True Story

{March 26, 2012}   Big Boi

True Story:  My little fella is getting so big and funny, and ready for kindergarten. Or is he???

Red Shirting kindergarteners, heard of it?

Holding back a preschooler or kindergartener a year so they are better suited for school, social life & sports.

I had not heard the term Red Shirting kindergarteners until recently. But I am finding that when you have a summer baby, no matter what the situation, these days people ask you, “what are you going to do”?

This question of course refers to: Are you going to have them repeat K4 or go on to kindergarten as one of the youngest in the class.

G Monkey has, as it turns out, the unfortunate situation of being born on July 5. Of course to me he is the luckiest most awesome kid in the world. But as I research this business further, it seems people these days are even planning conception around when the child’s birthday would be for school and social purposes.

I am from the school of thought that your birthdate has more of a spiritual aspect to it. Like the planets lined up on that special night on a camping trip in a tent after 2 hot dogs and a bottle of wine to conceive your child. Who, by the way, will be born on HIS special day when the planets line up for his day of birth forming his perfect personality and life plan. But that’s just me.

I’m not starting a debate. I see both sides of the situation.

But remember when you were 5 and you went to Kindergarten, and there were all kinds of kids there: short ones, tall ones, fat ones, smart ones, loud ones, quiets ones, funny ones, mean ones, and they came in every color? Nobody cared because we all had to eat that sh*tty ice cream at lunch that was in the little plastic cup with the wooden “spoon”. What is that stuff? Does it even have sugar in it? I am pretty sure there has never been a vanilla or cocoa bean anywhere near the manufacturing plant for that nasty stuff. I traded mine for 2 cigarettes everyday of 3rd grade.

Oh, pardon me. I am just reminiscing of days gone by, before school shootings once a month and cyber bullying.

Here’s what I know. I was apparently incredibly lucky in the birthday department with an October Birthday. Making me one of the oldest in the class, except for those held back either because they were summer babies I guess, or that other reason you get held back. So as it turns out, I was one of the most mature people in my class.

Hahahahahaha! That former statement is not true in any way, shape or form. I am learning that the other issues to consider with the youngest in the class syndrome is maturity, driving & dating later than your peers.

I got my car and licence first in my class. Then it was taken away a month after my 16th birthday, and I don’t think I was allowed to drive again socially until my senior year. What did that October birthday get me? Nothing. Maybe had I been born in January I wouldn’t have liked to party, would have been more responsible, and could have kept my car.

Another thought, what about the parents? It never occurred to me that we wouldn’t go to kindergarten this fall until it was brought up by the preschool. What if another year of pre-school isn’t really in the budget? What if public school hours would really help a self-employed single Mom like myself be more productive, make more money, and more able to provide for said child?

SHAME on you Ashley! How dare you, parent of a 21st century American child, ever think of yourself. Every decision for the rest of your life should be what’s best for the child.

Really? What about the family unit? I don’t remember being coddled like this. I remember, “get outside”, “read a book”, “do your homework”, & “you’ll eat what I cook”.

Now a days, we bend over backwards to avoid any inconvenience for the little ones. GUILTY AS CHARGED here too. I tried every “convenient” contraption for him when he was a baby, I let him get away almost daily with chicken nuggets and pizza, and will allow an electronic device at a restaurant if I need to talk to other adults. I know G Monkey, for lack of a better word, is spoiled. Meaning, he doesn’t lack for anything and is made to feel all day every day how loved he is.

So we live in a fast food, MTV world of cell phones, tablets and video games. The big picture is if I raise a good human being who is kind, respectful and tolerant of others, all the little details of too many videos and honey buns here and there will balance out.

The kid has read since age 2 and everyone admits is a very bright child. But is he socially ready for the big bad world of Kindergarten?

I would say lately yes, if not we are getting there, and we still have 5 months till that 1st day of school.

He asks me for a playdate everyday. We recently had a lot of company for spring break. He was very disappointed if our company turned out to be of the grown up variety, preferring kids much more. He asked me if all future company could be kids.

We are playing T Ball, and I will admit he is THAT kid right now. He may, at any given moment, be lying on his back in right field counting clouds. But he loves playing with the other kids and really it is supposed to be about fun, right? Negative. It’s all about WINNING. Just ask Mr. Sheen.

