Revisiting the Site: 10 Things I Learned After My Child's First Day of School


(CS: Kids are going back to school on Tuesday. It is always a mixed emotions kind of day as I am thrilled to get many hours of uninterrupted work, but their absence reminds me how much I love having them around the house. Since we kept both kids home with me before they went to school, I have a pretty special and blessed relationship with them. 

To commemorate their return to school, I'm looking back at a post I wrote after my first child Everett, experienced his first day of school, thus one of the first days since his birth where I would have been home without him.)

Everett finally had his first day of school yesterday, despite my protests and attempts to turn the couch into a time machine. Even though I'm not really sure if Everett has learned anything new yet, as a first time parent of a young student, I've definitely become much wiser. Here are 10 things I learned from Everett's first day of school. (CS: We'll see how much of this new knowledge stuck or changed after I sent a second child off to school.) 

1. Teachers can be just as baffled as the parents by the grumpy lady that blocks them from taking their child to the classroom, which is why kindergarten has its own "secret" entrance. (CS: Essentially, we missed getting the information packet that first time parents of kindergarten kids were supposed to receive in August, I had called the week before school to see if there was anything I should know, and the principal who was new to the school said that there wasn't and I just send my kid to school. 

But what he must not have known is that I knew nothing about the school, and we sent Everett to the front entrance, because we weren't aware of the kindergarten entrance. Instead of a certain not-very-happy employee letting us know that we were entering through the wrong way, she just briskly passed our kid off to an older student and ushered us out of the school. It was a less than stellar start to the first day, and when we came to pick up Everett, the interaction was just as ice cold. But Everett's teachers were amazing, and the best fit a nervous little three-year-old boy could ever have as his introduction to school.)

 2. Your child will swear up and down that his teacher didn't give anything to take home or provide any information for the coming days, what he really means is "you need to dig to the very far corner of my school bag where I stuffed all the really important things." (CS: Everett actually has gotten really good at letting us know important information at the school, and making sure I get all the permission forms and newsletters. Danika still likes me to work for it.)

 3. Asking "yes" and "no" questions are really great ways to practice the pronunciation of "yes" but otherwise, just a rather pointless way to pass time. (CS: The art of asking a proper question to find out anything has become an even greater feat as Everett has gotten older. Danika will spill everything, but the challenge is figuring out the fact from fiction.)

4. On the first day of school the child goes on a "hunt", but the teacher clearly forgot to bury the treasure. (CS: So, they had the kids explore the school, since the building and activities would be new to them. The teachers called it a 'hunt', and my adventurous Everett assumed there would be buried treasure at the end of such a thing. There wasn't, and he let me know about it. I think, he still liked exploring the school.)

5. The new game after school will be "discerning fact from fiction" though one should assume all stories involving wrestling lions and flying to the sun are partly fabricated. (CS: Everett has nothing on Danika.)

6. The second best feeling after seeing your child at the end of the school day is noticing that he is still wearing the shorts that he had on in the morning. (CS: In the future days and years, I could not say the same about hats and mittens.)

7. If your children refuse to tell you what they did that day, then just check their arms and hands for the story. (CS: The routine became Everett told me all about the games and activities they did as we walked to school the next day. Then we'd get close to the school and he would start crying and wanting to go home. He was very young (still three) and never did daycare, so it took him a few weeks to adjust, but his excited stories about school reaffirmed he enjoyed it.)

8. It only takes one day for all things spoken by the teacher to be law burned from above on unbreakable stone that even parents must bow towards, such as shoes that must stay at the school to avoid all who go off the premises turning to dust. (CS: Not getting information before school meant we didn't know about 'indoor' shoes, and had not designated such footwear. Everett let us know right away that they existed and it would be followed immediately, so his running shoes did not come home with us on the first day, and we had to buy him a new pair for home. 

There would also be many other incidents of 'that isn't what my teacher does' throughout the next several weeks. I had to explain to him that I was a different person, and home had its own rules compared to school. It went less smooth than that sentence may lead one to believe.)

9. Apparently, after the teachers are done "playing" with the kids during the day, they go to work. (CS: Everett assumed that teaching wasn't a job, because how could it be when it was such a pleasure spending time with him. I don't remember if he created another job for his teacher or not. He also assumed she lived at the school and felt he could come by any time to visit her. This despite the fact that his mom is a teacher, and he knows that is her job.)

10. The blessed silence of an uninterrupted work day is a marvelous thing but is greatly surpassed by the joys of the chaos and noise that returns at 4. (CS: Still true.)