Saturday, August 11, 2007

Like Mother Like Daughter

Like every first born girl born to a type A mommy, the first experiences in Kindergarten were difficult. Maybe not really for Miss Lydie - but surely for mommy. With uniforms lightly starched and a plan for everyday, I noticed that my daughter was only writing her first name on class papers. Sister Saint Martin had given pen privileges in 4th grade, and I was among the first to achieve them. I have for a lifetime thought there was something very important about a name.

I had been careful to teach the little lady the correct way to write her name and gave long speeches about the importance and pride in writing your name, your "signature." She indeed has a beautiful Biblical name. So I packed her up for her first true experiences out of my care with great fear. I am her first teacher I said over and over in my daily routine.

Imagine my surprise when the following few weeks were met with papers that again didn't have her last name. Surely I had raised her to follow directions. I shared with her that "we take pride in our work and write our full name." This time my beaming 4 year old challenged my reasons, "why?" I gave a list from Pride, to "I told you to" and sealed the lesson with "and what if there are multiple children with the name Lydia - the teacher won't know your work." I felt the issue had been firmly addressed.

The next day after school my delightful daughter brought me her papers, "Lydia L." This was not what I had requested. She proceeded to tell me in all of our wisdom:

1. You picked daddy and our name is too long, and I really do know how to spell it.

2. There is no other Lydia in class and our first month is over, so my papers can't get lost with someone else's.

3. I talked to the teachers and got permission to just do my last initial.

4. They said its good I can write it because I don't have to know yet - that's why I'm hear, "so they can teach us."

5. I love you - am I still in trouble? I one smart cookie?

This wasn't in outline form of course, she basically had one really long run-on sentence that effectively said, "I'm 4 will you give a girl a break?" Indeed, a smart cookie.

My mother smiled with glee at the story - like mother like daughter she said. I frowned my eyebrows at the implication of how crazy I had been in preparing my kidlet for school when I realized...hey, I learned it from somewhere. "Like mother like daughter......" Now, child #2 and child #3 have luckily been promised not to have that experience. Enter slacker mommy.

#2 (age 5) has stated: "It's okay if I get in trouble, its all about choices." (The academic part of the experience will not be the issue, after months of failing to teach him using Abeka - he corrected me reading a bedtime story - la says la, not lo, so it is last not lost. That choices belief will be coupled with consequences)

#3 echoed with glee: "I'm not going to mommy school anymore, I'm going to real school." Then asked, do we get to go to Starbuck's (a.k.a. the Chocolate Milk Store) at my new school? (He knows nearly 10 species of birds, but dear God the R and the P are a challenge.)

Hmmm. Sighhhh. Another school year awaits us and oh the lessons the mommy has learned. From tears to cartwheels in 7 short years! Ask any mama - we've all got our stories to tell. And yes....although not quite as neatly, we all take writing our name very seriously.


Trish K said...

Daughters have an incredible way of letting us know when to back off don't they?

You sound like an incredible mom.

My daugthers (Caroline and Catherine) hate their names (too long) and their dad and I don't do nicknames.

They have renamed themselves Cal and Cat.

Angeline said...

She truly is your daughter! (smile) Cute story!

The Crazy Hip Blog Mamas said...

You won! Send me your mailing information to!


tAnYeTTa said...

toooooo cute! i love it.

i am taking notes. i'm sure i will have my share of 'joys' when my toddler enters kindy.

so kindy starts at 4?????

i'm so lost!