Friday, March 22, 2013


Kaia is enrolled to start 4k in the fall of 2013.  Like all mothers, I waffle between really excited and really sad about it.  I can't believe how big she's getting, but I am so excited for her to start this next big phase of her life.  She's articulate and bright and I'm excited for her to have someone who can sit down and teach her how to use her abilities.  As a working mom, I don't feel like I adequately do.

So, I was really excited this morning for her 4k screening. She hadn't been in the school yet, but to drop off her registration in the office.  She hadn't met her teacher yet.  I was excited for her to do all of these new things!  Unfortunately, she'd been saying she didn't want to go as I mentioned it here and there in the days before.  Last night she told me she was a little scared and that she wasn't brave like Mikko.  I figured this was all pretty normal kid anxiety.  She's always with family, so I was prepared for the idea that a bunch of new teachers and kids would be a little daunting.  I was not prepared for the actual event.

We walked in to school and stopped in the office.  Obviously, I had failed to notice the three large, colorful signs directing us to the left.  Sigh.  So we went down the hall and met a staff person looking to take Kaia's picture.  She refused to take off the coat that she had two minutes before refused to put on.  She refused to put on the sunshine that bore her name in big bold letters.  She refused to let me put her down (actually crumpled to the floor like a tantruming two year old when I set her down).  Then, when the photographer relented and said I could stay in the picture, she wouldn't turn her head toward the camera.  Step one:  epic fail.

The room was set up in stations with five teachers.  Each station had a "game" to help gauge readiness as to a number of things.  The first teacher brought us over, picture failure aside, and sat us down. She complimented Kaia on her sparkley shoes.  She asked about her bear.  When she asked Kaia her name, Kaia said, "Mama do it."  This kid never calls me Mama.  In fact, as often as not lately, she calls me Ma or Mom.  She was baby-talking.  For a kid who says things like, "We have to hurry before the guests arrive" and "Mommy, it's polite to put our napkins on our lap at the restaurant," baby talk is a rarity.  Even when she was a baby she was articulate.  Although she came around and participated in two of the games, that's all she was willing to do.  Table one:  epic fail.

And then she was done.  Everything was "Mama do it" or some unintelligible nonsense.  The teacher suggested she take a break and go play with the toys, that we'd come back to it.  I left her playing with the toys for a few minutes to get a cup of coffee.  Of course, in all of my discomfort at how things were going, I accidentally slammed the door on my way out.  And back in.  Sigh.  After that, her 4k teacher brought her over.  She asked her about colors and body parts.  Kaia said nothing and hit her face in my hair.  Table two: epic fail.

Her teacher finally said that maybe we should try it on the retest day and that if she wasn't going to participate, she'd just get marked as unable to accomplish all the tasks.  We had been dismissed.  Can you get kicked out of kindergarten before you're even formally registered for school?  Indeed you can, my friends.  Tables three through five, unattempted:  epic fail.

I took Kaia out in the hallway to give her a pep talk.  Now, mind you, she was misbehaving a little in my mind, but she was also obviously uncomfortable.  Part of me wanted to threaten punishment, but part of me was trying to be understanding.  Frankly, with four or five moms standing in the hallway that suddenly went silent the minute Kaia started saying, "No.  I won't do it.  I don't want to talk to the teachers and I don't want to leave.  I want to play," I wasn't about to embarrass myself any further by saying anything else that would be met with my child's new version of "discussion."

I made some awkward joke about how we were leaving, "kicking and screaming if that's absolutely necessary," for the benefit of the moms who were all watching me (read=judging me).  Thankfully, she came willingly.  I picked her up, turned my back on those moms and started crying.  I hadn't even made it out of the damn building.  I didn't yell.  I'm not sure what good that would have done.  I told her I was very disappointed and that I was very, very embarrassed.  She sat pretty quietly for the remainder of the drive.

When we got back to Grandma's to pick up little brother, she was extra clingy.  I didn't want to pick her up. That finally made her cry.  "I just want to snuggle Mommy!"  Ugh.  On the one hand, I felt sickly satisfied that she felt bad.  On the other hand, when I feel bad, all I want to do is to snuggle my babies, so I get what I was taking away.  Eventually I relented and she apologized for being naughty.  And here we are, at home, and I'm still thoroughly embarrassed both by her behavior, by our dismissal and the fact that today, my kid was that kid and that is why the number #19 reason it sucks to be a mom is public humiliation.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh I hate when that happens. It's not bad enough it's happening but then you get the idiots watching and judging. We all known we've been through it so why judge?