boy” and to date there have been no tears at all. In fact by the end of the first week he was asking me why so many other kids were still crying.

I took it as an opportunity to explain how everyone feels things differently and some kids may be scared by the changes that go with school. He listened intently, then ever fixated on number one, said, “It’s good I’m brave and don’t cry, isn’t it?”

The one big shock for Bunny was how many days he has to go to school now. He was used to going to daycare/pre-school two or three days with a break in the middle. So, even though I told him school would be more, he didn’t really get it.

The first Wednesday he woke up all ready to play and watch a bit of morning television. He couldn’t believe it when I told him it was a school day.

“Again?” he asked.”Can’t I just go two days?”

He also made the family laugh at the end of the first week when he summed up his big school experience. “All we do is work, work, work,” he said. “They never let us play.”

“Never?” we asked.

“Never,” he said with a serious face.

Lord knows what he’s going to think when he’s out of kindegarten and school really gets hard!

dscn1200

I am proud to say I have coped with the whole transition much better than I expected. In part because Bunny settled in so well and has been his usual cheery self, and it helps that I really like his teacher. She’s very warm and smiley and enthusiastic, which is a good fit for Bunny’s natural exuberance.

Like Bunny, the five days a week routine still seems like a lot to me too. After the first weekend, I really didn’t want him to go back on the Monday. I wasn’t ready for our time to end and I wished that I could tell him to stay home. Of course I can’t, and thankfully Bunny never knew I was even contemplating it. Because if he thought he could get more play time by using my emotional state as leverage, you can bet my silver tongue charmer would be in there like a shot!

While our school experience has been mostly good, there are always highlights and lowlights when you go through this kind of lifestyle change.

Highlights

Bunny’s current enthusiasm for homework. It’s all an opportunity to show me how much he’s learned now. He’s excited to do it and never argues when I say it’s time. I have no idea how long this enthusiasm will last so I’ll appreciate it while I can.

Right now while I’m still feeling a bit depressed, the routine of the school day has become my friend. It anchors my life and gives me some much needed structure.

More time to add in elements that strengthen my own life. I’m starting a writing group with a friend, have made some progress on untangling the plot issues with my novel and am even considering going back to university to finish my Masters in Creative Writing.

Lowlights

The monotony of making school lunches. Bunny’s daycare used to give him cooked meals. This is the first time I have ever had to think about what to pack him for lunch. It’s a total drag. Bunny is not a great fan of the sandwich and there are hardly any fillings he finds acceptable. In an effort to prepare him tasty and healthy lunch boxes I initially turned myself inside out contemplating and preparing lunches. One month in, we seem to have settled into a few combinations that work for us and now I try to remind myself to relax every time I find myself staring into the refrigerator too long.

The endless notes. I am going to have to get a personality transplant and become a much more organised person if I am to survive Bunny’s school years. It hasn’t even been a term and the school office is already doing my head in with notes about things to do or remember. I’m tripping over paper notes in my kitchen. Can’t they just email me?

The pressure to get involved with the school. A note asking me to volunteer at the canteen came home on Bunny’s very first day. Not even a couple of days to settle in. No. Right away it was all “We want you!” I’m not keen. Maybe that makes me a slack mum, but I hate preparing food for my own family. I don’t want to do it for a couple of hundred other children. I have volunteered with reading groups though and that was fun.

How was your experience with your children first starting school? What do you enjoy about school days and what would you trade in a quick minute? Do you have any advice for a starter school mum like me?

Kelly

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lance 03.04.10 at 1:25 pm

Kelly,
This is a big step…those first days of school! You and Bunny are doing excellently!! It has been a few years since we’ve had kids in kindergarten. Those are fun years, with a lot of parent involvement, and a real enthusiasm for school and the fun (…and a bit of work, too!!). Enjoy the moments, Kelly…

(and wonderful, wonderful pictures!!)
Lance´s last blog ..RAOKA: Passion My ComLuv Profile

2 vered 03.04.10 at 3:21 pm

“The monotony of making school lunches.” OMG I can SO relate. It’s one of my least favorite chores. My kids don’t like sandwiches too so I often end up packing crackers, yogurt and a fruit.
vered´s last blog ..THIS Is Why I Persist With (Occasional) Feminist Blogging My ComLuv Profile

3 Rozzen 03.04.10 at 3:57 pm

You are doing a wonderful job its all feeling your way that is what its like to be a parent .Everything is as it should be and Im sure Bunny is thriving with his new adventure of this part of his life .
Love ,nurture ,and be there for him to help him in his journey of life Im very proud of you and you know life is not perfect and we dont have to be either .I do remember the exhuberance and excitement of you starting school and its the parents that worry very rarely the child.
So well done on reaching this mile stone enjoy and there is many more to come…
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4 Betsy Wuebker 03.04.10 at 10:47 pm

Hi Kelly - What a beautiful photo of the two of you. It’s easy to see where he gets his sparkling personality.

