Dear parents of toddlers:
You think you have it rough. You think temper tantrums in Target’s Nate Burkus aisle are bad. Explosive diaper changes, psssht… emptying every cabinet in the kitchen if you leave them unattended for a split second. Well I’ve got news for you. Shit is about to get real.
Until now, you’ve dealt with your share of behavioral milestones, sure. But they’ve been your little babies. Your snuggle muffins. Your innocent little kiddos. Aw, look, he rolled over! OMGGGG she is sitting up unassisted!! Stop the presses!
Until now. Kiddo #1 started kindergarten this week, and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all that is this new, mad world for us. Let’s see; Well there’s packing a healthy, wholesome lunch every day. If that weren’t stressful enough, now add Pinterest to the equation. If you ever wanted to have your parental qualifications tested, just go to Pinterest and type “school lunches” in the search. These Pinterest bitches are on fleek. Organized, color coordinated, coded bins in pantries to choose select number of healthy, organic (obvi) items out of. Cookie cutter-cut sandwiches in the shape of alligators, palm trees and Porsches. Do-It-Your-God-Damn-Self-pureed-pouches. (Honestly, if you have enough time to puree and “pouch” your own vegetables, I have a few errands I could pass on to you, if you wouldn’t mind.)
But that’s not all. My Facebook feed is flowing with stories about Kindergarten BULLIES. That’s right. 5-year old menaces to society who are going to be a threat to my innocent, sweet, doll-faced kiddo; the one who thinks Chuck E Cheeses is called Chucky Cheezits.The one who schooled me this morning about buckets in your heart, that get filled up when you do nice things for people. The one who has an invisible friend named “Invisible Bob” who has drawings all over his body and sometimes makes bad choices (hey, you can’t win ’em all.)
I don’t want to believe that my kid will ever come home upset or hurt over being taunted or bullied for ANYTHING. I don’t want to believe my kid would ever be the one on the bully side, either. But this is just a hard fact about setting our kids off into the world. One I’m sure gets easier day by day, but right now has me quaking in my boots.
I’ll take a Target meltdown any day over an experience I can’t be there to hug him for, where my kid’s feelings get hurt or he’s scared or feels misunderstood.
And all of this on top of the fact that I’m an emotional wreck. I worry that I haven’t prepared him for life well enough. I don’t even think he knows how to open a snack pack on his own. How is he going to make it in kindergarten?! What if he doesn’t eat the lunch I pack for him and he becomes weak, and is eaten by rabid, mutant raccoons on the playground? What if his teacher isn’t the sweet, maternal, sing-songy, A-line skirt-wearing, bubbly lovely (Master degree holding, obvi) woman I envision?
Have you been through the kindergarten ropes? Leave your best piece of advice in the comments section below and help a mama out. Would love to know how you get through these emotional days!