You know what’s super loud at 6:50 a.m. in the morning? A six-year-old screaming at the top of his lungs. And just when I thought he couldn’t possibly get any louder, we walked outside the house onto our super quiet street to catch the kindergarten bus. I’m not sure if the actual decibels associated with the screaming actually went up, or if it was the gentle quiet of the street being disturbed, but oh my god, I had to get that kid back inside the house pronto!
Especially after a driver turning the corner shot me a dirty look, like, “Lady, what are you doing to that kid?”
I wanted to shout, “You’ve got this all wrong. He is doing this to me!”
And then I look at this picture and think, How is this sweet boy even capable of acting like that?
It’s not like I didn’t know this was coming. I mean, I’ve had two boys go through kindergarten before. I’d even warned my really good girlfriends who have children the same age as Rowan. I told them, “Get ready. There’s this thing I’ve come to think of as the Howard meltdown, and it happens every Friday night for the entire year. Say goodbye to going out on Friday nights for a meal. And if you do, God be with you because it’s going to be like demons have taken over your otherwise sweet, well-behaved child. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars you all made it out of that restaurant alive.”
(I’ve thought for a long time that there’s a hidden meaning behind Howard’s mascot being a bear. They look so sweet and cuddly, but watch out!)
I think the thing that startled me most is I was expecting this to happen on Friday night. Obviously. But this year, the old AHISD decided to make the kindergarten school day longer than in years past. They start at 7:50 and go until 3:00 instead of the previous years where they started at 8:20 and went until 2:00. So when Rowan had a meltdown on Thursday night, it kind of threw me for a loop.
Then one of my friends texted last night and said, “I thought you said the meltdown would happen Friday night. Mine’s melting down tonight, a whole night early.”
Maybe it’s not the days, but the hours spent? Because that would make sense with these earlier than usual meltdowns.
Then this morning, Rowan woke up happy and content. And I breathed a sigh of relief that he got a good night’s sleep. It’s Friday!
Then it started. He got this little tremor in his voice because he couldn’t find his Angry Birds comic book. We searched and searched and we couldn’t find it anywhere. Then we went down for breakfast and I was hopeful he’d forgotten about it. Then it started again. When I finally said, “Look, buddy, we’ll look for it tonight. We just don’t have any more time to look for it this morning,” that’s when he went full-on ballistic.
I said, “Okay. You’re going to need to work that out,” and walked away.
My husband, on the other hand, came in and started saying, “That’s a horrible book. It’s only pictures and sound effects. It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. I can’t believe you’re crying over that book.”
(If you’ve ever known a six-year-old child, I’ll just let you imagine just how effective that strategy was. It was like trying to put out a fire with a hose full of gasoline.)
At this point, we are out of time. The bus is going to be there at any minute. I thought by taking him outside, he might pull it together because he loves riding the bus.
(I feel I should apologize to all of my neighbors at this point.)
(Except for the guy that gave me the look when he was turning the corner. To you, I say not sorry and I invite you over to listen to my husband rant about something you love or feel ever so strongly about.)
(Dear Neighbors, I am so sorry. I know my kids can be really loud, I just had no idea my little one would be that loud.)
To the rest of you who have little ones who started kindergarten this week, just know that this is okay. It’s normal. They’re, oh, so tired. Don’t try dinner out on Friday nights until first grade. Trust me on this one. Order in a pizza, have a glass of wine or a finger of scotch–whatever floats your boat–and tuck that sweet little one into your big bed for a movie with his favorite blanket or luv-y and a sippy cup if you’ve still got one lying around.
There’s something to that saying “Misery loves company,” and I want you to know that you’re not alone.
We’ve got this, Mamas.