Little G ran off to kindergarten that first day and never looked back. No tears, no clinging. It was sort of anti-climactic.
She loves her friends and lunch and recess and especially gym class. The actual learning part is a different story. Mostly because so far it has been all behavior management (there is punching and biting in this kindergarten!) and no learning. So she comes home crying about how bored and frustrated she is all day. When they do get a little quiet and focus the lessons are things like tracing letters and making paper chains (this is considered math in the public schools here).
I'm not one of those people who doesn't think play is valuable and I'm not some crazy flash-card mom but when my child has repeated meltdowns about how her desire to learn is being thwarted I get upset. And then I go see the teacher and she tells me that my kind of kid is not a priority and I start to feel ill and anxious. I want Little G to love school, not think of it as a holding tank where all she learns is how to tolerate difficult people at the expense of her own needs (not that this is not a valuable skill but it shouldn't be the only thing they teach her).
Now we're looking at a meeting with the principal, which terrifies me. In fact, this entire process scares me to death, a reaction I found strange because I'm usually good at navigating bureaucracy and advocating for a cause. Mr. G solved the mystery by pointing out that my powers tend to fail me when there is no decipherable structure and he is exactly right.
And so begins my education on how to use the public school system. Rule number one: be squeaky. Rule number two: tbd.