The 1st Time Kindergarten Made Me Feel Stupid (But Likely Not the Last)

Every day after we get home from picking up BigBrother, I look through his folder to see if he has homework, needs anything signed and to see what they did in school that he can now keep at home. Normally, I understand what the concept was behind the worksheet that they did. I mean, it’s Kindergarten. I should probably know more than a five-year-old, right?

I got stumped last week.

I stood at the table and stared at the 3×3 chart. They’ve been sorting lots of things, so I tried to figure out what the sorting method was for this particular grouping.

Three way sort.

House, bird, cat.
Wagon, monkey, balloon.
Kangaroo, banana.

Uh, okay. Let’s see. Birds and cats can live in houses. Yeah? Monkeys… like balloons and wagons? Kangaroos eat bananas? Uhhh. I thought, for a second, that it was a color sort, but the kangaroo and banana were also white and were in their own column. Nothing rhymed. I was simply stumped.

I kept turning it over and over in my head as I got our snack together, trying to put the pieces of this mental puzzle together. I sat down plates in front of both boys and flopped myself into the chair next to BigBrother. I held up his sorted chart and pointed to it.


Hey, Buddy. Can you tell me how you sorted these objects?

He finished crunching up some goldfish. “We did it by how many sounds the words make.

I blinked at him. “Oh?

You know, syllables.

Not said but indicated by his tone and facial expression, “Dumbass.”

I asked him questions about syllables and we clapped out our names. He finished his snack and ran off to play with his brother while I sat at the table and stared at the worksheet. Syllables. In Kindergarten. Huh.

Thankfully, I felt a little less stupid when my Husband came home. I held up the worksheet in front of his face and asked him how they were sorted. When I finally revealed the answer, he replied the same way. “Syllables? In Kindergarten? Huh.” I did not call him a dumbass.

I think it’s great, of course, being as addicted to words as I am. Now we have another word game we can play while driving around, running errands and such. If you see BigBrother in the back of the car, clapping and counting, just know that I’m trying to prove to him that I am not, in fact, a dumbass.


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Echoes at the Fire House

The sound of feet on the smooth concrete of the garage floor; pat, pat, pat, pat, pat-pat, pat-pat, pat, pat. He rounds the corner of a fire truck and smiles at me.

Fire Truck Peek

He stands on tippy-toes and pushes himself up onto the fire truck, legs dangling and kicking as he uses all of his strength. He climbs up into the seat and yells, “I can buckle myself, Mommy!” Silence falls on my ears as he sits still for a moment, for a lifetime it seems. Rustling sounds let me know he’s moving again, and suddenly he’s peeking up and out the window. “I see you!” Laughter echoes off the ceiling of the fire department garage, raining down on me as I sit and soak it up.

He climbs down the same way he climbed up, toes extended and searching for that first touch of solid ground. As soon as he finds it, he’s off running down the length of the truck. Away from me. His left hand follows the curves of the trucks as he runs on by, up and over the scoops of the wheel wells and all the way around the bumper until he disappears. I lean down and watch his feet coming down the other side of the truck when he comes back around the front, hand still tracing the shape of the truck, fingers squeaking on the clean surface.


He stops and stares at his reflection in the chrome on the front of the truck; a smile, a funny face, and then, of course, more laughter. He looks at me. I stare at him. I don’t think I smile; I just stare. He breaks into the grin that is his and his alone; no matter how much he looks like his daddy, his smile is his very own.

I love you, Mommy.

More laughter, and then he was off and running, feet on the smooth concrete. I watched him go.

I love you too, Booey,” I whisper; my voice echoes not through the garage but through my soul.