Wednesday, September 10, 2014

HASHTAG KINDERGARTEN PROBLEMS

Lily is in her 4th week of kindergarten.  So far, she is doing really well and is enjoying her class very much.  We are in a good routine and learning how all this stuff works.  I've gotten to eat lunch with her and go to kindergarten open house and see her work in her classroom.  I've learned how to work through the stuff in her take-home folder and realized that I will need a whole new system for organizing "Random School Stuff That I Feel Like I Need to Keep but Don't Know What To Do With."

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Poor Lily is our oldest child, aka, our guinea pig.  We don't know what we are doing.  All of our parenting theories are just that - theories.  We hope and pray that we are walking in the right direction, but we just can't know anything for sure, except for that we will probably get some things right and some things wrong.

As I was cleaning out Lily's lunch box the first week of school, I realized that she wasn't eating much - or sometimes any - of her sandwich.  It's a sandwich that she loves to eat, and I knew she was probably hungry.  When asked, Lily said that she didn't want to have a dirty face, so she wasn't eating her sandwich.

That just about broke my heart.  And made me smile, because it is so Lily.

I told her I could put a napkin in her lunch, but she rightly pointed out that it would be dry, and she might not get everything.  So, I tried sending a wipe in a plastic baggy, and when the sandwich still came home uneaten, I was confused.  Until she told me that she couldn't see her face to know if she had gotten everything.

After visiting her school for lunch one day, I did realize that the mirrors are quite far away from where she eats lunch.  And I'm guessing she can't really depend on her peers to kindly show her the Nutella traces around her lips, so we got a locker mirror that now lives in her lunch box.  I'm guessing she is probably the only kindergartner with this accessory, but I don't really care, because she is back to eating full sandwiches for lunch.  I'm glad her belly is full and that she knows her face is clean.  Everyone feels better with a clean face.

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John and I, between our bits of laughter, were a bit perplexed with how seriously she took this.  Is she obsessed with appearances?  Doesn't she know that she's beautiful even with Nutella on her face?  Does she care too much about what other people think?  I mean, we want her to care some, because being able to gather social cues is a really helpful life skill.  But, we don't want her to care too much.  How do we teach the balance?

Very quickly, it hit us that this is the first of what we're sure will be many issues that we will have to think through.  Did we overthink this one?  Absolutely.  However, we didn't show her that side of it at all.  I just tried not to make a big deal of it, since I could see it was already a bit of a deal in her own mind, and I tried to equip her with what she needs to eat lunch.

I'm thankful that kindergarten problems often have kindergarten level fixes, and I pray for wisdom every step of the way as we navigate problems that will inevitably become more complex.  Until then, I will enjoy the days when solutions can come from Target and sandwiches come home magically consumed.

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