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Just wait until I decide she should start college at age 13. The gossip will SURGE.

You know, I am aware that in this blog I am often, shall we say, determinedly unsentimental when it comes to Moments in Parenting. To be honest, I’m a touch determinedly unsentimental in person, too. I’ve never been one of those “Look at my kid! Isn’t she so adorable!” mothers, even though I may think it. (Pet peeve side note: Twitter profiles in which people announce they have the “CUTEST KIDS”, or decidedly much worse,” THE WORLD’S BEST HUBBY!”)

Which is why this blog post is a bit of a departure.

Please allow me to announce: I am so, so proud of my kid.

I mean, I’m always proud of Aura, for vast and various reasons—her behavior, her empathy, her sense of humor. Oh, and her steadfastness in the pursuit of a handheld video-game system. (Keep savin’, child. That $169.99 is just, oh, five really full piggy banks from becoming a reality.)

desire for nintendo ds 3d

But this time I’m proud of how she handled something. Without making a long, not-necessarily-intriguing-to-anyone-outside-the-family story even longer, suffice it to say that Adam and I aren’t taking our town’s September 1 birthday deadline for first grade lying down. We already missed the September 1 deadline for kindergarten this year (Aura’s birthday is in early October), which is why Aura is now in a fairly pricey half-day private kindergarten, instead of a third year of preschool.

So we’re taking advantage of the first-grade petition process that the town offers (and for which we are grateful). I don’t know what the final decision will be, if Aura will end up having to go again to kindergarten next year or entering first grade, and we won’t know until probably sometime next week. But the process is finally underway, and yesterday was Aura’s screening.

We didn’t even tell her about the testing until the night before, and even then we obviously downplayed it as more of a “chat with a nice teacher.” Still, I wondered how she’d do, being ushered into another room by a man whom she had never met and being asked to answer a series of questions.

kindergarten first grade petition process

And yet? She did beautifully. She warmed up immediately to the school official and bounced away from me and to an office down the hall, never glancing back. As for me, I sat in the school lobby, nervously picking at my maternity top (update: still not one stranger has asked me when I’m due IT’S AS IF THE SOLID FAT MASS OF NON-PREGNANT-LOOKING TORSO IS DETERMINED TO FOIL ME) and envisioning how I was now to be known around the school district as The Pushy Mother Who Won’t Adhere to School System Policies and Is Determined Her Kid Is a Genius.

All this while Aura…aced it. She enjoyed the testing, enjoyed the screener, enjoyed the entire thing. And from the brief feedback I received afterward, I gather that she did very well on the tests. There’s still a classroom observation and committee meeting ahead of us, so who knows what will happen. But honestly?

Watching her walk away to her test, ready and willing and maybe a tad bit nervous, proves to be me that we’re doing the right thing. Turns out it’s not so much about that she knows how to read, or that she knows how to add double-digit numbers and tell you about various groupings of five. She’s just…ready.

kindergarten deadline petitioning

Good thing I’m having this other baby to make up for the one who is preparing to leave me. Ungrateful twits, all of ‘em.


7 Responses to Just wait until I decide she should start college at age 13. The gossip will SURGE.
  1. Matt
    April 25, 2012 | 5:36 pm

    I’m so happy to hear that it went well. I still get confused with the whole cut-off date thing that the public school system has going, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    As a K teacher, I can honestly say that it’s great to have your child reading, printing, and doing basic math, but it’s even better when the teacher knows that the child is ready for the next step.

    We get just as excited, when the light bulb turns on and you know that the child will never look back, because they’re ready to move forward.

    I personally love that feeling. I wouldn’t really stress about the rest of it, because it’s really not worth stressing over.

  2. Jen Malone
    April 25, 2012 | 8:34 pm

    Are you kidding me that they do a classroom observation? That seems a little excessive- why wouldn’t they just ask for an assessment by her current teacher? Ugh!

  3. julie gardner
    April 26, 2012 | 5:14 pm

    My birthday is October 5th. I started kindergarten when I was still four and was five when I entered first grade.

    Also, my parents were 38 years old when I graduated from high school.

    And none of this matters because it’s Aura who is ready.

    You know better. You just do.

    All you need is for the school to catch up to reality. (And maybe your torso, too?)

    Anyway, I loved this post, Kate.

    Plus I’m thinking of announcing on my twitter profile that my kids are getting pimples and they’re so not cute anymore and I tweet because I’m in denial.

    Plus, I’ll be close to 50 when Karly graduates from high school.

    This was about me, right?

  4. Becca
    April 26, 2012 | 10:43 pm

    Yeah!!! So proud of Aura! Can’t wait to hear all the details! Call me.

  5. Jessica
    April 27, 2012 | 12:06 am

    Good for you for trying to get her into first grade sooner. We tried the same with our kid but the school district wouldn’t allow it at all.

  6. liz
    April 27, 2012 | 2:46 pm

    Yay for Mama’s that take the reins for their kids! Good for you to listening to your daughter and not being intimidated by the process. Can’t wait to hear more.
    double digits are a big deal, btw and groups of five? awesome.

  7. [...] Just wait until I decide she should start college at age 13. The gossip will SURGE. [...]

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