Peter says: Getting ready for the very first day of school

Peter's wondering if there's anything else that needs to be done before Addy's first day of kindergarten, and talks about his anxiety about letting Addy go.

By Peter van de Geyn
Peter says: Getting ready for the very first day of school

Photo: Steve Wilhelm/Flickr

You know those back-to-school commercials where all the parents are in their glory and the Christmas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is playing? Yeah, that's not really happening in our house. (I'm guessing it will years from now, but it's not happening this year.) We got Addy a new backpack and lunch bag, and Lisa just came home with a whole whack of sparkly, sequin-covered new clothes. (Lisa went a little wild at The Children's Place this week. Every piece she bought has something shiny on it. I clearly don't get girls fashions.)

Now Lisa's walking around aimlessly waiting for the letter from Addy's school to come (the one that will tell us who her teacher is) and she's wondering if she should be at Walmart with the millions of other grabby, harried mothers lunging for cheap packages of lined paper, pencils, etc. But we have no idea what a junior kindergartner takes to school. Does she need pencils? Crayons? Paper? Scissors? I have no clue, and we haven't heard from the school. (So I'm hoping you'll tell me.)

On another note, I'm starting to freak out (yes, me) that in a little over a week from now, my little baby will be making her way to school for the first time. (I’ve come a long way from the guy in my mid-20s who never wanted to get married and certainly didn't want kids.) Fast-forward a decade (well, almost a decade and a half), and I'm about to send my girl off into the world, where I (or Lisa or our families) won't be able to keep an eye on her every second of the day. I should mention that as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to my little girls, everyone is potentially crazy and I trust no one. I’ve been spoiled because my mother-in-law has looked after our kids while Lisa and I work, and that has afforded me a certain level of ease — clearly my kids' grandparents are trustworthy.

Now Addy will be away from everyone she knows and I’m just supposed to suck it up and be OK with it. Looks like my only option at this point it to have my brother-in-law, who happens to be a total computer/Internet genius, run background checks on everyone my baby may come in contact with at the school. (Hear that Mr. Principal and Ms. Secretary? Doug, get ready to pull some information.) Paranoid? Maybe. (But what parent hasn't felt like this?)

In the meantime, a few questions:

What should we pack in Addy's backpack (besides lunch and a change of clothes) on the first day of school? And is there any way to alleviate some of the intense "holy crap my three-turning-four-year-old is going to school and we can't watch her every second" feelings?

Photo by Steve Wilhelm via Flickr

This article was originally published on Aug 24, 2012

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