Our five-year old LP will be starting kindergarten in just a few short weeks . All summer he has oscillated back and forth between stating that fact proudly (“I will be in kindergarten soon!”) and being nervous (“I don’t want to go to kindergarten!”). However, another pattern this summer is how
much LP has been in charge of, well . . . everything he possibly can. It’s late August and suddenly I’m wondering who is really running this place.
Early in the summer LP went full-court press on wanting to cook. He wanted to bake something almost every day, which was actually pretty unhelpful because a) It was hot and b) I was trying to lose weight which was not helped by any baked goods. But LP persisted and soon he was making tiny batches of muffins that we could bake in the toaster over. He also was willing to go the play-doh route with his baking occasionally. There was a week where his official title was “Cowboy Baker.” He wore a vest with a cowboy on it, pulled on his cowboy boots and had a whole play-doh bakery set up with muffins, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts. It was loads of fun to order all that food from my Cowboy Baker (and much better for my waistline than the real thing!)
LP also has been pulling out all the stops with his musical instruments. This summer he and his sister both got ukuleles as gifts, so he has been using his “little guitar” to lead music class. He sits in a chair, tells everyone “You have to be quiet and listen to me because I am the teacher!” Then he starts singing the songs he remembers from Music Together. It was pretty adorable, even when I was pretty sure that the “Two Little Kitty Cats” song was going to be seared on my brain for all eternity.
The most constant form of being in charge has been LP taking care of his “baby” sister. Now, his sister
is 3 years old and most emphatically not a baby anymore. Whenever the G-man and I try to help her with anything she strongly states “I can do by MYSELF!!” But when LP tells her “you are the baby and I’m the daddy!” she happily plays along. He puts her to bed, sings her a lullaby, gets her some Cheerios when she wakes up, and cuddles her when she cries. They often go through this whole cycle in about 7 minutes, and then the start again. Both kids love it, but truthfully I think the G-man and I love it even more.
I’m still nervous about the start of kindergarten as I think most parents are, especially with their oldest child. Yet as I watch LP take charge of his pretend play their summer, I’m reminded of all the skills, both academic but mostly social/emotional, that he has developed in the last year.nI’m reminded that he will probably be just fine. He will be nervous, and he will have his feelings hurt, and some things will happen that disappoint him. But he also has the ability to open his own bakery, take care of his baby sister, and sing songs until his voice gives out. He has empathy, his speech can now be mostly understood, and he is willing to try to solve problems. He will have tough moments as we all do, but I think those will be far outweighed by the fun, the learning, and the friends he will make.
All right kindergarten. Here comes LP . . . and he is large and in charge!