As I write this, the krazies in our house have mostly subsided. Mostly. But I really want to share what went on during our first months of school because I had no idea the extent of the krazies!
What are the kindergarten krazies?
The kindergarten krazies are all of the behaviors your kiddo will exhibit during their first several weeks of school. I was told to expect two weeks….yeah, it was more like a month-ish. And the behaviors? Expect anything and everything. That sweet 5-year-old you sent off to kindergarten? Nope, she will not be returning for awhile. Instead, you will be getting a temperamental little person with a chip on her shoulder the size of Montana. If you say the wrong thing to her? Well, it was nice knowing you.
Here’s the List…
I’m sure this is not all-inclusive, but after sharing brunches with other kindergarten moms and polling them, there seem to be some common behaviors. Be prepared for your little angel to switch it up, just as soon as you think you’ve gotten it all figured out. I think they teach them that the first day.
Expect an attitude.
You thought your kid was an expert eye-roller before starting kindergarten? Ha! They perfect that technique. And that kid that asked you for a snack every five minutes before school? She will suddenly forget to eat when it’s lunchtime. That means she will not only be starving by the time she’s in your presence, but she will give new meaning to HANGRY.
And she is going to be loud about her needs.
Like megaphone loud. Trust me, you will know exactly when she wants food as soon as you pick her up from school. And tears. There will be tears, sad tears, mad tears, frustrated tears and ‘I-don’t-know-why-I’m-crying’ tears.
Your kindergartener will be tired.
Remember when she would just pass out before dinner when she was 2? Don’t let the 5-year-old do it!! It creates this crazy sleep cycle…if they sleep after school, they don’t want to go to bed. If they don’t go to bed you have a mega cranky kid on your hands for the next 2 days. I know they look cute when they stop raging and pass out, but that 30 minutes of peace will not be worth it in the end.
Oh, but there’s more!
So now you’ve gotten a handle on the attitude, the exhaustion, and the volume, what else?
My kid talks non-stop when I pick her up from school.
No joke. She doesn’t necessarily tell me about her day, she just talks about the car next to us, the bird flying overhead, the cow in the field, etc. If I ask her about her day, she reverts to the behaviors above, so I don’t ask until she’s finished her narrative or takes a breath.
And when you finally do get information about school, do not expect it to be sunshine and rainbows.
It’s more like poop and farts. Also be prepared for a mixed bag of opinions about kindergarten. I have heard the gamut of: “School is not for me.” “How many years do I have to do this?” and “The food in the cafeteria is delicious, way better than yours, Mom.”
In my house there is an odd juxtaposition of independence and needing to be everywhere I am.
She can be simultaneously whiny and quiet. I’ve given up trying to anticipate or understand it. It’s like algebra: once you stop trying to understand why and just sort of go with it, everything gets easier.
Here’s What to Do
Let. It. Go.
Seriously, channel your inner Elsa. Roll with the moods, let them happen, be present and stay calm. Wine helps. I’m kidding about the wine… ok, not really. I don’t push her to do anything; I basically leave her alone. I offer a snack first thing and then I zip my lip.
When we get home, if she wants to be with me, of course she’s welcome, but I give her space to process her day, sort through her emotions and when she wants to talk, I listen. I’ve noticed that as soon as we walk in the door, she heads to her playroom. She spends a good amount of time playing every afternoon and I think it’s exactly what she needs.
In our house, the best cure for the kindergarten krazies has been to just let her be a kid at home.
Kindergarteners are expected to learn so much and do so much more than we had to back in the good ole days. Your sweet little 5-year-old will surface again, she just needs time and space.