First Day

by - September 13, 2010

He was so excited!  His Bakugan backpack was too big for the requirement of junior kindergarten but it was "Awesome!" so the burden was worth it.  His metal Batman lunch box was packed full of first day goodies: A "Wow!  Tastes Just Like Peanut Butter!" School Safe Soy-Butter (yes, that's what it really says) sandwich cut in triangles - not squares, a chewy bar, vanilla yogurt, fruit roll-up, a rice krispy square, and his new green Rubbermaid water bottle filled with my homemade iced tea (2nd prize at the Fall Fair, thank you very much!) He wore the same blue windbreaker that Zander wore on his first day four years ago.

He was so excited!  He got up early.  He ate two bowls of Raisin Bran.  He put on his own shoes.
"Make sure you get to the bathroom on time, Liam."
"I know."
"Make sure you don't eat all your lunch at first break, Liam."
"I know."
"Are you going to show your teacher how you write your own name, Liam?"
"Ummm...why would I do dat?"
"You know you have to wipe your own bum at school, Liam."
"I don't have to if I don't want to."

He was so excited.
Until we entered The Kindergarten Cage.  First of all - who puts kids in a cage?  And secondly - who would call it a cage?  That's just inviting fear.

Liam is a vibrant, confident, precocious four-year-old.  The change was immediate and upsetting.  One foot into The Cage and he was a timid, quiet, bug-eyed boy.  He waited, sealed to my side until his name was called then joined the other kids with his head down and dragging steps.

We followed him into his classroom, helped him find the Liam-hook and a Liam name-tag.  He rolled his eyes during Oh Canada while another little boy whispered so loudly he spit, "Why do we have to be QUIET?"

We said our goodbyes.  No one was too old for hugs and kisses.  We left him in the capable hands of Mrs. McKrombie and her okay boys and girls teacher voice.

6 hours later.  We pick him up.  He's grumpy.  The teacher says quietly, "He was a bit F-U-S-S-Y this afternoon but he did okay."  Apparently he cried because he wanted to go home.

We got him in the car.  He crossed his arms over his chest defiantly and declared loudly, "I QUIT!"

Now what?

We spent all our energies talking about school - how cool it was, how fun, how everyone has to go to school, "Even John Lennon went to school, Liam."

Today he went back without any protest.  He said hello to his teacher.  He came home happy, talking about singing I'm A Little Tea Pot, about a boy named Riley and a girl named Emma, about the sandbox and the toy barn.  Zander made a point of stopping by The Cage to say hi at recess.  He's actually disappointed that he has to wait until Wednesday to go back.

I hate that he cried on his first day.  But now that those first day jitters are past I think he'll be fine - in fact, I'm sure it won't be long before the teacher's telling me he's insisting on some AC/DC instead of that teapot stuff and I'm looking forward to that.

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  1. Best blog yet Alanna, Liam makes me laugh everytime you mention him

  2. love love love!

  3. AnonymousJune 07, 2011

    Hi - I am certainly delighted to find this. great job!


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