You know what I hate? I hate hearing my bad habits coming out of my kid’s mouth.
In the spirit of do as I say and not as I do, I told Beans a few days ago that he has to give me a penny every time he says, “I hate … [fill in the blank with anything under the sun].”
I’m guilty of uttering those words in reference to things like curvy roads and ice cream flavors, and Beans seems to think it’s fun to play with such phrases on his own. He says them without much conviction, and many of the things he attaches them to are not very convincing – at least to me, because I know him well and I have a pretty good idea about the kinds of things he truly does hate.
For instance, earlier this week I heard him say that he hates school. Need I remind you that this is the kid who CRIED when we told him we were taking him on an overnight trip to the Memphis Zoo instead of to preschool last fall?
I know he’s a little anxious about starting kindergarten. He’ll be in a new place, with a bunch of new routines and many new expectations. (Truth be told, I’m far more anxious about this than he is.)
He’s asked me if there will be any kids he knows and I’ve told him I’m not sure. No one from his preschool class will be there, but that leaves lots of other acquaintances who just might be (I’m hoping for the best here.).
Yesterday, we sat on the swings in our backyard, a sprinkler spraying our backs to keep away the heat, and had a heart-to-heart about school and what it might be like and I think he’s feeling better about it now.
What I gleaned from our conversation is that while he may have said, “I hate school,” what he meant was more like, “I hate change.”
(I’m with you there, buddy. This growing up business is tough, for sure. Tough on you and tough on your mama, who would love it if you could just stay this age and this stage for at least another 10 years.)
Chief among his worries was that he will have to stay for lunch in kindergarten, and in preschool, lunch was followed by nap time. (Beans only went to preschool in the morning; I picked him up at 11:30 a.m. sharp and brought him home for lunch and we spent the rest of the day together. I’m getting teary just thinking about not being able to spend the afternoons with him anymore.)
“Will I have to take a nap?” he wanted to know.
No, I assured him – kindergartners are too big and too busy for nap time.
“Oh. I hate nap time.”
(He sincerely means that one. There was no penny penalty leveled for that proclamation.)