Two things from one whose youngest just turned 20 (sniff): The years will fly by - so spend them doing things you really enjoy. Don’t succumb to the drudgery of volunteerism - instead, you’ve instinctively realized already that the role you choose will be meaningful. This will keep the time you spend in proper perspective as well.

And secondly - don’t let parent or educator politics suck you in, be they affiliated with school proper, or, inevitably, with sports teams. Try and stay above the fray. I found this difficult at times, having been in a community comprised of real “strivers.” Some people just need more to do, so in my opinion we should be happy to have them do it, especially if they’re bent on making things more difficult for themselves and others. :)

Oh, and I always tried to write a check rather than have my kids sell stuff to others. Maybe they fundraise differently down under? Hope so, for your sake.
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5 Sami 03.05.10 at 6:04 am

Given I don’t have kids, I can’t help with any advice (sorry). You’re doing great though. My sister is a teacher and some of the stories she could tell you about kids coming to school hungry and/or dirty would make your hair curl. Bunny is lucky you are so involved and care so much.

Awesome pics by the way. Bunny is such a cutie in his uniform.
Sami´s last blog ..Random Acts of Kick Arse – Passion My ComLuv Profile

6 Lisa (mommymystic) 03.05.10 at 9:59 am

Kelly, I can so relate to this! My eldest started kindergarten last September. The lunches are at total drag, I agree, as are the constant notes, and solicitations to volunteer and/or donate money to various funds. But my eldest also had a fairly easy transition. I do feel like so much is put on kindergarteners these days - I have read it is like what first grade used to be. It is OK for my eldest because of the way she is, but I worry more for one of my younger ones (I also have 3 year old twins). But we will get there when we get there. Right now they go to preschool in the morning only and it is OK.

As the year has progressed, some of my eldest’s enthusiasm has waned, at least for homework. So at times I have struggled with the whole school ‘ethos’. I read a lot of homeschooling/unschooling blogs, as well as some education theory, and I do worry sometimes about the pressure to achieve, and that the ‘compliance’ orientation will squash her creativity. So far, they do a lot of art etc., and I feel I can also supplement with my own messages and activities. So we will see how it goes.
It definitely is a whole new phase!
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7 Kelly 03.07.10 at 2:24 pm

@lance
Thanks for the support, Lance. The way time flies, Bunny will be as old as your kids before I know it so I am very conscious of being present in the now.

@Vered
I haven’t tried yoghurt for Bunny yet. Will have to see what he thinks of that. he likes it for breakfast, but that is no guarantee it will be acceptable lunch material. He can be so pernickity.

@Rozzen
I know I’m the worrier, rather than him. It’s hard but I’m trying to chill out about it all. I keep telling myself that most of the things I will wrangle with will have no relevance down the track, so why get into a knot about them now?

Kelly

8 Kelly 03.07.10 at 2:33 pm

@Betsy
That is some excellent advice there, Betsy and I really appreciate it. It’s true that some people seem to want to be involved in everything, so I should let them since it’s really not my style and I want to have my own life outside of being a mum. Some schools in the city I know ask for money rather than getting families to do fundraising, but where I live they still like to do it the old fashioned way. I’m with. Tell me how much you want and I’ll write a cheque!

@Sami
He does look adorable, doesn’t he? And just reading your comment made me realise there is such a tendency for mothers to compare themselves harshly with others, rather than favourably. You’re right - I do deliver in lots of areas many other mums may not or cannot. I should focus on this, especially since the fact that I have such a happy child must say something positive about my mothering skills.

@Lisa
Starting Bunny in school I was also worried about the squashing of creativity. He is by nature highly creative and free spirited and I don’t want the system changing him too much. Some self discipline and a respect for others is important, but learning really does need to take into account individuals rather than trying to turn all kids into cookie cutter clones.

Kelly

9 bing 04.16.10 at 12:40 am

what a handsome little young man! he seems to me a smart boy.

it is truly challenging to be coping up with your child during school days. and it would not be easy, sacrifices have to be made, too. but it will all be worth it. it is the bonding that you two have that makes it worthwhile.

keep up the good work!
bing´s last blog ..PDA – Public Display of Affection My ComLuv Profile

10 Robin 05.08.10 at 9:55 pm

Hi Kel - good to read your adventures (or Bunny’s) - had to laugh at the notes doing your head in! - Rob
Robin´s last blog ..My Last Blog Post My ComLuv Profile

11 inspiration of life 05.26.12 at 4:05 am

this is very similar when my niece go to school and her teacher was also so careful toward her .

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