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In Denial

I think I’ve probably got a
half-dozen blogs with that title – denial seems to be an
integral tactic in my parenting arsenal. In denial about
baby’s first birthday; about the first time she didn’t
look back when she walked away to play with a friend; about
starting preschool.

About starting kindergarten.

Maddie will be in kindergarten in
September, and if I could stay with my head in the sand until
August 30 I would. So far buried in the desert is my head that if
it weren’t for so-called “helpful”
(“so-called” because they force me to stay on track
against my will) friends saying such things as, “Hey, did you
pick up your registration packet yet?” “Jen, have you
requested your vaccination records from your pediatrician?”
“Hey, Jen, have you put kindergarten round-up on your
calendar? It’s coming up!” then my daughter Madeleine
would never enter kindergarten because I would never be prepared to
register her in time.

Unfortunately for me, my friends are all better organized than I,
and I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into kindergarten
preparedness mode. I realized that my “see no evil
kindergarten, hear no evil kindergarten” motto was less than
perfect about a month ago when I mentioned the idea to Maddie, and
she flatly refused to consider attending “big kids”
school unless it was at her preschool. I knew then that I’d
better start psyching us both up for it.

We started talking about school, and how great it would be, and how
she’d be in class with all her friends from the neighborhood.
I tried to avoid facing the behemoth myself by asking a friend to
pick up a registration packet for me, which totally backfired when
she returned with the statement, “The school prefers for the
involved parents to pick up a packet themselves.” Ouch.

So about a week ago the whole family went to Maddie’s future
school. Brian had a day off work, and the four of us traipsed in to
pick up a packet and take a look around.

The entire office staff gushed over Maddie, which was precisely
what she needed. Then the administrator offered to give us a tour,
and we were off. We checked out the library, the computer lab, gym,
music room, and cafeteria, and I have to say it made me feel
exceedingly old. Did you know that most cafeterias don’t even
take cash any more?

Maddie started off relatively enthusiastic, but you could see her
become more nervous and clingy as the tour went on. Afterwards she
confessed that there were simply SO many “big kids”,
and though we hastened to assure her she’d only be in class
with kids her age, I can tell it’s a worry for her. On the
whole, though, she seemed interested and spent the next few days
telling people about the huge computer lab and fun things in the

I’ve been making my way through the registration packet and
it’s enough to make my head spin, but I’m trying to
keep it firmly attached. Baby steps, Jen, baby steps. Just fill out
the papers, no big deal. Maddie’s first day of school is
months away.

So I’m making my way cautiously forward, and trying not to
think too far ahead. I can tell you one thing with great certainty,
though: the evening after kindergarten round-up, it’s
margaritas at my house. Many, many margaritas.


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