I woke up at 5am this morning. The ancient desktop in the room down the hall was painfully churning away, as it always does when I forget to turn it off at night, but usually I can sleep through that. Not today. Today I was up. My brain suddenly wide awake, worrying, worrying, worrying about school.
About what? Sammi's excited to start, she has a new Rapunzel backpack with a new princess lunch bag for the days she takes her lunch, we won't have to worry about "fall" clothes yet for another 2 months or so in our climate, so her current wardrobe can still stay, the teacher is awesome (and she said she reads my blog every day! Hi, Mrs. R.!), she'll have the same amazing aide as last year, and she'll be attending full-time, finally, as we've been looking forward to for the last 6 years. LOL
So what, exactly, am I worried about?
Bathroom breaks, that's what.
Lastnight I attended Back to School Night at Sammi's school, a night when parents can go and see their child's classroom, speak to the teacher and fill out paperwork. I got the amazing privilege of sitting at Sammi's desk and leaving her a secret love note inside. I heard about lunch menus, lunch money, daily schedules. I felt a pang of fear at the mention of spelling and math tests, Phys Ed 3 days a week, and self-guided group reading activities. I laughed to myself when the teacher said her goal was to have kids reading, eventually, 20 minutes per sitting, starting off in 3-minute sessions. Right. (Sammi could tear through book after book, reading each and every word, for 2 hours, if you let her...the teacher will find getting her to stop and refocus on a new activity to be the real challenge...) I was a little sad to see that one of the little girls that was so close to Sammi in Kindergarten, who we were told would likely be placed in her 1st grade class with her as peer support, has actually been placed into another class (even her mother was surprised!). Parents asked great questions about some of the more minute daily details, the answers to which I paid very close attention.
But I totally forgot to ask about bathroom breaks. And I totally don't recall seeing a bathroom in the classroom.
Not like I mind Sammi using the group restroom down the hall. That's absolutely fine. Ordinarily none of this would worry me, but we heard from her aide last year that she never used the bathroom at all during Kindergarten.
My child, with the bladder of steel, who I made sure used the toilet twice before leaving the house every morning, just never needed to go while in the half-day Kindergarten program, and just waited until she got home.
First grade is going to be very different. There is absolutely no way she could hold her water from 7:30am to 2:30pm, and if there's no bathroom in the classroom that she can just get up and use when she needs to go, will she ask to use the other one when she does? If the class goes en masse to take a lavatory break, will she go then, or say she doesn't have to (the mantra of the stubborn - okay, willful - child) and then be stuck later?
I'm not worried about accidents. Steel, remember? But I am worried about my silly girl getting sick if she holds it every day. I'm probably worrying about absolutely nothing. I'm sure she'll get into a routine soon enough, and, with the help and encouragement of her aide, she'll be fine.
But that's what kept me up this morning.
Oh, that, and carrying her lunch tray without dropping it.
And math and spelling tests.
And the self-guided group activities.