Small Talk

Kindergarten mom

July 30th, 2012

I've met another milestone in the journey of a parent. My daughter today starts kindergarten, which is a very exciting time for the whole family.

She likes feeling like a big girl in a big school (bigger than preschool), and we as parents feel that with each passing month, she gets easier to raise because she is maturing. We can have conversations with her because she remembers things from day to day much better than when she was younger.

We attend a school nearby, and I love the idea that I can walk her the half mile to class in the morning. It will be a nice bonding time.

Here's the more mundane part of being a Kindergarten mom: I had to buy a long list of school supplies and then LABEL every individual crayon and pencil with her name.

First, the buying process. Longs after work is a very busy place in the school supply aisle. There were like, ten other families on the hunt with their lists in hand. It was a bit of a zoo. There were empty shelves and little siblings running around underfoot. May I recommend you try your lunch hour if you have to do this?

Secondly, the labeling. I roughly added up all the items that needed labeling. It was about 150.

One! Hundred! Fifty!

I asked a veteran mom what she does. She said label makers don't have a font small enough to fit the skinny crayons, and handwriting is a pain. She recommended typing the name on a Word document, copying and pasting it until you have the necessary amount, and then taping it on to the item.

Super drag!

Now, I like labeling as much as the next anal-retentive person, but this was too much for even me. It took me two days to finish this.

As with most families, I'm the primary caregiver, and this task, like most others, fell to me to initiate.

I asked Claus to help me cut the labels up. He wasn't excited, but he did it. He used a cutting board and he cut the columns straight down the middle, so there was a lot of space before and after the name. This meant I had to fix his work before I taped the label down.

But it's done now. To think! Only six more years of this!

What's your experience with back-to-school season?

8 Responses to “Kindergarten mom”

  1. galekaminari:

    Congratulations to Olivia, you and Claus! Big day! 😀

    Reading your article brought back such memories!

    Better hope that Olivia does not approach needing the crayon nubs with the taped labels! LOL The good news is that you do not have to do the labeling routine for 6 more years! One at the most! Because next time, or at least by 2nd Grade, Olivia will do it herself! Sharpie Rub-a-Dub laundry marker is pretty indelible and the fine-point type is easy to use even on pencils.

    I greatly regret not caving in earlier to allowing/purchasing cute pencils and erasers, colored marking pens with interesting features, etc. I did not cave until around Easter. I made a mistake in denying my daughter, as we collected materials for school. I highly recommend that if Olivia expresses an interest in Sanrio pencils, for instance, that you get some immediately. They can be a kind of currency for girls in Kindergarten and First Grade, so not to have any is to be IMPOVERISHED. Cool erasers, like in the shape of strawberry shortcakes, ice cream cones, etc., are available. I think that Cara Mia is a good place to try for cutesy things.

  2. Ken Conklin:

    I still have very clear memories of kindergarten in Chicago even after all these years. A wonderful, gentle, very old gray-haired lady who probably retired at the end of the year. Mrs. Urban. There was a large black circle painted on the white linoleum floor where all the kids would stand and join hands at the beginning of class, signifying the unity of all mankind, just like the German 19th Century philosopher-theoretician of kindergarten had written should be done (Friedrich Froebel -- now you know why kindergarten is called by that German name -- a garden where children are the crop). I still have my kindergarten graduation diploma -- a small paper rolled into the shape of a tube, with the original tiny red ribbon to keep it from unrolling. But I don't remember having very many items that were my personal property with name labels on them. Only major things like a blanket or tote-bag. Certainly not individual pencils or crayons for goodness sake! Whatever happened to sharing? In a left-leaning Obama-loving state like Hawaii, I would expect kindergarten to be run like an incubator of Communism -- from each kid according to his family's wealth; to each kid according to need. You know, like Obama said to Joe The Plumber: "Spread the wealth around."

  3. July:

    The good news, Diane, is that less and less will be required as your daughter gets older. I'm pretty sure this is last year for crayons for my child's school supply list. As for labeling, my version is very close to the veteran's mom's method. I print on adhesive address labels and cut them up. Since it sticks to the item, covering with tape is a little easier.

  4. C:

    A friend of FB had a great idea on labeling..she said to start donating to charities in your kid's names...and you know how you start receiving free address labels from other use these address labels (now in your kid's name) to stick onto their school supplies. I'm going to start now so when my son starts Kindergarten in 2 years, we'll be ready! 🙂

  5. CAROL:

    I agree with the comment about getting the erasers in all the different much fun and the little girls adore them (so do moms and teachers)

  6. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    start early. i mark my daughter's supplies with her initials. luckily for me (or for my spouse) i purchase and mark all of the supplies except the community ones.

  7. Diane Ako:

    I like the eraser comment. I still have my Sanrio pencil collection from my youth too!

    C: the address labels are too wide for the skinny crayons, though it's a great idea for the other stuff.

  8. Rodney Lee:

    You have to label each individual crayon!?!

    Tip: Name your next kid "Crayola".

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