April 25, 2010

Kindergarten Roundup

I'm having angst over sending Andrew, my "baby", off to school.  As if my attachment to him wasn't enough, the process itself is enough to deter me--especially finding the birth certificate and forcing Andrew to undergo shots.  I did the most responsible thing I could I could think of: I put both things off until the last minute.   

On the day of registration I pretty much tore the house apart looking for the birth certificate.  And while I searched I thought about the fact that when you get a birth certificate, it's usually right after you've given birth.  And giving birth and then taking care of a baby saps all available energy and mental capacity which leaves you without the brain power necessary to remember where you just might have set that small piece of paper!!

As I was frantically foraging, Andrew was like, "Mom, what are you doing?"
"I'm looking for proof that you were born."
"But, Mom, I was born."
"I know, but they won't believe me."
"Mom, are you kidding?"
"Yeah, they'll know you were born.  But I still have to prove it."

I never found it.

The next deterrent was the dreaded shots.  I didn't tell Andrew I had scheduled them until that morning. I didn't want him going AWOL.

On our way there, he started desperately pleading and debating in attempt to get out of them.  In return, I explained why I thought they were important.  Then he asked why they have to use needles to do it.  I explained and then added that scientists were developing new methods including nasal sprays that won't hurt at all.  I told him that his kids might not have to get immunized with needles.  He responded, "Well, that won't help me!!"
We arrived at the doctor's amidst snot-dripping, mucous-expelling, phlegm-coughing children.  Andrew immediately jumped in among them and started playing with the germ-ridden toys.

That didn't last long.  His over-protective mother abruptly ended his happiness by reminding him about contagious diseases. 

I hauled him to the front counter where I doused him with hand sanitizer and then offered him the idea of looking at the fish tank--from a distance.  I emphasized the part about keeping his distance by pointing at the smears of snot on the tank's glass.

After he looked at the fish from a distance, he came over and got on a chair where he sat stiffly with his hands in his lap.  Obviously I had successfully passed on my pathological fear of germs.

While we waited, we could hear the screams of numerous children coming from the back rooms.  It was like surround sound.  I'm sure it did wonders for Andrew's courage.

When we got called back I jokingly asked the nurses if they enjoyed listening to screaming children every day.  I think they felt like hitting me with the nearest large medical instrument but somehow resisted.

Then we were shown to our room.  For some reason the nurse thought it was a good idea to lay out the needles on the exam table so that Andrew would have something terrifying to look at until the very end of our visit when she would actually use them. 

After the iron test, playing games to distract Andrew, and gathering a urine sample, we finally got to the shots.  We made it through due to numerous promises of treats.

After the shot ordeal was finally over, we headed out to make good on the treat promises: greasy battered fries, a large cup of carbonated high-glucose corn syrup, and a rich, creamy ice cream cone.

After that, we drove straight to the school for the kindergarten roundup.  We turned in the papers without the birth certificate (you know, due to my responsible parenting).  Then we were herded together into a room to get talked into feeling better about sending our children off to school.  The counselor talked to us about separation anxiety and said, "We're here for the kids, but we're here for the parents too."  (That would be me.)

After our group counseling session, I rushed out to pick Andrew up from the classroom where he was spending time with the kids and teachers.  I was the first to get there, but I lingered to badger the teacher with questions including, "What kind of parent volunteering is available?"  (What I meant was, Can I come every day?  Can I hang out with Andrew and make sure he is well-mannered to others and treated well by them in return and can I make sure he washes his hands before eating any snack and can I follow him around for the rest of his life and...well, can I?)

She looked at me with patient pity and said that volunteering isn't necessary until a month after school starts which would be six months away. 

I finally left the school.  As I drove home I was hit with the reassuring and ironic realization that the names of the kindergarten teachers are Faith and Hope.
I guess I'll need a little of both.


  1. OMG laughing about the germs at the doc office. I am the "meanest" parent. I won't let Jase touch A THING in those places!!! Poor Jase is already paranoid about germs. I can't help it. Poor kid. Anyways, that is SO going to be me FREAKING out about leaving Jase when he's ready for kindergarten bc i definitely won't be. :)

  2. oh jenny - i've never seen such a pair as you and andrew. such an amazing bond there. and i know that andrew will fill you in on all the details of his day. He will be the perfect 5 year old gentleman and I'm sure the most sanitized of the bunch. and will inevitably be the teacher's favorite (which probably makes you jealous) :-) and i agree with you about those dang birth certificates! I just found paperwork to apply for Lucy's. what? where did i get that? i have to apply? woopsie. They really shouldn't make us responsible for all that paperwork - it's just not a good idea. i love the faith and hope ending. is it faith hedges and hope naylor?

  3. loved it jenny. i, too am feeling the impending loss of my mini me this fall...

  4. At least you ordered the birth certificate. I never did.

  5. Sounds like a fun filled day! Faith and Hope are in for a treat next fall when they realize that they have Andrew as there assistant teacher. I have the perfect mental picture of you and Andrew sitting at the doctors office, afraid to even breathe as snotty children surround you. You always brighten my day!

  6. Katie,
    Yes, it's Faith Hedges, but Hope is someone we don't know.

    Also, I have no memory of ever applying for a birth certificate in the first place so I guess we don't have one. That's a BIG whoopsie.

  7. Chloe had Hope. And now we have it, too. When Chloe discovered she had to get shots, she began to wail, climbed under a couple of chairs and held tight to two of the legs. One of the nurses, the bigger one had to hold the chair, so I could pull Chloe off while she was suspended horizontally in the air. She was still screaming and I eventually managed to break the death grip she had on the chair legs. Then the three of us pinned her to the table, managed to pull her pants down to reveal her thighs (the targets) and admid the yelling and thrashing they managed to get the needles in. Chloe continued to protest and kick until I convinced her she was done. Sounds abusive, no? What was the conference talk asking mothers . . . "Why do you do that??" Yeah, it's love.