This year is Elly's first year of school, it is also our school's first year of "all day everyday kindergarden". I was not impressed with this concept. These are 3 and 4 year olds for goodness sakes. I wrestled with my own feelings. I did not think that Elly was up for all day everyday. I did not want my last baby to be away from me everyday. I felt like I was giving away valuable time that I had with my last baby. I made a lot of "I" statements, and then it dawned on me... "I" wasn't ready, but maybe she was. Begrudgingly I sent her.
Elly loved her first day of school. She did not understand the concept of going to school "every day". When I told her that she had to go on Wednesday, her reply was "No, I just go Tuesdays." We only sent her to nursery school one morning a week. She thought that junior kindergarden would be the same, even though we had repeatedly told her she would go everyday.
The second week of school she decided that she did not like school, and did not want to go anymore. We went through the list of reasons why she liked school. She liked her teacher? She Mrs. Eady is really nice. She liked her helpers? Yes they were really nice. After much questioning she came to tell us that one of the little girls in her class kicked her. What is funny about this, is that at our house Elly is a little too ready with her little hands to settle arguments with the big kids (even though we have a pretty strict hands off policy in our house). I then asked all the other questions, does she hurt you everyday? No, that little girl did not hurt her everyday, just the once. Just once was too much for Elly.
We have reached a decision about all day everyday kindergarden. It's too much for our little girl. I am missing special time with her. The big kids all went every other day for kindergarden. We had some amazing times on the days that they did not go to school. I made an extra effort, because I knew "our" time was coming to close. That sounds very overly dramatic, but it's true. Until age 4 their father and I were the main people in their lives. I spent 12 waking hours a day with them. I helped to shape them. At age 4 I handed them over to strangers. I was now only spending 5 hours a day with them. I was no longer the only person who shaped them (control freak me, oh never). I was giving away valuable time with Elly, time that I can never have back.
After some serious thought, and a lot of discussion (Christopher may be inclined to tell you way too much discussion), we decided to keep Elly home on Fridays. She doesn't turn 4 until the middle of October. Four days a week are plenty, and keeping her home Fridays gives her special Mommy Elly time. It seems like a good compromise to me.