All Growed Up

Cameron had his Kindergarten Roundup on Friday.  We’ve been talking to him about it for weeks, probably even months.  My biggest concern with sending him to Kindergarten Roundup was that he would be shy or scared and a lot of times when he gets like that he becomes defiant and stubborn.  I thought maybe using the same tactic we use on Brendan and prepping him well in advance may help the situation.

With two weeks left to go until roundup it didn’t appear my plan was working.  Cameron was, at that point, still insisting that he didn’t want to go to Kindergarten because you had to grow a mustache, and he just wasn’t ready to take that step.  But I kept at it, and told him about all the wonderful things he would get to do in Kindergarten.  (admittedly I was probably overselling it a bit, but hey I was desperate).

Then the Monday before we were scheduled to go I was hit with an inspiration.  Cameron’s roundup didn’t start until 10:3o.  That left me with enough time to take Cameron to get donuts after we dropped Brendan off at school.  Cameron LOVES donuts, and we don’t get to go to the donut shop very often because our weekday mornings are too hectic, and the donut shop is too crowded on the weekends. (plus there’s only so often I can handle consuming nothing but sugar for breakfast)

Well the prospect of donuts definately peaked his interest.  Anytime he started to say he didn’t want to go to roundup I reminded him that Friday was also donut day, and his attitude toward the day would turn around almost instantly.  Finally on the night before roundup, Cameron was actually excited to get to go.  We started preparing for our excursion the night before.

First I had Cameron pick out what shirt he wanted to wear.  I wanted to make sure he was in something both comfortable and that he had picked out so there would be no argument the next morning about what he was wearing.  Then I was trying to convince him to let me spike up his mohawk, so he’d look nice.  He wouldn’t allow me to do that and finally asked for it to be cut off again.  I could tell from the start that he just wasn’t as happy with the haircut this time around so I agreed to cut his mohawk off right then and there.

Once the haircut was complete he needed to wash up and get all the hair off him.  Initially he wanted to take a bath, but it was bedtime and I didn’t want to mess with a bath, feeling it would take too long.  Somehow I convinced him to take a shower.  He’s never been interested in showering because he’s afraid of the water raining down on him.  I don’t know what I said that convinced him, but he agreed to try it out since we were only trying to rinse off the hair.

So I stood him in the tub, had him close his eyes and guided him back into the shower stream.  He resisted at first, but gradually relaxed as the shower progressed.  I rinsed all the hair off his neck and shoulders, got him out and dressed, and put him to bed.  As I tucked him in and kissed him goodnight, he thanked me for showing him that the shower wasn’t so bad.  His big boy attitude toward the whole thing gave me warm fuzzies, and I was grateful for them at the time, but I was also convinced that he wouldn’t be so pleasant the next morning.

However, our morning routine on Friday went smoother than it has in a long while.  Both boys were eager to get out of bed, Cameron because it was donut day and Brendan because he had a field trip to the local skating rink that afternoon.  We got ready a little out of order because Cameron wouldn’t be eating breakfast at home, and I worried some about the change in routine agitating one or both of them, but it didn’t.

After Brendan had showered and was dressing in his room, I went into the bathroom to run a bath for Cameron but he stopped me and asked if he could take a shower again.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  After so long of detesting the shower with all his might he suddenly wanted to take one over a bath.  My little boy was growing up right before my very eyes.

Showers done, kids dressed, Brendan fed, we were at the point of getting our shoes on to leave when Brendan decided to provide Cameron with some helpful words.  As I listened to the words coming out of my nine year old I was completely floored by them.  Firstly because Brendan is usually as mean to Cameron as he can be at all times, and second because they sounded so grown up.

He looked at Cameron and said, “I know I won’t actually be at school when you’re there for Kindergarten Roundup, but just know that I’ll still be there by your side during it and every day after.”  Whether Cameron understood the significance of those words is a mystery, but he seemed to appreciate Brendan being nice to him all the same.

So off we went.  We dropped Brendan off, had our donuts (which in retrospect was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had.  Cameron was already a little wild and crazy due to excitement and nerves, so let’s pump him full of sugar right before we go.  Yeah that’s smart.  The kid was bouncing off the walls like nothing I’d ever seen), and headed for Kindergarten Roundup.

We were early enough that I knew we’d be able to get a parking spot, but decided to go ahead and park at our friends house, which is a couple blocks from the school.  That is where I park after school to pick up Brendan.  It means I don’t have to fight the zoo of traffic nearer the school, Brendan has a specific place to look for me instead of having to scan the long line of cars leading away from the school, and it’s close enough that I can watch him walk to the car pretty much from the moment he leaves the school grounds.  I thought parking there would give Cameron some experience in walking to and from that house since he’d be doing it every day starting in the fall.

We got inside and registered about 15 minutes before his roundup was scheduled to start.  And for the next 15 minutes all I heard was, “Is it time to go and learn yet?”  Well at least I didn’t have to worry about him not wanting to leave me and go to the Kindergarten classrooms.  Finally it was time for him to go.  Rather than have the parents walk their kids down to the classroom, or have the teachers come and collect them, they utilized a few select 5th graders to come and lead the kids down.  This was really a genius idea because the kids were so much more comfortable leaving their parents with another child than they would be with a strange adult. I think I only saw one crier in the group.

Once the kids left, the parents were led to an adjoining classroom where we received information from the school nurse about what the state required for immunizations and health screenings in order to admit our children into school.  It was very dry and boring material and, already having a child in third grade, I pretty much knew it all.  But after that they took the parents on a tour of the school.

Now, again, Brendan’s been at this same school for 4 years.  I know the school inside and out.  But I missed Brendan’s Kindergarten Roundup and figured I might as well take in the entire experience.  It was a lot of fun too.  The group I joined was led by the building facilitator.  He’s well known among the students and Brendan just adores him.  After taking my tour with him I can understand why.  He was super friendly, and easy to talk to.  You could also tell he loved his job.  So while I didn’t learn anything new on the tour, it was just fun to hear him explain how everything worked.

After the tour, Kindergarten Roundup was over and we went into the hall to meet up with our kids.  Cameron came out of the classroom all smiles and showed me what they’d done during their hour with the teachers.  As I was OOOOHHing and AAAHHHing over his work, one of the teachers came over to talk to me about Cameron.  She reiterated that he’d done very well, but wanted to let me know about a small incident he’d had.

Apparently while Cameron was at the scissors station, where they were evaluating the cutting skills of the incoming Kindergartners, he’d had a small accident with the scissors and had nicked his hand.  She said they washed the owie with soap and water and he seemed to be fine after that, but they just wanted to make me aware.  I was surprised they felt the need to tell me about this “accident” especially when I looked at the “cut” and found it to be no more than a minor scratch.  He hadn’t even broke the skin.  But he proudly showed off his “wound” and informed me that it didn’t bleed or anything.

His euphoria lasted until just before lunchtime.  Then, as the anticipation and sugar high wore off, he became more like his regular self stubborn and obstinate.  And as we pulled into the driveway at home he bluntly informed me that they didn’t even let him play on the computers and that wasn’t really fair.  I told him that he was only there a little while and they’d teach him how to use the computer when he went back in August.

At that point he very boldly said, “Well they better, because I don’t want to go to Kindergarten if I don’t get to use the computer.”  Ahhh technology, what would we do without you.

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