transitional kindergarten

Isabelle at four months. 

Isabelle starts transitional kindergarten in six days. After having her with me almost all the time for nearly five years, suddenly she will be spending 30 hours a week at school. Who’s crazy idea was this.

I was standing in the snack aisle at Costco tonight and I realized I will packing lunches for the next twenty years of my life or something ridiculous like that. We’ve stocked her closet with school clothes, picked out a grown up backpack and worn in new closed toed shoes. Isabelle is thrilled and is so excited- her biggest concern is if someone will help her know where the bathroom is. My heart is going to explode. What if she can’t open her granola bar! Or if she skins a knee at recess! Will she say please and thank you? Will she go by Izzie or Isabelle? I’m not ready to send her out into the world!

We weren’t planning on putting her in a full day five day a week program this year. I thought she wasn’t ready, I was worried about how Lincoln would feel without her, I thought it would be too much with a newborn at home. Things change and over the summer I just felt Izzie was getting… bored. She is smart, she is curious, she is helpful and kind. She is ready for the next thing and despite me freaking out inside my head, she’s going to school all day without me. All. day.

Transitional Kindergarten is a newish program for the 4-year old children who turn five before the end of the year. It’s sort of like preschool/ kindergarten combined and it is supposed to get them totally ready for kindergarten. Some kids really excel and then they go right into first grade instead of a year of traditional kindergarten. Sometimes the TK and the K kids are all mixed together in one classroom but this year they have enough TK students for one official TK class, which is good because then her curriculum will be different next year. Fresh stuff. And I hear wonderful things about her teacher, so that is encouraging.

Of course I have mixed feelings about this. She’s so ready, she will excel, I want her to learn and grow and make friends and develop her strengths and talents. On the other hand, she’s my first, the one that made me a mama, and I remember how teeny tiny she was the night she was laid in my arms. She has needed me for everything for so long that I can’t imagine her being so brave and independent. It’s a big jump.

Our whole schedule is going to change- lazy mornings will be a thing of the past. If you know me, you know morning is not exactly my peak time so that is a challenge in itself. No more last minute trips out of town, early bird movies or morning swim dates. School is a commitment. I guess we are committed.

I can’t wait for her to come home and tell me what she learned and the activities she did and who she talked to and sat by at lunch. She is excited. Lincoln on the other hand…. I think he will be pretty bummed. He keeps saying “I go too! I go tooooo!” and I think it’s going to break his heart when we leave Isabelle at her classroom and I force him back to the car. They are such buddies, and he will miss his “Belle.” He and I will have some special one on one time though, and 2 1/2 is one of my favorite ages ever.

So if you need me on Monday, just expect me to be bawling my eyes out sitting in my van in the parking lot of her school. This came so quickly. Everyone says it does but you just ignore them and remember how many times you were up in the night calming a fussy baby. “The days are long and the years are short.” So, so true.

1 thought on “transitional kindergarten

  1. Those pics are ridiculous! She's so cute!!!!!!! I need a girl!


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