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Kinder Clara
posted by John : September 8, 2008

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Look out kindergarten

For weeks and weeks we've heard about kindergarten this and kindergarten that. Last week Clara was assessed and over the weekend she told everyone that Monday was going to be her first day at kindergarten.

This morning she woke up early with a huge grin on her face. Almost like it was Christmas. Lilly followed groggily behind her as they came down the stairs. We forced some food into her even though she was clearly too excited to really be hungry. She was back upstairs getting dressed before Henry was even awake.

In the car on the way out she told us all about how great the day was going to be. Lilly tried to get in on the action, but her first day is tomorrow (even though she thought it was today) she she had to content herself with talking up the first day of the latest round of swim lessons instead.

At school Clara put her backpack in line and she and Lilly played in the yard. This meant lots of running around quick enough that I was sure there'd be a trip and a skid and a wail. Amazingly, neither lost their footing. That might have been directly related to Lilly's rock collecting activities. If you ever need to ensure there are no rocks around let us know. Lilly loves collecting rocks. Her pockets are usually full of them.

When the playground attendant (aka, the duty) blew her whistle the kids lined up against the wall with their backpacks. Amy snuck in one last fierce hug before Clara could break free. While standing in line Clara's confidence began to wane. She didn't move and her smile was gone. And then she yawned. Maybe she was just tired.

Mrs. Coburn came out and handed around tissues for the parents (we didn't need any). She took a couple of pictures of us (and we returned the favor) and then we all marched inside. The kids found their name tags on a wall and sat in impossibly small chairs. Clara sat in the same spot she did at her assessment. She appears to be a creature of habit. I wonder where she gets that...

When they were called to the corner for a story a couple of the moms behind me left the room. Apparently, they'd already heard this one and it's a bit of a tear jerker about how kids are growing up, but it's all ok. Amy declared it was this sort of thing that kept her out of teaching kindergarten.

We left and hoped for the best. We got all the way to the car and there was no hysterical Clara chasing us down eluding the teacher. No pounding on the door. None of the grandly theatrical things that would fit Clara.

At home we puttered around (well, not really, I was working after all and actually got a ton done that I can never seem to do at the office) until it was time to retrieve Clara. She was riding the bus home, but Amy wanted to make sure it all went well. She hid in the bushes at school and snapped photos of Clara getting onto a... short bus. So much for our early education efforts.

I walked Lilly, Henry, and Tokul to the end of our road where Amy was already parked. Standing in the hot sun it seemed a terribly long time before the bus came over the little hill and snaked its way to us. Clara jumped off and ran across the street. There were no cars coming, but I now see the value of the flashing lights and huge fines associated with school buses.

Clara was bursting with stories about school and snacks and the bus and her sweater... hey! Where was her sweater? Did she leave it on the bus or at school? "At school," she said, but one of Amy's pictures betrayed her. Clara was clearly carrying the sweater when she got on the bus. Luckily, the bus has to turn around and come back past our street to get out and Amy retrieved the wayward garment. There were three forgotten backpacks and two other sweaters on board.

The morning officially ended with lunch and Clara's declaration that she wasn't at all tired. That was approximately five minutes before she was sound asleep in bed.

Tomorrow it's Lilly's turn. Our fingers are crossed for a repeat.

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