My wife and I couldn't believe it - our firstborn's first day of kindergarten was upon us already. It seems like not too long ago we were witnessing his first steps, now here we are spending an arm and a leg on his school supply list.
Like what kind of kindergartner needs 4 boxes of Crayola brand 24 count crayons, 2 cans Play-Doh Classic in assorted colors, a box of gallon Ziploc bags, and not to mention 24, that's right - 24 Elmer's glue sticks? What adult needs 24 glue sticks for that matter? I mean who the hell can afford these school supply lists anyway? Just for clarity, if there's 15 students in the class, that's three hundred sixty glue sticks. 360 glue sticks! What the hell are they planning to build this year? Trump's Wall?
A few days prior, we had the chance to meet our son's new teacher during the school's meet-n-greet night. At our son's previous Montessori, he learned a ton, up to and including how to kicked out of a Montessori. So during his time out of school, at the suggestion of his now former Montessori, we took him to see a behavioral therapist who confirmed our concerns after a few weekly hour long sessions. Our son was diagnosed with ADHD as well with another mental disorder we won't get into today.
We shared his diagnosis info with the school and his new teacher in an email. We also outlined some of our son's history for better context. We shared both his love of reading and his general desire to have everyone focused on him.
He told me one day that his brain tells him not to listen to adults and teachers. And that he doesn't know how to control his brain. He's so unawarely aware. He's the sweetest boy in the world, until he's not. Then he can be an asshole - both deliberately and simply by copycat. With my wife and I as his parents, there's a certain level of communication he's going to unfortunately mimic as normal - a general way of showing how many fux one may not give at any particular moment around pretty much every subject imaginable.
Hey, we never said we were perfect parents. And we choose to expose him to a lot.
On top of that...he is also just a 5-year-old boy.
How I love that he's ours 5-year-old-boy. He makes the challenge of fatherhood worth it.
We just hoped he wasn't going to make his new kindergarten teacher's class his new war room. We talked to him. Set up a point/reward system for doing chores. We worked with him for months. We weren't perfect, but things got better. We hoped it would transfer to his new school.
Around 2PM, I receive a text from my wife:
After we connected, I learned the school reached out to my wife to report a level of consistent disturbance throughout the day that did not allow for his teacher to progress through many of her planned 1st day of kindergarten activities. Basically, he introduced his whole class to exactly who the hell he is. The school did send in an observer for part of the day, and she reported that our son was visibly attempting to follow directions through, but appeared as if he physically was unable to hold himself still for extended periods of time.
The Vice-Principal and my wife discussed some options of how we could proceed for the remainder of the school year.
Remainder of the school year? It's the first DAMN day.
When I saw my son after coming home from work, already well informed of the day's activities, I didn't want to deflate his first day a lecture.
I met him with a high five, and enthusiastically asked him how was his first day of kindergarten?!
He looked me dead in the face, "whew, Rough, daddy."
That boy has a way with words. We laughed. 1st day was on the books.