The Second Day of School is the Hard Part

All hail the excitement of the first day of school! For us that day was yesterday.

Once the kids got dressed and fed, the spirit of scholastic adventure filled our home as my husband and I blazed dueling cameras to commemorate the first day of 5th grade and kindergarten respectively.

We took backpack shots, brother shots, individual shots, and family shots, both on the front porch, in the back yard, and at school itself. The kids seemed pumped by the flurry of educational excitement, and hey, we were too.

Check out our first day photo gallery below, followed by the inevitable crash of the dreaded second day of school.

  • First time, first day 1 of 7
    BooBoo joins Boy Wonder for the first time as an official school-ager for the classic first day of school front porch picture.
  • 5th grade 2 of 7
    Hard to believe Boy Wonder is a 5th grader! Talk about feeling old...
  • Sweet BooBoo 3 of 7
    A backyard back-to-school shot of my new kindergartener.
  • My favorite shot 4 of 7
    Easily the best candid back-to-school picture I took that morning.
  • Proud Daddy 5 of 7
    The men in my life.
  • Family pride 6 of 7
    Yeah, we're just a lil bit proud.
  • Goodbye 7 of 7
    Parting hug and words of encouragement from Boy Wonder to BooBoo. Total swoon.

Experience has taught me that day two of anything is the real test. Think about it, day one of your new job was probably pretty OK. You met people, got acquainted with your desk, maybe even had a nice lunch, but day two was when the real work began. No more pomp and circumstance, it was time to sink or swim. While I have every reason to believe Boy Wonder is going to kick serious 5th grade booty on his second day, my reluctant kindergartener has me worried and I’ll tell you why:

I’m not a fan of the way our elementary school handled the first day of kindergarten. Parents and incoming kinders all met in a big room where we were given the 411 on kindergarten while simultaneously pressured guilted into joining the PTA. Each parent was then given a list of 28 (28!) things to do with their child on their first day of school.

Yes, they made the entire first day of kindergarten a parent participation event. “Gee, what a great idea!” thought no parent ever.

Look, I see why they do it (I guess), but creating a shape mobile with my kid in center 3 with 500 other parents and children without enough hole punches or child scissors to go around hardly makes my child better prepared for kindergarten. And folks, that was just center 3. Remember, there were 28 stops on this first day of kindergarten train.

From waiting in a line behind 12 families to put together a wooden puzzle of a gingerbread man in center 14, to choosing BooBoo’s favorite color in center 23, I dragged my pouty kid throughout a ridiculous maze of families and kidlets as we attempted to navigate the hellish chaos that was his classroom.

Yes, at the end of “our” first day of school BooBoo seemed to like school, and why wouldn’t he? I was there the whole damn time. Today, the second day of school is bound to be a whole different story. I’ll say goodbye at the gate and push him inside like a mother hen where he’ll cry and beg me to join him inside¬†as per¬†yesterday’s mandatory requirement, only today my presence inside his classroom is suddenly and inexplicably prohibited…because kindergartners understand that. Not. I’ll peel him off and run and hide before he spots me, where he’ll feel duped by the parent/no parent switcho-chango. Awesome.

I’m all for doing everything we can to ease our precious young kids into the kindergarten experience, but I can’t help but feel an entire first day with mom and dad followed by a second day without them to be confusing and traumatic. C’mon school administrators, there has simply got to be a better way.

What does your kid’s school do to make kindergarteners more comfortable?

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