My oldest child is heading off to kindergarten in a few short weeks. He will pile onto a big yellow school bus with dozens of other kids, most of them older than he. There will be directions and activities, responsibilities and expectations all sitting squarely on his little shoulders.
Like any parent, I am equal parts delighted and terrified. I will finally have time to do all the things that never get done, like cleaning out the refrigerator (taking a nap) or vacuuming out the car (wandering through Target). But as I sing-song my way to that glorious first day of school, there are a few fears that keep poking their ugly little certainties into my thought bubbles.
While most parents probably worry about their little tykes not crying on the first day of school, I have other fears. My 5-year-old is a high-energy little dude with opinions set firmly in concrete. I know he won’t cry on the first day of school, but I might, out of fear of these 25 worries.
1. Will my kid eat paste?
2. What if some snot-nosed punk shakes my kid down for his milk money?
3. Will my kid flip out when he realizes he can’t watch an hour of Wild Kratts right after lunch?
4. What if my verbose little genius drops an F-bomb or some other unsavory word?
5. He is the SLOWEST pooper in the world, what happens when he has to “go”? Will he take an hour and want company so as to discuss the nuances of megalodon sharks?
6. When some kid says that falcons are fiercer than lions, will my kid loudly and repeatedly claim otherwise?
7. He has almost no modesty whatsoever and loves to be naked. OMG.
8. He also loves to pee outside.
9. Will he correct the teacher – like he does me – with shrieks of, “Excuse me, I believe that is wrong!”
10. In a moment of not paying any attention, will he wipe his nose on his teacher’s shirt?
11. Will he tell the teacher that his dad’s farts are the stinkiest in the world?
12. Is he going to only eat his dessert and then come home with a note from the kitchen staff that we ought to pack healthier options?
13. What if my kid yells out, “This is stupid,” when the teacher moves onto an activity that he doesn’t like?
14. Will gym class turn into an epic example of my kid screaming, “Hey! Watch this!!”
15. Seriously, this kid takes forever to poop. WHAT WILL HAPPEN??
16. What if he forgets when to get off the school bus?
17. Will he say something super embarrassing to the class like, “My mom pees her pants when she laughs, and it’s really funny.”
18. Will he be the only kid who doesn’t make a new friend?
19. Will he come home and announce that he has 17 new girlfriends?
20. Is he going to show the class his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Underwear during Show And Tell? Because he showed the mailman. And the bagger at the grocery store.
21. Is he going to interrupt the class lesson to jump up and show everyone his ninja moves?
22. Will he start a kindergarten version of Fight Club at recess when he realizes that every other boy is also the world’s greatest ninja?
23. Will I get a phone call from the principle?
24. Is he going to show off his dexterity with scissors and give some poor kid a haircut?
25. Is he going to be happy or pissed when he finds out that school happens all day every day?
I am almost certain that at least a third of these will happen, and I am bracing myself just in case. Who knows, maybe I can bribe the teacher with chocolate and box wine if my kid turns out to be as much of a handful there as he is here. In the meantime, I’m white knuckling the remaining dog days of summer.