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Big Guy’s countdown to kindergarten speeds up

Submitted by on Monday, 2 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published May 13, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

July 8, 2008, 8:10 a.m.

Big Guy becomes a kindergartener. Just got the word today.

You’re rolling along in your comfy little overscheduled, hyperfrantic routine, surviving but knowing you can’t handle one more thing, one more hitch. And then something like this hits.

I am not ready.


How will I ever get everything together in time for him to start kindergarten in six weeks?

I had mentally braced myself for August – that’s when the year-round session I’d requested begins. I hadn’t heard anything from the school until I called today to check, and that’s when the lightning bolt hit.


I don’t even know what supplies he’ll need – the district’s Web site is decidedly nonhelpful, listing only the school calendar under the “parent information link.” Chunky crayons? Rounded scissors? Paste? Blackberry? Lap top with dual core processor?

Where will I ever find cool supplies this time of year? I promised him a Batman backpack – and the one thing I’ve always taught the guys is that when I look them square in their baby blues and say “I promise,” I keep my promise.

But the only Batman backpack we’ve seen so far in stores is way over the line into ugly. Even Big Guy thought so. It’s brown, for Pete’s sake. What self-respecting super hero shows up in brown?

The Web site does tell me that kindergarteners eat lunch, with eases my worry that the poor skinny thing will starve due to the frenzied midday sprint between school and day care.

But with Big Guy and his multiple food allergies, that adds another layer of complication. What are the school’s meal-time segregation policies – he’s so allergic to peanut he can break out just from touching something someone who’s touched peanut butter has touched. Is the staff familiar with food allergies?

You’d think that would be a given in this day and age, but less than two years ago The Sacramento Bee wrote a story about a principal who bragged of switching from peanut M&Ms to regular for the sake of allergic kids. The problem: Regular Mamp;Ms are contaminated with peanut, too.

And what about class parties? They’re limited to one a month now, but will the kindergarten staff be as on the ball as our day care about notifying me so Big Guy won’t have to sit sad-eyed and watch his classmates munch?

I also have to figure out the pre-kindergarten physical: My insurance company won’t let him get one until July 28 – the one-year anniversary of his last check-up. But now he’s starting school July 8.

July 8.

My baby will be several weeks away from 5 when I send him off to a strange land with new kids and new teachers. He’s too small! Those January birthday kids would eat him for lunch if he weren’t so fast.

And that, of course, is the real reason for the spazz.

It’s not about chunky crayons or peanuts or parties.

This strange and wondrous creature who arrived in my world not quite 5 years ago with all the subtlety of a Carolina thunderstorm is about to venture off into a world less connected to mine.

This still-tiny boy, whom I cuddled through colic and soothed after surgeries, will spend a portion of his time too far away for me to get there as quickly as I would want should something happen.

I don’t think I like that.

He had trouble getting to sleep tonight, bouncing from Little Guy’s room, to his bed, to his floor and then back in with Little Guy. He asked me to rock him and sing “Hush, Little Baby.”

As I did, I thought of July 8 and hugged him a little tighter.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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