Wednesday, March 19, 2014
We have had several meetings with Chandler’s teacher over the last couple weeks. Chandler has a very late July birthday and we have been discussing whether or not we should have her repeat kindergarten.
Chandler’s teacher, Ms. Marshall, called so we could have a chat about how Chandler was doing and about her personality. Ms. Marshall and Ms. Lee are not novice teachers. So, when Ms. Marshall said that she was thinking that Chandler may need another year of kindergarten to give her a chance to mature a bit more, we had to take a serious listen. All the points that Ms. Marshall brought up were real and things I do see at home. Chandler is the baby of the family and short of having another baby, she will stay the baby of the family. This doesn’t work so well in school. There, she is acting like the baby of the classroom. She wants even her teachers to snuggle her.
If Chandler doesn’t want to do something at home she’ll tell me that she can’t because she’s “the baby” and she is throwing around the same attitude at school.
After that phone call, Eric and I talked briefly about her repeating kindergarten. But for the most part, I put it out of my mind. With one son in middle school and two at Coastal Montessori Charter, (which shares a building with the middle school) and the plan that Chandler would be there next year, I was looking forward to having all four kids under one roof for their school day. That would mean a major cut back in the amount of carpooling I do everyday.
And then sweet Ms. Marshall called and said that she wanted to see both Eric and I. Now you know it’s going to be something if she wants both of us to come in. So I do what I do best and over analyze every possible option of what Ms. Marshall may have to say. I start pre-planning what we should do. I cornered teachers I knew and grilled them. I asked my friend Kelly McCurry and Hope Cauthen about a 100 questions about 100 different ways. I asked other moms with kids the same age. I prayed about it. Maybe I only half listened to Eric’s thoughts on the subject.
Like all decisions that you make for your children, you worry that you will make the wrong choice and you will ruin your child and send them straight to therapy. Even though its only repeating kindergarten, I still had several panicky moments.
And then like a jerk, Eric had the nerve to make a good point. He said if we allow Chandler the chance to repeat kindergarten it will be the only chance that she will ever get to be the “big girl,” the oldest at anything. Right now she is the youngest in her class and the youngest in our family. Why not let her be the oldest? It will only benefit her.
I’d like to point out that all of the above happened before the meeting with Ms.Marshall. She hadn’t even said anything yet and I had already gone nuts.
We met with Ms. Marshall and she did tell us that Chandler would benefit from another year in kindergarten. By then, I had come off the crazy ledge and agreed with Eric that Chandler should get a chance to be the big girl. I am still mad that he made such a good point.
Now my worry was telling Chandler. So, maybe I decided not to tell her, hoping she wouldn’t notice. This was a good plan. I mean, Autumn and Denver have had the same teacher for the last two years in Montessori, so I thought I could get away with living in denial. But the voice of reason, her name was Kelly, said I couldn’t do that. I told Chandler that Ms. Marshall and Ms. Lee really wanted her to stay in their class next year. I braced myself for all the questions and tried to think of ways to answer them without ruining her for life. Her response? Chandler said “Great! Who wants to learn how to get to a new classroom anyway? Not me! And when everybody has to do graduation, I don’t gotta do that.”
Just when you’re convinced that you are on the verge of ruining your sweet baby and you spend hours on the ledge of crazy town, your child says something like that. It’smiracle I don’t have gray hair.
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