We are going to camp 5 days a week this summer with other Big School Newbies and we are very excited about this.

True Story:  Kindergarten or bust!

Honestly, my biggest concern is him sitting still in a larger classroom and paying attention.

What I am not concerned about? That he likes to play by himself sometimes. I do too. besides, he’s an only child. He is very comfortable in his own company.

True Story: Kindergarten or not, everything will be fine. I’ll keep you posted on how Big School Boot Camp is coming along.

ashleygm says:

Brandy, thanks so much for sharing! I love to know people enjoy my blog. I think what’s fun about humor writing is finding a common ground with people that we all can identify with or find funny. I’m willing to throw myself under the bus to make others laugh. Ha!

Boredom is a huge concern of mine. Gray’s k4 studies 1 letter a week. Which might be his attention problem now. I thought I was writing about a touchy subject today, but it turns out everyone is supportive and has a sense of humor about it. I cetainly would never judge how any parent decides in this situation and I’m glad to see most everyone that has commented feels to each his own. Glad you are well and reached out!

Brandy Corbell Holland says:

Off the subject but I love Iove love Gray. My youngest (of 4) was born on Christmas Eve this past year. A girl – her name is Harper Gray…great name that works well both ways!!

Brandy Corbell Holland says:

Ashley –
I love your narrative!! It sounds like an average day in my life – multiplied by 4 ;-). I wanted to share with you my experience with the kindergarten debate. Sam has a May birthday so I was torn as to what to do myself. He went to preschool for 4 yrs – finishing a few weeks after his 5th bday. However he still lacked in reading skills which I think is crucial for success at any level of learning. I chose to hold him back and send him to a private preschool for one more year. That year was wonderful – more than I could have ever hoped for. Sam learned so much – but most importantly letter/number recognition, consonant and vowel sounds and he got a great introduction to reading. When he finally started “big school” he spent the first few months getting in trouble on a weekly sometimes daily basis. I could not understand what was going on – he had never had behavior problems in the past. When we sat down and talked it out he let me know how bored he was – he said “I already know all this stuff.”I admit I was secretly proud! That being said I would tather he be ahead than behind. As far as attention span goes – well he’s just a boy – show me a 5/6 year old boy who can sit still and listen and pay attention all the time and I would consider him an exception to the general population! I don’t expect Sam to be able to devote his full undivided attention to school or anything else for some time to come (after all he is of the male species). So the great kindergarten debate – it’s kind of a catch 22. I would say to you that as a mom you know your child better than anyone. If he’s off to a good start reading then he is already ahead. If you want to hang onto him one more year then so be it – that’s ok too! I’m sure he’ll be fine either way. At this point in life I really don’t care much about what others think of my decisions regarding my children. I care more about the fact that they are all happy, healthy, and full of creative energy. My children are very loved and they know it! They bring me more joy than I could have ever expected. I am truly blessed!!! Good luck!!!

Brandy Corbell Holland

ashleygm says:

Great to hear Alonna! Thanks for sharing. I certainly don’t care about the looks and comments from other restaurant goers. ha! Unless the video is too loud, then I realize it is rude. But, man it’s hard to have an adult conversation at a restaurant with a rambunctious little boy. Good to hear other parents feel the same way. I really worried about it for a couple of weeks. kind of in a panic. Never fun to have those kind of prent/treacher conference.

Alonna says:

I can agree with just about every sentence on here. My child who was conceived out of sheer luck! (We tried for 3 years) and gave up on infertility and then Bam something worked. I did not care what month he would be born, I was just thrilled to have a little person on the way! He was Born May 20th. So I can totally relate to the “hold them back” issue people push. I sent him to kindergarten when he was 5. He was an excellent reader, his attention span not so great but I knew he was ready. And there is variety of people out there who say no video games and I think that’s great. But that’s not for us either, we have a collection going and the last time we went out to eat with my mom a little girl sat down next to him who had a tablet and they played Angry Birds and shared a Nacho’s plate. While the woman behind said loudly “she didn’t let her child play games at dinner.” As I looked over my shoulder the little boy looked so sad and she looked miserable. Whatever, I mean aren’t they allowed to have some fun? Seeing as how I have an only child also, I find myself worrying about his “alone” play time most days. Recently we were somewhere a baby was crying and he asked if we could leave because it was getting on his nerves…. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there lol. Happy Parenting 🙂

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