By Gina Sampaio of Sister Serendip
1. My kid is going to teach your child a bad word. Maybe not of the four-letter variety, but she’s sort of an expert at stringing together verbs and body parts until she gets a combination that gets a charge out of her four older siblings and will probably make the teacher suspect we’ve let her watch porn.
2. Frankly, she might also impart some of the four-letter variety. Forgive her; her mother’s got a mouth like a truck driver.
3. Your kid will report that everyone else* has cookies and juice boxes (or whatever it is you don’t pack) for lunch every.single.day. (*Except for that one kid with the filthy mouth. She’s the outlier. Her mother’s too tired for that shit.)
4. Some other kids will be able to read already. The teachers know what they’re doing. Your kid will get there; relax.
5. Maybe your kid is the one that can read already. Oh, yeah? Great. Can s/he ride a two-wheeler? I didn’t think so.
6. Starting in the very first week, your child is going to meet and want to bring home a wide variety of exciting new germs and viruses. Resistance is futile.
7. Accept now that you’re going to forget something. Sneakers on gym day, crazy hair day, lunch money, book money, library books, permission slips. Try to limit these moments to once a month or less unless what you are forgetting is to pick up said child from school. That can really only happen once a school year or so lest you give the kid a complex.
8. Befriend other parents on Facebook or your preferred social media crack of choice as soon as possible. You’re going to be expected to remember the names of a lot of parents and kids all of the sudden. This is much easier if you start to get to see their names online frequently. Plus you can do a little stalking to see if that one kid has older siblings to explain the foul mouth or if it’s just shitty parenting.
9. Take it easy with the play dates, sports, and clubs those first few months. Even if your child has been going to full day daycare for five years or five day a week preschool for two, a full day of kindergarten just might wipe them out for the first month or two. Your child will probably not start napping again; instead s/he will opt for transforming into a whining, sobbing, disagreeable monster between the hours of whatever time you get them from school o’clock and bed time. It, too, shall pass.
10. Lastly, hope that your child’s teacher subscribes to the same theory my first child’s kindergarten teacher did: she promised us parents that she’d only believe half of what the kids told her what happened at home–if we promised to do the same about what they said happened at school.
About Gina Sampaio
Gina Sampaio challenges the notion of what being a stay at home mom means by not only staying busy with her five kids but also with acting, writing, social activism and rabble rousing in general. Gina blogs about her daily adventures with kids, crafts and cooking, navigating a post-foster care transracial open adoption and the ongoing journey of surviving a sexual assault at www.facebook.com/SisterSerendip (@Sister_Serendip on Twitter).