If only kindergarten were as elementary as it looks.
Sure, for the children it’s all juice boxes, P.E., and learning about sharing and caring. But for moms? Who do you think is packing the juice boxes, washing the sweaty clothes, and blotting the tears after the sharing didn’t happen as a result of no one caring?
Yep. Kindergarten is great. For kids. For moms? It’s laughable how seriously tough it can be.
Here are the top 10 reasons why starting school is way harder on moms than their kindergarteners:
Kindergarten is the New Big Leagues 1 of 11
If only it were as elementary as it looks.
The Lice . . . 2 of 11
Just as you can be sure that the chalkboards will be clean on the first day of school, the books new and teachers refreshed, you can count on the lice greeting the children's head at the main entrance.
Sure, your kid has to suffer through some chemical shampooing, but at least they get to watch cartoons while Mom is picking the nits out. One by gross little one at a time.
And while the kid is sound asleep with a Vaseline mask suffocating any stowaways, Mom gets to suffer from insomnia while worrying and wondering if she's sanitized every stuffed animal, article of clothing, and piece of bedding sufficiently, or if the persistent itch on the back of her head is a sign that it'll back to the decontaminating drawing board once the sun rises.
. . . And Other Assorted Illnesses 3 of 11
If it's not lice, it'll be something else. Something moist. Germ-y. Contagious. And frequent.
Bet on it.
The Chaperoning of Field Trips 4 of 11
You thought one kid was tough? Try riding a school bus to a museum with 15-20 of them, half of whom are prone to motion sickness and the other half have to pee.
Oh, and just apologize in advance to the tour guide as soon as you arrive. For everything. Because it'll all happen.
The Mornings 5 of 11
If not as if anyone ever likes waking up. But moving a kid from a rolling start time in preschool to a hard-and-fast bus pick-up in kindergarten is like going from zero to 60 by way of a bad, bad accident.
It may have taken them five years to realize it, but when that alarm goes off for them for the first time ever, kindergarteners discover the joy of sleeping and the evil of being forced to wake up. To go to school.
The Snacks 6 of 11
All. The. Snacks. Is the classroom pet a tapeworm? Where does all the food go?
Are there shares available in Jiff, Go-Gurt, Nabisco, and Goldfish? Because when your child started kindergarten, those companies stocks had to have soared.
The Artwork 7 of 11
Bless their creative little souls. Bless them, yes. But save every scrap of effort? Please, no.
It's charming. It's colorful. It's ... who knows what it is. And how many of them, exactly, are we required to save? How many are we supposed to display? The refrigerator door only has so much space, and there are just so many guesses you can take on what this hand print is supposed to be — besides a turkey and a tea kettle on the verge of kissing, that is.
You practically need to be a professional to come up with enough stories about where their most coveted piece of art went off to — not to mention creative ways to hide most of it in the trash.
The Meltdowns 8 of 11
They hold it together all day long in school. The teacher marvels at their angelic demeanor. The bus driver sends notes praising their kindness, manners, and good-listening skills.
Then they come home and unleash the beast. On you, of course.
The Attitude 9 of 11
In less time than it takes to slap some peanut butter on a slice of bread, they go from asking "Why" so often that they're on the official radar of the folks at Guinness World Records, to informing you haughtily that Pluto is no longer a planet.
Learning is great. Being obnoxious about their newfound intellectual freedom is par for a kindergartener's course.
The Schedule 10 of 11
It's not as if your kid did nothing except go to preschool. There were a few library story hours. Maybe you went to a music class or three. But all activities before kindergarten starts are kind of optional. Nap time is assumed. Snacks always come first (that changes in kindergarten only in that they also come second, third and fourth, too).
But when kindergarten starts, sh*t gets real, and real fast. Soccer practice. Gymnastics class. Playdates. After-school dentist appointments. Parent-teacher conferences. Delivering forgotten lunches. Picking up runny-nosed kids from school. It's all go-go-go all the time-time-time.
There's no more "Maybe we'll go to this today." You're going somewhere and doing something. If you can keep track of it all, that is.
They Always Come Home 11 of 11
Technically, this is a good thing. After all, they're your children and you love them. You know, mostly.
But just as you get a bit of rhythm to your day and figure out how to spend your time productively and enjoyably, it's that time again — the bus pulls up and it's all over. Until tomorrow. And the next day.
Who ever thought they'd actually look forward to Mondays? Damn weekends.
Photo credits: iStockphoto
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