Kindergarten Hell

We are in Kindergarten Hell.  My sweet, charming little Mooch left on the first day of school with a mere wave and what walked off that bus was a fib-telling, tantrum-throwing, rule-hating little demon, packed inside the shell that once was my son.  What the hell.  Where did my sweet, polite child go?  He went to Kindergarten.


First there was the meanness to little Zook (whom I have no concern that he can hold his own) then there was the tantrum at soccer.  Soccer.  All was kosher until I whip around to seem my child (or what was once my child) stamping across the soccer field in the middle of the game sobbing and screaming.  The screams were barely decipherable (my hope was that they were completely indecipherable), the tears were flowing, arms swinging wildly in the air.  I hate soccer!  I hate my team!  I hate it!  I hate soccer- and my team! Sob.  Sob.  Sob.  After about 10 minutes of rolling, kicking (not at the soccer ball), drooling and snotting on the sideline, he finally was able to tell me what had offended him to this extent: He hadn’t yet scored a goal.  Really?!

There’s been meltdowns over the order of tooth brushing, nightly book choice, “wimpy” [insert item of clothing or footwear here], getting out of bed in the morning and into bed at night.  We have had hitting, pushing, pinching, throwing and fist-pushing (pushing your closed fist into someone’s stomach without the quick force of a punch- but with the same outcome). We have had arguing over meals and drinks and I’ve answered questions like Why can’t I have cookies for breakfast? Everyday.  (Which reminds me, I totally need to do a Things I Wish I Could Say Part 2…)


My rationale is that he’s balking at his now-structured day, learning not only about numbers and letters but also about bullies and meanness.  Hearing new words and phrases, new jokes and insults- and trying them out at home.  On us.  There have been a couple times in the last two weeks that I have looked into his eyes, pleading with desperation… Please send my sweet innocent boy home to me!  Tonight, as I was tucking him into bed, he seemed sad.  What’s up Mooch?  How’s school?  Good. Is there anything you’d like to change about kindergarten? Silence and then…  Sometimes at Morning Meeting, the kids tell me to scooch over and I don’t have room to scooch.  Emma told me to scooch.  And I scooched.  And then Henry told me to scooch back.  But I had no where to scooch back.  Tears stung my eyes, my throat had that hard lump in the back.  As my Mooch looked down, he picked a chip of paint that had dried under his thumbnail… I didn’t have anywhere to scooch.  And then he leaned into me.

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So much is happening for him right now.  New friends, new rules, new words, new routines, new, new, new.  And he’s having a hard time catching up.  And I know he’ll get there but right now it’s really hard.  Hard to know what to ask and how to respond, when to talk and when to stay quiet, when to play and when to listen.  I can see that his behavior over the last two weeks has been a cry (okay, screaming tantrum) for direction, support and extra attention.  So that’s what this Mama needs to provide.  My dear Mooch, I will help you through this.  And you will learn how to be a kindergartner; I will learn what you need.  And we will conquer Kindergarten Hell.  Together.

Peace, Mamas.

11 thoughts on “Kindergarten Hell

  1. So glad to read this. I honestly feel like I’m experiencing something similar with my 1st grader. Actually I think both of my kids are trying to adjust again. My house has been out if control with the lack of listening. For my own sake I had to remind my husband that they have to be so good at a school all day and they are still adjusting, especially with the after school activities starting up as well.

    Good luck. I have faith that everyone will adjust.

    • I’m so sorry to hear you are living in an out of control household… But beyond happy to hear I am not alone! What is my problem?! I’m normally so organized and I just cannot wrap my head around all this! No wonder our children are confused… Hang in there mama! I hope things get better for you and your children. And when in doubt, pour an extra glass of vino- I “Cheers” to you tonight!

    • It’s such a big change… I really don’t look forward to school starting. I’m not one of those gleeful parents frothing at the mouth to toss her kids on the bus. It’s not all bad- there are really wonderful things about school- obviously, it’s essential but the transition from home time to school time is tough on all of us. Hold onto your babe for as long as you can- you’ll truly miss them when their gone! I know it’s going to get better… Just getting there that’s tough. Thanks for reading, Mama!

  2. We had very similar problems when starting kindergarten last year. One of the issues turned out to be a very early and very short lunch period and not enough food. He adjusted and it got much better. I hope the same happens for you.

    • Oh that’s so hard! Thankfully, we have a kindergarten program that’s half day until holiday break and then moves to a full day schedule. It’s a really nice transition for the kids. But with my oldest, we had the same issues with lunch- I think all the parents did. Talk and joke with buddies or eat a sandwich… Tough choice for a five year old 🙂

  3. Dear Sarah; You rock like a Rolling Stone. I’m in complete awe of your understanding, patience and optimism about this situation. I truly think you hit the nail on it’s big ol’ rearin’ head! Your little one needs you to hold the space while he goes through some major adjustments. The hell you are currently experiencing is a reflection of his own inner turmoil. He will work through it and become a better little guy for it. Just remember to delegate yourself some Mom’s only personal space time along the way to keep you rockin’ in the Super Momma groove you definitely have now. ❤ Shera

  4. My oldest just started kindergarten last week and she has adjusted as good as we could wish. She does say, “They don’t let you make friends there.” I said what? It was her way of saying they were not supposed to talk while the teacher was talking. We opted for me taking her to school instead of the bus. This way daddy gets to walk her in each day….she shows me her art work and I can touch base with the teacher. Good luck. He’s a good looking lil boy.

    • Thank you! So nice that you get to walk her in to school each day! I do twice per week and it’s fun to see what my little guy is working on- so we have something to talk about when he gets home! Nice to have a point of reference for conversation. It’s funny how they interpret things sometimes. I hope yours continues to be a smooth transition! Thanks for reading!

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