Saturday, February 11, 2012

Get Thee to Kindergarten

It's bittersweet when your child is about to start kindergarten. Many parents get downright sad about it.

"MAH BAAAABY. My little, precious baby is going all by herself to that big scary school, with big scary kids. She has to ride the school bus! She has to find her classroom! What if she gets lost? What if she needs help in the bathroom? What if she doesn't make any friends?"

Yeah, whatever. I'm more than ready to ship Lauren off to elementary school.

Is it because I want her to grow up faster? No, of course not.

Is it because I think she is mature and ready to enter elementary school? I do, but that's not the reason.

Is it because I'm ready to stop writing the big monthly tuition check for her (wonderful) preschool? That would be Brian's answer, but it's not mine.

My real reason? I cannot wait for Lauren to torment her big brother when she sees him in the halls.

That's just part of being siblings, right? The younger one, new to school and the "sibling engagement" rules, spots the older one in the hallway and tries to get his attention and let EVERYONE know they are related.

I have a picture in my mind of Lauren yelling "HI ALEX" and running through hordes of kids in order to give him a huge hug.

(I may have actually already encouraged her to do that.)

His friends will watch as the look on his face changes from annoyance to total disgust.

Because kindergarten teachers keep a short leash on their students, the incident will be short, but so worth it--for Lauren, and for me when my children tell me their different versions of the story.

LAUREN: Mom, I was so excited to see Alex in the hall today that I ran over to give him a big hug! I love going to "big kid" school!

ALEX: MO-OM. Lauren is SO annoying. She always embarrasses me in front of my friends. Could you tell her to just ignore me when she sees me in the hall?

Me: (Will fake paying close attention to the lint on my sweater and pretend I didn't hear them.)

I have a younger brother (hi Grubby!). I really don't remember if he "embarrassed" me in school. I was three grades ahead. I think it is probably a little different when the boy is the older sibling. A younger sister may look up to her big brother more than a younger brother would look up to his big sister. Or maybe I'm stereotyping.

Whatever--I just know that, based on my children's personalities, Lauren will definitely go out of her way to make sure everyone knows that Alex is her big brother. And Alex will likely be embarrassed. Deep down, though, I know he really won't mind.

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