I went to a ceremony at Mikey’s school today. We (parents) watched all our kindergarteners sing songs for about 10 minutes and then we went back to the classrooms to see our kids accept their certificates for finishing kindergarten.
The singing was hysterical! The kids were supposed to sing in unison, but the far right hand side of the stage was in fast forward, so it sounded like a round…sort of… Unfortunately, Mikey was in the front row, and I wasn’t, so I didn’t get to see him very well with all the filming, photographing, and craning to see. When I did catch a glimpse of him, I could tell he was studying the room to see where I was. He said he never did spot me even though I thought at one point I had gotten his attention.
When we got back to the classroom, all the other kids were lively and personable and Mikey was rather stoic. I am not sure what comes over him in those situations, but he never looks comfortable in group settings, unless he is very familiar with everyone. He has had some allergies recently that cause his eyes to get irritated, and I noticed that he was rubbing the right one and it was getting redder and redder. Yeah—stupid me—I gave him an opening to try his hand at manipulation, again. I hope the kid’s an actor, because I am sure he would be great at it. He tried on his pitiful, despondent, I-can’t-believe-that-my-eye-decided-to-act-up-now, expression while rubbing it. Then he would take his hand away, and look up at me painfully through squinty, watery eyes. I wanted to be concerned, but I could see his actions morphing into a movie of playing his mom and his teacher into sending him to the nurse’s office so that he could go home with me. So I called his bluff. “Mikey, don’t you want to stay at school so that we can (maybe) go to the playground after school? Because, if you go home now, we won’t be able to go do anything fun.” I didn’t get a resounding yes. In fact, I think he would take it either way, but he decided PE was fun enough to finish out the day, and maybe go to the park.
I can’t believe his first year of school is almost over. Last year at this time we were attending his pre-school graduation. They put on a big event—caps and gowns, dinner, a program—the whole shebang. I remember vividly both grandmothers laughing to the point where hopefully they were wearing Depends, while I sat mortified as we watched Michael squirm, fidget, turn around, and pretty much do his own thing while the rest of the students fidgeted an expected amount, but mostly paid attention. I couldn’t believe sending this kid to kindergarten was a good idea—he was also the youngest in his class. I was so horrified about the impending battle to focus that surely was on my horizon, that I actually called the elementary school that he would be attending to explain my child’s behavior and ask about whether I should proceed with plan of starting regular school in the fall. The counselor assured me that he was like every other kid and that there were measures in place to cope with all that energy.
Off he went at the age of four (turning five the first week of kindergarten.) I think the counselor was the one who was surprised, because he was really behind as far as focus and fine motor skills, and couldn’t stay on task—it was a rocky two-thirds of a year, but alas, we are at the end. With a lot of communication and help, plus hard work and maturity, and a few other tools, we are moving on to the first grade! I truly had surrendered to the idea of Mikey repeating kindergarten, but to my surprise, the teacher and principle have decided to move him forward, and to make sure to have some help in place to keep him on task as well as offering instruction and directions a few different ways to make sure he is comprehending. The other wonderful thing is that his teacher is moving on to teach first grade and will be taking her class with her. It’s great to know that there will be a lot of familiarity when Mikey get’s to school in the fall.