Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/18/11 Day before school

I should have spent last weekend getting ready for school....well, ok, I should have done that weeks ago. I didn't. All my friends finished their "back-to-school" shopping weeks ago, including new back-to-school clothes (!), but me? I waited until the day before school, exploiting the handy excuse of rafting and canoeing in the last weekends before school instead.

Each kid had a list of supplies requested for their grade, so each kid got a basket and was supposed to shop for their own supplies.

In practice, Target was so crowded with other last-minuters -- and so empty of supplies -- that I ended up doing most of the work myself anyway. That included driving to Staples to get stuff that Target was wiped out of.

Tonight was incredibly hectic -- getting kids to bed TRULY on time (8:15 lights off after a lax summer, I did it!), then arranging all their school supplies -- including sharpening 50 pencils, unwrapping 50 glue sticks, and unpackaging and labelling countless erasers, pencils, folders, etc, then putting them all into their own marked bags. The 4th grade also wants 7 folders, each labelled with name and subjects. That's the sort of thing the kid should be doing himself if he weren't already in bed. And I thought this was a huge pain when it was only one!

I also got to re-unite myself with my all-time least favorite task: making lunch for four! Blah. (Dave's on a moto-trip this week for a traditional event that I've attended several times too, I encouraged him to go.)

At least I had ordered new knapsacks and lunchbags in time, monogrammed to spare me the labelling problem.

After Target, we dropped by school to find out their teachers and classmates. Odds were good that we'd know our kindergarten teacher, since two of them taught the boys, and Julian's first-grade teacher is a K/1 combo teacher who was a 1st-grade teacher last year and a kinder teacher this year.

I'd have loved to get her again to redeem ourselves after Julian's relentless pestilence last year and because she emphasizes writing so much, but instead of Julian's 1st-grade teacher, Katrina got Julian's kindergarten teacher, who I also really liked. Julian was no problem in kindergarten, so our chance for redemption is lost.

(Speaking of Katrina, she's been worrying me this last week. At camping, and at home this week, she still showed many signs of tantrumy toddler when she gets into a snit. The boys are often defiant, but I can usually get them to comply with a lost-dessert-days countdown. It's rare I have to threaten Katrina, but when I do, it never works, she just breaks down and screams. Is it possible she's not really mature enough for kindergarten? I had no doubts until now, but they're creeping in. It might be a rough start.)

Anyway, boys' teachers. Julian's teacher I've never heard of, but I was happy to see that one of his classmates is a neighbor, about a 4-minute walk from home without crossing streets, who was also in his kindergarten. I'd requested a strict teacher in support of Julian's first-grade teacher's recommendation, so I'll assume Julian's teacher is strict. He has 24 kids in his class, but at least 13 are girls and 11 are boys. And poor beleaguered Aditya isn't in his class.

I'm sure the principal put a lot of thought into Gabriel's teacher. My guess is that Gabriel's class placement was mostly about who'd present the greatest authority figure to him. So, Gabriel has one of the few (only?) male teachers in the school. That will be interesting. This teacher is well-known and highly regarded, gives a lot of homework I hear, and if I recall is supposed to be strong in science and math. Gabriel is getting a head start on complaining about school -- and sulky grouchy teenage behavior just with shopping for school supplies.

First day tomorrow! GAH!


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