Henry starts Kindergarten in a week. Robb missed the orientation meeting while he was away on a trip, so I told him I’d catalogue every detail so that he could feel like he was there. I wrote it as it happened, word for word. Let me set the scene…
Setting: Kindergarten orientation meeting at the Kinda Fancy Public Elementary School.
Principal (grizzled, clearly broken down, but maintains unblinking smile throughout. Smells of whiskey and remorse, occasionally swats at hallucinations)
Parents (every single one more twitchy and wide-eyed than the last. Jumping up and down, raising their hands with questions they were told to stifle. Mumbling things like “precious snowflake” and “gluten-free” under their breaths).
Almost Kindergarteners: Tornadoes in TMNT and Paw Patrol attire. Varying levels of terror on their faces. All of them asking for a snack.
Hello, folks. So glad to have you here. This is a very exciting time of year. We’re so glad to meet your little ones who will be starting this exciting journey here at Significant Historical Figure Elementary School. Go Werewolves! Make sure you get your complimentary Werewolf Pack t-shirt at the P.T.A table before you leave. While you’re there, sign up to be on the Parent Teacher Association. It’s fun! They help raise money for things like replacing the chairs in this library that are thread-bare and smell like generations of farts. The P.T.A holds most of their meetings at O’Clanahans, where they drink too much and complain about me and all the other teachers!
OK! So, go ahead and send your kids off with Mrs. Peabody. Yes, she’s the very young and energetic looking Kindergarten teacher in the blue skirt waving over there. There she is. Hello, Mrs. Peabody. Yes, she does have a baby in her belly! So in a few short months your tiny flowers will have to go through all the stages of grief and separation anxiety again while we transition to a long-term sub! And then in a few months after that, we’ll do it again! Wonderful! When she comes back, after being drained by her succubus infant of all that hope and enthusiasm you see there now, you’ll have a bitter shell of a woman teaching your kiddos. But it’ll be great. We’re so excited for her!
OK, so, send your kids off to play with Mrs. Peabody and the other teachers where they will be assessed on their letter and number recognition skills and the amount of neurosis you’ve pathologically unloaded on them in the first 5 years of their life. Is little Johnny a 1? Or a 7? We’ll find out when he draws his “Worry Dragon.” Haha. Don’t worry. They’ll be back in a jiffy and we adults have much to talk about while they’re gone. If any of them are compelled to share any embarrassing family secrets with the teachers while they’re away, don’t worry. The teachers are sworn to secrecy. Unless it’s about money laundering. Then we have to call the FBI again.
Alright, bubbye, kids. There you go. Just drag that one behind, it’s fine. He has to learn. It’ll be fine, Mom. Don’t worry. We’ve done this before. The carpet burn marks will be gone by picture day.
OK! So…the most important thing I’m going to tell you today is where to park when you drop your kids off every morning at school. Or rather, where NOT to park. We’re going to take you on a loooooooong tour of the doorway near the parking lot where we do pick up and drop off. Because, hahahaha, you Kindergarten parents, you just NEVER UNDERSTAND, do you? No you don’t. You just put your whopping huge military size van aaaaanywhere you want because you need to breastfeed little Talutha ONE more time before she goes off to Kindergarten, don’t you? Not caring AT ALL that 476 other parents are trying to drop their little blessings off AT THE SAME DAMNED TIME. Hahahahaha.
Right. Well. We’ll help you make that transition painless, won’t we? The first day, you come in with them and bring them to their classrooms. You take off their little backpacks and help them get situated at their little desks. AND. THEN. YOU. LEAVE. Nope. I see your hands. Put them down. You leave. You walk your two legs out of the building, get in your car, cry so hard you vomit in your mocha, and then you drive yourself home and wait the 7 hours until you can pick little Concord up from THE SAME DOOR. SINGLE FILE. SERIOUSLY DO NOT PARK.
Also, pack your kids lunches because 4 and 5 year olds are not emotionally equipped to deal with cafeteria ladies. And FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY make sure your kids can open their own Lunchables. It gets just a little bit old for me on lunch room duty to have to open 476 bologna compartments every single day, doesn’t it? It does. I have arthritis. My doctor told me. But it’s OK because now I can legally eat the brownies that get me through the day with the card that she gave me.
What else? We’ll be sending out teacher assignments home by mail in 4 days. They’re based on how the kids performed at the assessments they’re getting right now. No, Mr. Middleson, you cannot have the results of the assessment. We’re trying to make evenly balanced classrooms, so you’ll know how little Greek Yogurt stacks up if she ends up in class with a bunch of polite, quiet, brainy kids, won’t you? Yes, you will.
OK! Well, lastly, here is a list of school supplies they will need. You’ll notice it’s not so much crayons and My Little Pony pencil boxes anymore. No, now we are asking for paper towel, toilet paper, Lysol wipes, Bandaids, Penicillin, duct tape and single malt scotch. Schools are underfunded and teaching is hard.
Thank you so much and please send all questions to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org