Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danielle Starts School

August 26, 2009

You knew this was coming right? I thought it only fair to give Danielle equal time in the whole 'starting kindergarten' story-telling.

Like most kids with older siblings, Danielle was more than ready to start kindergarten at a very young age. She was constantly wondering aloud when her turn would be, since she was dying to 'be a big girl' and head off to school just like Brother and Sissy. We kept telling her she was too young; you had to be five to start kindergarten. She had to content herself with packing her little backpack with crayons and cololring books to take along to daycare, biding her time until she was grown up enough.

Danielle's birthday is in late November, and although we technically could have sent her to school when she was four, we thought it best to wait until the following year. All that fall, she listened attentively to her siblings talk about their classes and their homework, wishing she could join in the conversation. When I picked her up from daycare on the afternoon of her birthday that November, her babysitter Tami told me I had unfortunately been less than clear with Danielle as to how exactly school was supposed to work.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well," she began, "your daughter has been angry at you all afternoon." I couldn't imagine why. "When I lined up all the school-aged kids to load them up in the van, there at the back of the line was Danielle, beaming, backpack on her back. I told her to go back to where all the rest of the younger kids were playing, but she put her little hands on her hips and said, 'I'm going to school today! It's my birthday, and Mommy said I couldn't go to school until I was five. Well, I'm five today, so I get to go to kindergarten!'"

What a cruel realization for her! I had failed to mention anything about school schedules and time lines and the beginning of the year. She had waited patiently because she knew it wasn't terribly long before her birthday, and suddenly she was being told she'd have to wait a much, much longer time. It wasn't fair--and I didn't blame her for being mad at me.

Luckily, by the time fall rolled around again, she was no longer bearing a grudge. The week before school was to finally start for her, I took her to the school to meet Mrs. Weber, who would be her kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Weber paused in her efforts to dress up her room for all the students who would be flooding the classroom next week to talk with Danielle. As they made small talk, Danielle was taking in her surroundings, the world she would get to inhabit for the next several months. Then, her teacher said something that would let her know for sure she was in for a great year. Just in passing, Mrs. Weber mentioned that her favorite color was yellow. Well, Danielle loved yellow, and had never heard anyone else say it was their favorite. She knew right then and there that she was going to love Mrs. Weber--and kindergarten. And she was absolutely right!


  1. AH...Kindergarten...the best of times; the worst of times. Mostly best. It's the brand newness of it that is a bit hard for some kids. Your girl is a cutie.

    This is totally dumb...but I thought I was already following you. Duh. I am an official follower now. I am going to do my homework and catch up on my reading.


  2. I love your stories of all your babies starting new school years! It was difficult for me this year, my little guy started kindergarten too. I must say that it has been quite the adjustment, but we're adjusting! :) The story of your little boy following the kids to Campus Club is scary! I would have been freaked out! Glad he was just off on an adventure! :)

    Hope you guys are having a great week!

  3. Classic!! I wonder if she will remember this story like you remembered your brother messing with you about the party. Bright young lady!! She is adorable.