Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Yesterday was an open house at Sam's kindergarten. What that means is that any parent could stop in at any time to hang out in the classroom. I think technically we're all allowed to come hang out anytime, but this was the official day to go by.

I was ridiculously excited.

Because my kids all go to/went to a co-op preschool, I am so used to knowing exactly what they are doing at all times, even when I'm not there. And while I like this kindergarten, I don't feel like there's very much communication from the school about what happens in the classroom. So I was thrilled to get a glimpse of what it's like to be a kindergartener in Sam's class.

Sam's school starts at 8:50 and I had somewhere else I had to be at 10 a.m., so I had Alex (federal holidays rock!) drop me and Sam off in the morning, with orders to pick me up in an hour. I sent Sam off to the kindergarten lineup yard and I headed to the office to sign in.

Along the way, I passed a neighbor of ours who is in the second grade. I had shrieked, "HI! HOW ARE YOU? HAVE A GREAT DAY!" before I realized what a psycho I sounded like. I literally mumbled, "Oh, you are such a motherfucking idiot. Bring it down a notch," to myself as I walked into the school.

And, yes, I am the kind of person who:
a) mumbles to herself
b) says "motherfucking" in an elementary school setting
and c) gets ridiculously giddy about visiting my kids' schools.

Go ahead, mock away. I'll wait.

Slightly calmer, I waited for the teacher and told her I was there for open house and would be there for an hour. She was very nice and chatted a little as we walked the kids inside. Then she asked me to remind her what my name was. I told her, and followed up with, "I'm Sam's mom."

"Oh, I knew THAT," she said, and then she said something about not forgetting my face. And in my head, it seemed that she was saying that she couldn't forget my psychotically eager persona. No matter how hard she tried.

The kids all put their backpacks, lunchboxes, and folders away and then went to sit on the rug. And then they said the pledge of allegiance, following along with the voice from the intercom. There is also a school credo that they have to recite.

The teacher started the day and I kept my eye out for kids whose names Sam says at home. There's D, who rides the bus with Sam and seems to be his best friend, although I didn't see the two of them exchange so much as a glance while I was there. There was S, who had hit I last week. There was I, who seemed unscathed. There was J, who likes to see Sam with short hair. There were M and M, whom Sam talks about sometimes. There are 14 students in the class. Only four of them are girls. They seem like nice kids.

Ms. S started her "morning meeting" which included mentioning that today was open house and that some parents would be coming by, and some wouldn't, and both ways was okay. And the parents would "stay for a couple minutes. [quick, oh-right glance at me] Or an hour."

Because it was Monday and there was a lot of business to conduct, what with there being new things at each center and whatnot, the morning meeting took the entire hour I was there. No other parents showed up. Sam, for his part, was so focused that I think he may have forgotten that I was there. When I ruffled his head and told him goodbye as he walked from the art station back to the meeting carpet, I'm not entirely sure that he noticed.

I am so happy that I went. I plan to start volunteering in the classroom soon, because I'm lucky enough to have the time, and I'm that mom that really likes to be involved. I know it's probably not cool to be the class mother type of gal, but if you haven't guessed by now, I am SO not cool. I'll learn more when I'm volunteering, but I'm thrilled that I have a taste of what his day is like.


  1. Your kids are still young enough where it doesn't matter if you're cool! Sam will probably enjoy your being there sometimes. And if he doesn't - I hope he doesn't tell you. :)

  2. I have found that it's cool to have mom there up until about third grade. So I figure I'm done with J, I have this year with A and then I will have three years with Jo. It goes fast. Enjoy!!


  3. I would eat it up, too. I wish I could observe my daughter through a one-way mirror and see what she does the whole day. Volunteering for the class sounds really fun.

  4. I completely intend to be the dorky Mom there for every open house and volunteering in the class until my kids are totally embarrassed. But at least they'll always know I care!!! :)

  5. My mom used to volunteer when I was little- for a different classroom. That way she was helping, she was in teh building, but not in my space. :P

    Going to school is always exciting. Nothing wrong with being excited. :)

  6. I hide out front of the classroom and watch through the windows! My Boo gets cross (an understatement!) and confused if I am in the classroom. His 'helper' opens the window a crack for me so I can hear!!!! AND the other kids are in on it and warn me if Boo comes close to discovering me.

    I am so happy for you that you will be able to help out. I used to with my girls and they loved it (well not NOW in high school!) but now I help out in other rooms, do fundraising and do other more administrative stuff.

    I love that you mumble and cuss to yourself . I do that too!

  7. 14 kids in his class? That is AMAZING! Eleanor's K class is 28. Exactly double.

    I love that you stayed for an hour. I would love to be a fly on the wall at Eleanor's school for a day, since I feel so out of the loop now compared to preschool days.

  8. This was such an awesome post. Sam is lucky to have such an involved mom!


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