Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Even Kindergarten, And I'm Already Anxious

Kindergarten starts in seven months.

But I'm already anxious about it.

The kids aren't.  They don't really know what kindergarten is, or how it's different from the warm, fuzzy preschool they've been attending for nearly three years.  They have some vague knowledge it's coming -- a big change -- and we've even visited what will be their new school, back in October for a Halloween carnival.  But they're really only dimly aware of it, and unlike Late Blooming Mom, who sometimes has trouble living in the moment, they're 100% in the here and now.  What's for dinner, what TV show can they watch before, are they taking a bath together or separately, and what stories will we read at bedtime -- that's about as far as their agenda goes most days.

Me, I'm already worried ...

... about how I'm going to get them up and out the door for school that starts nearly a full hour earlier than preschool, the ungodly hour (to me anyway) of eight-oh-five a.m.  I'm anxious about the kids getting homework for the first time.  (Back in Late Blooming Mom's day, kindergarten homework was unheard of, but apparently kindergarten is the new first grade, like fifty is the new thirty).  I'm concerned about how they're going to handle going to separate classrooms for the first time, after three years of being in school together.  Sure, they've had a day here or there when one of them was at school alone, the other home sick or at an appointment.  And we have one-parent, one-kid excursions every weekend, so they get separate time with us.  But school has always been something they do together.  Other twin moms tell me their kids thrive on separation, and I do think it's the right thing for mine, but yikes, it just kinda breaks my heart that they won't have that sibling for security in the same room.

Then there's the whole issue of how I'm going to keep two sets of teachers, kids and parents straight.  I barely know all the kids in their preschool class now, let alone all the parents.  The very idea that one kid is going to need supplies for school project X on day Y, while the other kid is going to need utterly different supplies for project Q on date Z, completely throws me. 

At least I have it easier than folks whose kids are NOT twins, and at some point, have to manage drop-offs and pick-ups to two different schools.

But it's cold comfort right now. 

I know I'm being neurotic about it.  But I'm a planner; I always plan ahead, and sometimes, that means worrying too.

This time next year, it'll all be old news to me, and I try to remind myself that I felt this same kind of free-floating anxiety months before the start of preschool.  That sure worked out well.  So I really need to chill about this.

But at the bottom of all my fears is the lump in my throat that sending my kids to "real" school -- not preschool -- means an idyllic part of their childhood is ending ... and when I drop them off next fall, they'll be taking more than baby steps toward independence. 

Don't get me wrong, I want them to.  But I'm going to miss this time when it wasn't yet about reading, writing and arithmatic so much, and the day was spent mucking around in dirt and paint.  I knew if I picked 'em up filthy, they'd had a good day.  Sure they've been learning -- social skills, conflict resolution, tolerating waiting for their turns and not always getting their own way.  And yes, they can write their names now, they know the alphabet already, and a little math.  But it's all been in the guise of fun.  They love school.

I sure hope, even though they'll be entering "real" school, that their love of school doesn't fade too fast.  And that my anxiety is quelled when they seem as at home in their new school as they've been at the old one.


Alex said...

I'm pretty sure we never really had homework until at least 2nd or 3rd grade. I can't imagine what kindergarten homework would even be!

Naomi said...

Hi. Your post was very interesting.
I think your fears are very common, and hey, all the parents are neurotic. If they weren't, it could have been very dangerous...
However, I think that in, lets say, 10 months from now you'll laugh at yourself. For a lot of kids (including me) school is a lot of fun. I'm only 16 and I really think that growing up is... well, don't know, good. Being responsible is fun. I know it really concerns parents, that their kids are getting older... But you probaly know that it's naturral ;)
About them being separated- I asked a friend of mine, that she's a part of a triplet, whether it was good for her to be in a separated class of her siblings. She said that her sister is much more dominant than her and now she can express herself without being always compared to her sister (only sometimes). They're still in the same school. Just the perfect amount of separation.

Hugs, and sorry about the long comment (I had to!)