My twins starting kindergarten was the proverbial light at the end of the [slightly worn] [not quite as tight as it used to be][prone to occasional leakage] stay at home mum tunnel. And despite a shaky start [for me], I’m now that mum tyre squealing away at 9:01, belting out George Michael’s “Freedom” at the top of her lungs.
As we enter the final term of kindy, ahead of primary school next year, I’ve had pause to reflect on what the year has taught me about my kids and myself.
Sounds deep doesn’t it? [Spoiler alert: it’s not.]
Let’s be real, this list could probably just end up a collection of socially awkward stuff ups and public faux pas I’ve made at kindy drop off to be filed under “and yet more things I suck at” but I also have some [semi] legit take aways to share about what I’ve learned as a parent in the first year of my twins kindy career. So here goes!
1. School backpack smell is a real thing.
Ok, I know I said these were going to be legit. They DO get better. Or do they? #masterofsuspense #suspensemaster #masteringtheartofsuspense #thatwhichissuspensefulismasteredbyme
2. You will say “why is this wet?” every day now.
See I told you they got better 😳
3. Being a kindy parent means having a phone contact list with names like Jo Ethansmum.
4. My kid doesn’t need 27 kisses every 45 seconds after all. #mylifeisalie
5. There will be parents who look perfectly put together at every drop off and pick up. One of those people will not be me. Not even once.
6. Making mum friends at kindy isn’t as easy as you think. It’s kind of like walking into a Zumba class.. you think “how hard can this possibly be” and then you flail around the room in the wrong outfit making up moves on the spot, smiling awkwardly at strangers and end up the only one who can’t do it. Or maybe that’s just me. 😳
7. There will be a mum who is an Enjo rep. She will find you, and she will sell you things. You’ll probably host a party. You may end up an Enjo rep. Your house will be no cleaner as a result.
8. The amount of effort you put into your child’s lunch is inversely proportiate to the likelihood of them actually eating it. See point one for how this ends.
9. There are not enough recycle bins in the world for the amount of egg carton crafts that will come home with pipe cleaners and pop sticks glued to them and if you attempt to smuggle them out into the bin [you will], you are 314% sure to get caught by a child who can’t see a shoe if it’s in front of him but slightly to the left, and emotionally wound him for life.
11. Your child might be that guy in American Pie who won’t poo at school. Be regularly prepared with fully stocked toilet rolls on his return.
12. Don’t skip past the kindy correspondence in your inbox in favour of seeing what’s on sale at Witchery. I’ve been burned a few times on this one. Culminating in utter unawareness that kindy “photo day” was even a thing. As a result, my twins were captured in time looking like homeless, bedraggled vagrants with Vegemite on their ever so slightly too small big w tshirts. That did not, however, stop the photographer from making them kiss while lying in autumn leaves. Oh hi there engagement photo shoot [not weird at all 😳]. Despite this I’m still working through the shame spiral of not buying any.
13. Buy the kindy photos. Even if they’re crap and will go in a drawer. Otherwise one day your kids or your mother in law will ask you about them and no answer will be the right one.
14. You can’t control what your kids might learn from other children. This can be both a blessing and a curse.
15. They will never remember what they did that day. No matter how many times and in how many different [montessori approved] ways I have asked what my kids did at kindy, 99% of the time I get some version of “I have the recall ability of a goldfish” in response. Unless it’s something that might have popped up as a result of #14 or the F word. Then they will never forget it and will bring it up loudly and at every opportunity.
16. At home with kids six hours feels like the longest week of your life. When the kids are at kindy, 6 hours is just enough time to do the dishes [wander around Target], chop half an onion towards dinner preparation [eat four Tim Tams] and think about how long it might take to clean out the refrigerator. Use the time wisely [get Netflix], you will not get that time back.
17. Committee parents are a special breed of human who are more generous with their time than it turns out I am. Because of my complete and utter inability to say no to anything unless I have a prefabricated excuse I’ve practised 147 times at home in front of the mirror, I somehow wound up on the parent council.
I am yet to attend a meeting.
Nor have I done the required training. [Yes there’s training required][it may or may not be extensive] [I don’t know] [Remember this before you say yes unsuspecting first time kindy parent].
And the training USB may or may not still be in my handbag.
And it’s seven months later so I’m too scared to return it and draw attention to myself.
Kindy teachers if you are reading this:
18. If you’re given the kindy washing to do, don’t take so long to return it all that they think they’ve lost the picnic rugs. 😳
19. Also don’t accidentally keep a headscarf that appeared in the washing from kindy and end up wearing it to kindy drop off.
20. No matter what they did that day, or how they looked on their arrival, your kids will usually come home looking like they’ve been doing this all day.
Investing in a cheap kindy wardrobe was $12.95 well spent.
So when my kids started kindy, I asked myself if I was doing the “kindy mum” thing right. I think this list has highlighted some possible areas I’m [probably not] going to work on. Nevertheless, all these little lessons are best learnt now, because it’s pretty clear I’m going to NAIL being a primary school mum.
Yep. We’ll see how that goes.