not off to a great start

Kaitlyn came home from her first full day of second grade extremely grumpy.

The moment she stepped off the bus, she smiled and said “Mommy! I had a great day!” And it went downhill from there. Quickly.

First, she explained to me how lunch works. You pick a hot or a cold lunch. I said, “so the hot lunch is the lunch you buy there?” No. She swears it isn’t. I don’t know what she thinks the hot lunch means. Does she think they have a row of microwaves for kids to use? I can’t get her to answer me. She just yells at me that I don’t understand and slams her little hand on the table. Bottom line is, all she’s eaten all day is tomatoes, a yogurt drink and a cookie. She didn’t touch the macaroni and cheese I packed for her. This is not good. This is a problem. Someone should have helped her. I’m not there. I’ve never been to her elementary school. But I cannot imagine that she’s got this quite right. Yes, she’s used to being served her lunch like she’s at a restaurant. But she’s a kid. She’s adaptable. Isn’t she?

Then I took out the one sheet of paper in her folder. It was a page titled “get to know new friends in second grade.” There were a few rows of boxes and each box had a description like “has a pet dog” or “is an only child” or “wearing something blue today.” A couple boxes have names scribbled in them. A couple seem to have the word “no” in them. She asked me to read it to her. I said we could read it together. This initiated a complete meltdown. She hollered that I don’t understand that this wasn’t a reading assignment and that I must be crazy and she stomped off.. stomping all the way up the stairs and through the hallway. And I must be the one who is crazy? Once she calmed down, I asked her to explain to me how this worked in class. How did she know whose name to put in the box? How did she know what each box said? Because certainly “has a dog” is something a second grader would be expected to be able to read. I still have absolutely NO IDEA how this exercise worked in class. NONE. Mostly, I know that I am apparently crazy for even asking.

I was so looking forward to Kaitlyn going to school in the US. So looking forward to understanding her work and being able to relate to the classroom experience. But so far, I haven’t understood a thing. The one thing I do understand is I’m already afraid she is in over her head. And it’s only second grade.

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