Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thank God it's OVER!

Well, that's it.

The end of another school year.

I guess technically, tomorrow's the end.  But really, I hardly think an hour and a half of assembly time, with recess, snack, desk and locker cleaning, and dismissal at noon counts as a school day!

This year was...uh...well, it was...interesting.

My son started Kindergarten.  In the beginning, he was all set to go into the full Kindergarten class at the school.  But thanks to some late registration and general administration kerfluffle, they ended up having to add a K/1 split class.  And despite my several pleading requests, both in writing and verbally, to please keep him in the full K, he got placed in the split.  I was pissed.  He was emotionally immature (in my opinion) and he also has a late birthday, so he was still 4 for the first two months of school - and in a class with Grade 1's.  Instead of having 22 peers his own age in his classroom, he only had 6.  I was pretty upset, but I managed to keep Momma Bear in check, and decided it is what it is, and he will be fine.  And he was fine...he was more than fine.  He still made lots of friends from the other class, and academically (that word makes me laugh when we're talking about 5-year-olds!) he is doing extremely well.  So it's good.  It's all good.

In September, my daughter started Grade 2.  Her Grade 1 experience was absolutely fantastic; it was her first year at this school, the teachers were great, and she instantly clicked with a bunch of girls in her class.  Everything about her Grade 1 year was really, really, super.  So, like a bunch of dummies, we headed in to Grade 2 thinking it would be the same.

Big, big mistake.

You know how they say to never assume anything?  Well, they're right.

That whole late-registration thing threw the whole frickin' school into a tizzy for the entire first week of September.  And when the class lists were finally posted, my daughter was completely separated from her peers.  In fact, they could not have made her feel more alone if they had tried.  Out of the 11 little girls in her Grade 1 class, NINE of them had been placed in the other Grade 2 class, and TWO of them in Mackenzie's.  Her, and one other girl.  The REST were together, and MY CHILD was separated.  It should be noted here that not only was she split from her girlfriends, but also a few boys that she had gotten close to as well.  She walked into her Grade 2 classroom completely alone, while 9 (!!!) of her friends walked into their classroom, all together, on the other side of the school.

And you know what I did?

I lost my goddamn mind.

I had what you might call a "complete f***ing temper tantrum" in the principal's office, and went full-out Momma Bear on his ass.  It was awful, and in retrospect, completely embarrassing.  I cried.  I swore.  I accused him of not paying one bit of attention to the class lists.  I told him that it looked like he made it his mission to alienate my child.  I demanded to know how it was even possible to have such an uneven split.  My rational mind knew that she'd been placed with a wonderful teacher, and that she was going to have to face this life experience at some point, but all I wanted to do was stomp my feet, demand that she be moved, shove the principal out of the way, march over to Mackenzie's new classroom, drag her out, and put her in the classroom with her friends.  But, of course, I didn't.  Which is probably a good thing; I'm pretty sure that shoving the principal would be grounds for a restraining order and permanent dismissal from the school forever.  When I finally stopped crying, like, five days later, I thought - OK - she is a strong little girl, and she is going to be fine.

But here's the thing: I don't actually think she was fine.

She made new friends, she absolutely LOVES her teacher, and I know she had a great classroom experience.  We could not have asked for anything better on that front.

But socially, she is shy.  And we worked really hard on her friendships in Grade 1.  And approaching a group of people is very hard for her to do.  And she felt more and more distanced from her friends with every passing school day.  And at least once a week, for an entire school year, she would tell me that she missed her friends and wished she were with them.  It broke my heart, and it still does, and I will never, ever forget the mixture of sadness and rage I felt when I looked at that class list for the first time.  She still had lots of playdates with her old buddies, and birthday parties and sleepovers and stuff like that, but she wasn't with them every day on the school yard, even though she really, really wanted to be.  I literally feel physical pain when I think about it.

So to say that I'm glad this year is over?

Giant understatement.


  1. So proud of you for giving it to the principal on Mac's behalf! That is what an awesome mommy does! I hope there is no need next year for either of your kiddies.

  2. It was more that I freaked out TO him, rather than AT him, if that makes sense! I was a crying, ranting mess. It's a wonder he didn't kick me out of his office for being such an f'ed up spaz!!!