I suppose I should feel ashamed...

over the fact that I strategically placed Finny and I at the head of the pack at kindergarten orientation today when I heard that once in the classroom, we'd be required to sign up for a "letter snack". For those yet to be inducted into the fascinating world of kindergarten, this mission awaits you. On a certain day of the week a snack is provided by a parent. No problem right? Oh so wrong. It can't be just any snack. It must be a healthy snack. Still doable, right? It must be a healthy snack beginning with an assigned letter. The letter of the week. Have you ever had to provide an appealing yet healthy snack for a group of five year olds starting with the letter Z? No? Welcome to the 7th circle of hell.

This is my fourth sally down Kindergarten Lane and I, by now, am street-smart m'peeps. I know what's going down. I do admit to feeling slightly sheepish about using the information gained through my wealth of experience to hustle my five year old down the hallways hot on the heels of his teacher, and then abandoning him at the doorway, staring vacantly, while I barreled ahead, scanning the room wildly for the snack sign-up sheet. I wanted vowels man. Vowels. An apple, an orange or an egg. These I can do.

In the end though, faced with the dizzying array of choices (26!), we settled for J and S in honour of his initials. Which are both, happily, your average run of the mill initials. Easy solution, although if your kids' name is Xavier, I'd go another way.

J=jello, jam, juice I'm sure we can come up with something using one or all of these food stuffs. Although the healthiness thereof is debatable. S=ssssssomething with strawberry. Yes! Score! Heaven help me if anyone crops up with a strawberry allergy......oh wait.....string cheese. Whew. Ok, I'm golden.

There are certain advantages to being a veteran, people. If all this is still ahead of you, consider this one of my most golden tips. It only took me five years to cotton on to signing up for napkins and/or juice boxes for all of the class parties rather then" organizer" and "treat" provider for all of the class parties. I am a slow study. but here's hoping one of you benefit from my time in the trenches. Napkins and juice boxes can be procured in moments of sanity and stored to be delivered in times of crisis. Tiny witches hats made from ice cream cones must be made on one of the busiest days of your year. (Aka: the 8th circle of hell).

Another confession: I love labeling school supplies. It is a real treat for me to get to use a sharpie of my very own for such mindless work. I love mindless tasks. No seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. I do. So it's never a terrible trial to get all the supplies labeled. Lots of busy work-my favourite kind, and all in all a rare delight. Imagine my shock and horror today then, when we show up at kindergarten, and unzipped Finny's shiny new backpack to reveal an empty supply box, a pair of scissors, a herd of glue-sticks and a box of fine tipped markers. There were no FAT MARKERS TO BE SEEN. The quintessential item of kindergarten second only to the crayon (which the school provides) was missing! Worse still...the skinny markers were.... unlabeled! And..{gasp} the glue sticks remained in their packaging. I. nearly. died.

Then I remembered that in the labeling frenzy of the older kids' plethora of stuff, I had taken what I had of Finny's supplies and stashed them in his bag to get to later, since he started several days after the others. I wanted to be able to relax and revel in sharpie heaven savouring every moment of it in a leisurely fashion once the rush had passed. And then I forgotten that I did that and assumed it was all taken care of. For shame.

This is how I found myself hunkered sweatily in a tiny chair, surrounded by more organized parents using a borrowed sharpie to write on the 23, 000 glue sticks. And since I was so stressed, and the sharpie was too fine a tip, the names came out all wobbly. Wobbly labeling! I wanted to cry. I informed Finny that we would be taking the skinny markers home to label along with the fat markers which had yet to be bought (!!!) and he could bring them tomorrow on his first day. Being one of my better adjusted kids (read, nothing like me when it comes to these things) he nonchalantly agreed.

Pride cometh before the fall. This is what I get for thinking I am so smart about the snack sheet. Also, bad karma for pushing ahead without giving a heads-up to the new parents. (I'm attempting to make up for that now).

After we got past the supply trauma, teacher gathered her tiny students around her on the carpet and presented them each with a "kissing hand" to take home to be kissed tonight by their parents and then pinned onto their shirt or made into a necklace in case they got a bit lonely tomorrow and needed to hold it to their cheek. From across the classroom I heard a kid say something and then the teacher say in loud, amused and carrying tones, "Jonathan says his mom is the one who is going to be sad and lonely boys and girls...". I looked up from my complicated task of separating the colour coded forms into their respective buckets and smiled brightly in a "haha, isn't he silly, I have no idea where he gets this stuff" manner. I don't think anyone was fooled though. After the forms were sorted I went back to my little chair and listened to the rest of the story. I think I was actually the only person in the class getting tearful (5 year olds included. I contemplated sneaking an extra kissing hand for myself. Three previous rounds with this scenario don't seem to have made me that worldly after all.

Remind me to take my sunglasses tomorrow.

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Melody said...

You are so cute! My middle son will be in 1st grade this year. It will be so strange to have him gone all day. i don't know what I'll do when my youngest goes to school!

{april kennedy} said...

HA HA! That was great. I, too, sign up so fast for the paper products for each class party. Easy peasy...yes...and as the saying goes "you snooze...you lose" so good for you hustling over the snack sign up sheet!

Thalia said...

Haha HA!!!!! Love it love it!!!!!!

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I forever becoming the "homeroom mom." This year, I hope to avoid the nomination.

Kudos on the good letters you snagged!

Anonymous said...

I was once again sitting in solitude, but in hearing of several, doing the manic laugh out loud thing!!! You are priceless!! Don't you hate the little chairs? At least you don't get trapped in them because you are too wide from left to right (assuming they have arm rests, but maybe not?) or having their little legs splay under your bulk!!
And more power to you for being smart enough to dodge the ZZZZZZ
Love you.

Tooj said...

Your posts are so insightful, even when the humor is oozing. LOL I'm a sucker for sign up sheets because I KNOW no one else wants the daunting tasks on them, I always subject myself. And then I kick myself later, but at least I tell myself, "you just made it easy for some other parent." I will wear sunglasses on those days myself, but to be hiding the glare, not the tears. :) Happy Friday.

Aaron said...

I love how much devotion and fun you put into our kids' lives, and mine. I love that you make me laugh everyday with your take on life. Your are the best.

Love you.


paparazzimom said...

oh my goodness. Thank you for the laugh. I really needed that today. :) I love your writing. I love you Kirsty!