I remember kindergarten.
It was sort of magical. Like a bottomless toy box. School intrigued me. For a bit. My teacher's name was Ms. Cunningham. She had a broken kneecap on the first day of school. My memory says it was due to a skiing accident...would have to be water skiing I guess. That was quite the deal to me. My best school friend's name was Angela. We used to hunt aliens on the playground. Not kidding. That's exactly what the world needs, right? More proof that I'm stark raving nuts and have been since birth. Add that to the ever-growing pile of nut-farm fodder. School was mostly like playing the whole time and I already knew the things we were supposed to be "learning" so there was no real work. They taught us letters using things like Mr. M and his "munching mouth"...come on now!!! I hate to say this, but with the exception of one history teacher in fourth grade (Mrs. Corn was her name)...yeah that's really it...it pretty much continued that way with maybe one or two exceptions in high school. You can blame all that on my parents and their obsession with the library. Ok, MY obsession with the library.
The downside to kindergarten (and school in general) was that I learned that my rainbows were, in fact, NOT rainbows because--while they did include every color I had in my box--they were not in the proper order nor were they limited to the standard ROY G. BIV color scheme that apparently every young girl was trained to make their rainbows out of before they showed up. AAAACK! What an insult to my artistic temperament! Between this lesson and Mrs. Thomas in third grade, who told me my drawing wasn't very good because I hadn't outlined everything in black like everyone else, I learned two things very, very quickly. One: I don't really like being like everyone else which is good 'cause I kinda stink at it for some obvious reasons. Two: There was clearly going to be a lot of "art" (and other things) made simply for the purpose of making teachers happy and it was going to have to be burnt later or signed with a name other than mine. And it was. That is basically the story of me and school. And pretty much is to this day.
The exception being my history in the orchestra/band program which was altogether different from my otherwise school experience. Completely.
As you know, Squib started school this fall. For some reason, though I'm not sure what that reason was because they are so different, I think I expected him to react more like Beanstalk. Excitement, enthusiasm, joy, exuberance, etc. Yay, school! Like he had begun a glorious new adventure. But it doesn't seem that way for Squib at all. It seems like a daily marathon. Or triathlon. Before it all started, I admit, I was, in the back of my mind, a little worried about that. How was he going to make it through the entire day? Every day? All week? He was still taking daily three hour naps, after all. No, I'm not joking. And, no, I wasn't forcing him. He simply trouped off after lunch every day like it was just the next thing to do. He's never argued about sleeping a day in his life. He takes after his mother in this way. He's always been a little guy as well. I've attributed this to his heart condition which has been resolved, but he is, after all five years old and really just now wearing clothes sized for three and four-year-olds. So...
So, how does he make it through the day? Answer? He doesn't.
This constitutes our quality time together of late:
The sum total of our conversation from 3:45 pm-6:00 pm today was, "Mom I want a snack," delivered through a rain-streaked face and water-plastered hair. He could barely keep his eyes open and there was really no arguing with him. He's very close to irrational at that time of day. So, we got a snack, he took a drink, and not thirty seconds later I snapped this picture before we were even three blocks from the convenience store. I would say that Barbara at the store was slipping him something other than a sucker, but she just wouldn't do that, I don't think. She makes a killing off all us Friday afternoon snackers.
He did surface briefly when I was on the phone to turn his head to the right and repeat a word after me..."but"...and then he didn't even move except to snore until we made it out to the house two hours later.
When we arrived, all he said was, "carry me." He was still soaking wet from the downpour we were in when I carried him to the car, but he didn't even want me to change his clothes. He flat-out refused.
I carried him in, stuffed him full of corndogs (gross!), drew a couple of pictures for him on demand, and he lasted all of one-and-one-half total hours out of bed (what with dinner and a shower crammed in there) and is now snoring (again) in his bed where he will, no doubt, be until I wake him up tomorrow. Last weekend he'd have slept through lunch if I'd let him. And why didn't I? Really? Mean ogre mother.
I do, on occasion, attempt to ask him about school. So far, all he does is shake his head back and forth in a most bewildered manner and say, "I don't know." Or, my personal favorites, "I can't talk about it."--and--"I can't tell you."--which still comes out--"I can't teww yew." (So cute). Like he works for the CIA and really can't talk about it. Those answers make me giggle because he's so damn serious when he uses them. Really. School is a state secret around here. So, I have to turn my head or put my hand on my mouth because he hates it when I look like I'm laughing even just a little bit. Not even a smirk. And with my sense of humor, this can be impossible.
Rarely, he'll come up with something like, "We had chicken nuggets." -or- "We ate pancakes." That gives me hope because at least I know he's not lost touch with his favorite thing--food. But it isn't at all satisfying from an academic or investigative perspective. At this point, I whole-heartedly admit to being a wee bit jealous that the school folk are now getting the best conscious hours of my baby's time! Grrr.
I miss the days when he used to speak to me in full sentences instead of grunts and whimpers. And I'm a wee bit concerned that they're gonna wipe the poor kid out before he gets to Thanksgiving or Christmas and has some time to recover. I suppose my only real hope is that by the time he gets out of all this in, say, 2024...OMG!...and somewhere in there goes to college or whatever kids are doing by that time (Starfleet Academy, knowing my luck) perhaps we can have a lucid conversation about how he's doing, what he likes, what he wants to do, how he feels, and what's important to him before he ships off for gamma quadrant for the rest of his known life.
Gosh I miss that kid sometimes...even when he's right here in the house.