Sunday, September 26, 2010

Working Mom's Latest Fear: Will I Be Sucked Into The School Volunteer Vortex?

There are 43 committees at my kids' school's parent booster club.

Is it just me, or does that sound like school volunteer overkill? 

Since my kids have been in kindergarten -- two weeks -- I have filled out dozens of forms from the club, not to mention the kids' teachers, all to do with what activities I can volunteer to be a part of, in the classroom and outside of it, ranging from re-shelving library books to driving kids to and from field trips to helping to organize and run any of the myriad of fund-raising events and activities that occur throughout the year. I've been told of mandatory commitments per child at the school, e.g., every family has to work one traffic safety shift, at pickup or drop-off, per child, during the year. I have been invited to no less than four volunteer events, and I've already missed two of those. I've been asked to contribute the "suggested" amount per child -- and nothing that you can pay in ten installments is cheap --  because, though a public education is free, a great one is not -- especially nowadays.  Every day brings more mail in the kids' backpacks, offering additional ways to get involved.

If I get another piece of paper from the parent association, it's quite possible my head is going to explode.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kindergarten On The Spin Cycle

It seems an endless weekday spin cycle in the week and a half since kindergarten began.  (The Spin Cycle is what my childhood friend and now fellow Late Blooming Mom, Lauren, calls it -- and that's exactly how it feels.)

Kids' chatter drifts in from their bedroom around 6:35 a.m.  By 6:40, it's up-and-at-'em, with Late Blooming Dad standing over the kids urging them to dress in the clothes they picked out the night before, so as to avoid delays.  What happens?  Delays anyway.  Little minds change:  "I don't want to wear that shirt."  "Where's my sweat band?"  "Can you help me put on my socks?"   If one happens to start playing with a toy, the other wants it ... even as dad insists, "This isn't playtime now."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kindergarten Jitters

Thing 1, the boy around here, has been, as the expression goes, "acting out." He may only be five and three-quarters, but he might as well be a teenager given the attitude he's suddenly acquired. There's been some "I hate you"'s to Late Blooming Mom and Dad, some "I'll never play with you again!" to his sister, and a lot of throwing small objects across the room. There's been defiance -- "I won't eat chicken for dinner again!" -- and attempts at negotiation -- "I'll put my toys away IF you let me watch TV." And there has been some kicking, though the victims have generally been the wall next to his bed, or the floor (sorry yet again, downstairs neighbors).

But there have also been some "I need a hug"s, and some teary, "I'm going to be shy" moments when Thing 1 confesses he is afraid to be in a kindergarten classroom without his sister, Thing 2.