King started kindergarten this week. I was so worried about how he was going to handle it, but, as usual, it turned out that I was the only stresser and stressor in the whole situation. He is so excited and absolutely energized by school I can hardly believe it.
The back-to-school preparations began ominously enough, though. Starting with: THE UNIFORM. King is attending a private school which requires him to wear khaki shorts/pants, a white or blue polo shirt, and white sneakers. The pleated shorts are a little gooberish, but other than that it's not too bad. But King hated it. Now, to truly understand King's dislike of the uniform, I have to explain his preoccupation with "soft pants". At some point he got the idea that any fabric other than fleece, flannel and a few select synthetic materials most often found in athletic shorts, was just too harsh for his delicate ass. I am partly, if not mostly, at fault here for not nipping the "soft pant" thing in the bud and forcing him, by threat of never seeing another treat again until he was 18, to wear whatever pants were available, be they hard or soft. Alas, I slacked and gave him a steady supply of soft pants to feed his habit. Needless to say, the uniform shorts/pants are "hard". As if that weren't torture enough, I told him he was going to have to wear a belt, which sent him right over the edge. It was midsummer and he was already writhing around on the floor in his dorky-cute uniform, crying about how he didn't want to go to school. Oh, dear.
Then there was the shoe issue. Although kindergarteners can choose their own footwear, they are bound by the requirement that they be white. As I like to say: no ethnic shoes allowed. When his new pair of mighty-whities arrived, he took one look at them and proclaimed that they hurt his feet, without even so much as sticking a toe in them. What an amazing prognosticator? Perhaps, but it would only be by pure coincidence. He was actually making a not too subtle threat to turn the morning of the first day of school into a living hell.
The morning of the first day arrived and... smooth sailing. He put on his uniform without a complaint and put his shoes on with nary a wince. It was really all Curtis and I could do not to cash in on this "I told you so" moment with a sly comment like, "hey, those shoes really hurtin' ya, huh?" But we stayed on the high road (this time) and bit our tongues. King, who usually maintains a "cool... whatever..." facade, could not contain his excitement. And when he got home on that first day, he actually did a little dance, he was so happy. Normally, when I ask him about what he did on a particular day I'll get this droning answer: "play, play, play, play, eat, play, play, play..." and he'll keep going until I order him to stop. But when he gets home from school now, he tells me all about his day, with real details, and I don't even have to ask. Amazing. I know much of this will probably wear off and he'll return to his "too cool for school" ways, but what a great place to start.