Random thoughts of a New Mom...(New to School that is!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

So, we are officially one month into this whole school thing...

We finally have a kindergartner...though if you ask me, these last six years sort of blew right past us...
It's funny...this parenting thing.

There are no manuals, no instructions...you just put one foot in front of the other and do your best...

We do what we've got to do to get through - I often tell myself...

Sometimes, that means every member of our family is asleep tossing and turning in our gets-very-small-with-four-people-in-it Queen sized bed...

Other times, it means eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich each and every day of the week because you just can't won't eat anything else...Pajamas instead of clothes? Eh...whatever.

Mostly, I roll with it...

This school thing however...
I'm finding I'm struggling with it more than I have with any other parenting right of passage...

Why you ask?'

Where do I start?

Without going into all of the stupid details...I guess the biggest thing is this...

WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING?

It seems that everyone but me is a seasoned veteran. At least when it comes to the staff I'm encountering. The school district's very own version of don't ask - don't tell.
If the parents don't ask the question...they don't tell you the answer.

Well guess what folks? Just because you've been doing this for XXX number of years...
Doesn't mean the rest of us have...
Our daughter will have more kids in her graduating class than we had in our entire town growing up...
ok, maybe not the entire town - but for sure more than our whole school - grades K-12 combined...
Sending our daughter to school here could not be more different than how I grew up...

And I'm frustrated.

I'm a planner. I ask a lot of questions...
For as unorganized as I am, I'm pretty damn organized. Or try to be...

I find it crazy that McDonald's communicates things like 'Caution - Coffee is HOT' ~
but our school district doesn't have a general lay of the land for newbies like me...

Before you ask - Yes, I did go to 'Parent's Night' - it was on the 1st night of school - (awesome planning)...but it didn't cover some of the basic things I could stand to know...

And no, I haven't made it to a PTO meeting yet...(We are busy both parents work outside the home family of four...adding in another meeting hasn't been priority yet...though I hope to make it soon...)

A few of the things I've learned that I wish I'd of known before...
* School starts at 9:15, kids are not allowed in school until after the bell at 9:05 (Bringing your kid to school at 9am is unacceptable)
* That fall dance you blew off last week? It was 1 of 2 the school holds each year & is a major fundraiser for the PTO
* Even though they say you can only use your personal meal code once per day, that doesn't include breakfast when you attend Project Kids...
So yes, your child COULD have been purchasing cold milk to drink with her lunch from home, even though she used the code for her breakfast...
(& When they tell you they give out samples so your kid can try items & see if they like them to possibly have, that's not really true. You go in, you sit down and you eat. You do not get up until you are finished with your lunch. There are no samples to hand out. If you forget ketchup for your chicken nuggets when you were going through the line, that's too bad. Forget a fork to eat your corn? Oh well. You won't forget it next time.
* The school holds a 'stuff the bus' collection drive for box tops & the like...the classroom that brings the most during a specified period wins a popcorn party...That specified period - is next week (we found out today...)
(I...have been dropping our box tops, milk caps & other labels for education randoms in the designated drop boxes in the front of the school.)
* If your child goes to full release days during MEA, there will be field trips. You will be asked to sign up for said days, without knowing when or where those field trips are. On the days there are no field trips, if you are signed up for full release days...those will take place at a completely different school. No one will tell you this, you will simply (possibly) notice the name of a different school on the top of a piece of paper you will get two weeks before MEA and you can then ask about it, ask the people who take care of your child at PK, people whom you don't know their names, because they never introduced themselves. But the good news is, this piece of paper also gives info about the field trips...sort of. One day, you know your child will be roller skating in Maplewood - but you don't know exactly where...

This post could be eleventy million paragraphs long if I were to outline the little things that could be done to make this transition easier on all of us...and truly, they are little things...but it boils down to simple communication.

TELL ME THINGS.
IN ADVANCE.
SO I KNOW!

I find that life is so much more enjoyable, and much easier...when you KNOW!

I've taken care of her for 6 years and 4 days...simply dropping her off in the care of total strangers isn't easy...but it doesn't have to be this hard.

And why, might I ask, does ISD191 serve lunch to the kiddos on STYROFOAM SERVING TRAYS?

Shame.
Shame.
Shame.

Certainly there has to be a reason for this?
In this day and age of reduce/reuse/recycle...why oh why are we having hundreds of children tossing large Styrofoam divided trays into the trash each day?
UGH.

Surely, things will get easier...and this time next year, when we are doing this all over again with our boy who will then be a newly minted kindergartner...Maybe I'll be one of those seasoned veterans who doesn't seem to care?

5 comments:

Amethyst Jewell said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog today. I totally agree about the communication issues with schools and the stryfoam tray recycle stuff. Our schools could do so much better if they just communicated and involved parents.

At any rate, your writing is what I liked. I tried to sign up for your site through google and kept getting an error message. Hopefully I can make it back here sometime to read more.
www.childhoodandbeyond.blogspot.com

simplicity said...

Oh Darcie, just think of how you can change things and help other new parents down the road because of this experience. You have valuable feedback that the school should listen to!

Jen said...

Lack of timely communication is a pet peeve of ours too and a big thing Mark hopes to fix if he gets on our school board.

And we have Styrofoam trays too. I didn't know that until recently. How stupid.

Jen Knox said...

As a fellow "191 Mom" I'd be happy to help in any way should you decide to tackle the styrofoam tray thing. That's terrible!

Just tell me if you need my help...in advance. LOL! =)

Seriously though, I know that even at the Pre-K level here in 191 I'm lost to a degree. I feel your pain!

darcie said...

@Jen Knox - I heard back from ISD191 - they said that the styro trays are separated from the food at some Hennepin County recycling center and turned into energy. Not sure why the kids don't separate the food from the trays before they toss into the garbage...but, that's the answer they gave me - that someone at the recycling center goes through the bags of food/trays/milk cartons/etc and pulls out the trays...hmmmmm

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