A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

What if we just focus on one day at a time… August 29, 2012

Does Max have a little anxiety surrounding this transition from spending his days with Grammy or Grandmom to being in school all day every day?  I think so.  His newest antic is to ask me “what if” questions like these:

What if I say a bad word at school?

What if I’m on a field trip on the bus and I have to go to the bathroom?

I pick my nose sometimes at school.  What if my teacher sees me?

Can I pee behind a tree at the playground?  What if no one can see me?

What if I accidentally act naughty?

What if I don’t sing the songs with the class?

What if I fall asleep during nap time?

What if I don’t see your car when you come pick me up?

What if I have lots of homework?

What if I forget where to go?

What if someone is mean to me?

What if I get in trouble?

What if my teacher makes me work too hard?

Oh, that reminds me.  The biggest problem he has with kindergarten right now is that his teacher makes him work too hard.

I reminded him that he likes hard work.  He works outside with us all the time.

“But that’s sweatin’ hot work.  That’s the kind I like.  My teacher makes me do writing work.  That’s boring.  I want the sweatin’ kind.”

This is going to be an interesting school year!


Max starts kindergarten August 28, 2012

Filed under: children,family,Kendra,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 8:29 pm
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Boy, it’s really been a while since I’ve written.  Seems I can only handle one hobby at a time, and lately I’ve been reading instead of writing.  I’ve read some really good books, though.

I couldn’t let today pass without writing about it since it was such an important day in Maxwell’s life.  That’s right: he started kindergarten.

We’ve been pumping him up for weeks, and we really kicked it up a notch when we realized that he was lucky enough to get the same teacher that Kendra had her first year of school.  She is truly one of the best teachers I’ve met, and to top it off, she has an outstanding assistant.

I was not really sure what to expect from Max today, especially after we explained the behavior system to him (green is good, yellow is warning, red is bad).  When I asked him what color he planned to be on every day, he shrugged and said, “green or yellow.”  I was very surprised and asked him why yellow.  He answered, very nonchalantly, “nothing happens at yellow, so it doesn’t matter if I’m on yellow.”  Ugh!

Ronnie was able to take the morning off work to take him to class with me this morning.  Max was practically bouncing into the school.  He was so happy and seemed very excited.  When we got to the room, his teacher showed him where to put his lunchbox, and then she told him to go see the teacher’s assistant to do some other things.

Ready for a great day!

The assistant greeted him by saying, “what’s up?”

Max looked at her then very politely answered, “the ceiling…and the sky…”

See?  He was totally himself…

Until it was time for Ronnie and me to leave.

When he realized we were really leaving, he became really uncertain.  I knew he was getting upset when he suddenly needed to use the restroom.  He was on the verge of tears, but he got himself together in the bathroom.  The look on his face absolutely broke my heart.  He put on such a brave front, but I could see right through it.  He was scared, and he didn’t want us to leave.  Even with other little kids crying in the room, he never did let himself cry.  He was so tough.

Of course I burst into tears as soon as we left him.  Like a big buffoon, I stood in the hallway and cried my eyes out over leaving my baby at school.  You would think I hadn’t done this before.

I was anxious all day wondering how he was doing.  I couldn’t wait to pick him up.  I knew as soon as I saw his face that I would know if he had a good day or not.

And he definitely had a good day.  When he and Kendra headed to the car arm in arm both with huge smiles on their faces, I knew he had a great day.  So great, in fact, that he stopped to hi-five the principal on his way to the car!


Sure enough, he was totally energized when he climbed in the car.  The first words out of his mouth were, “I have two new friends!”

He told us all about his day, which must have seemed like such an adventure to a little guy who has never been away from his family.

I asked him so many questions: what did you do? how was lunch? how was recess? did you have fun? do you like your teacher?  and he answered each one with enthusiasm.  Then he told me the great news, “Mom!  You will be so happy when you see my color for the day!  It’s the best color – the color of the grass!”

YES!  He was on green!

A “great job” sticker from his teacher for a great first day of school!

I asked him how he felt when Mommy and Daddy left him that morning.  He said, “I was so sad.  I was trying so hard to hold my tears back.  I feel like I’m going to cry now.”

And that’s what he did.  For the whole rest of the evening, in fact.  Well, I guess it was more of an alternation between extreme happiness and crying his eyes out.

The first day of kindergarten just took a lot out of him.  What a great little guy!

Just for fun, here’s a picture from Kendra’s first day of kindergarten.  It seems like so long ago.  She’s in third grade now – really growing up!

Here’s a little excerpt of what I wrote about her first day of school.  They sure handled it differently!

Anyway, we walked her to her classroom toting her bookbag (“Dad! This thing is WAY too heavy!”) and supplies and got her settled. We took a few pictures and gave her hugs and kisses. Then we left. I don’t know what I was expecting, you know, maybe a little twinge of sadness to be leaving mommy, but nope. She was cool with staying in a big unknown world with not a single person she knew in sight all by her little self. 
Well, my preconceived notions were further shattered when we picked her up that afternoon. I was so anxious and excited to see her that I was driving Ronnie crazy – chattering, babbling, goofing, and flubbering. When I saw her walking to the truck, I jumped out to hug her. 
She got in the truck and said, “I am SO thirsty.” 
I gave her some water. 
“Well, how was your day?” I burst out just itching to know every detail. 
“It was good. I learned a lot.” 
She sat back there not like the ecstatic little girl I thought she would be, but rather like an old pro, a jaded old kindergartener who had been there, done that, what’s the freakin’ big deal, mom’s acting like a buffoon again, oh brother. 
I finally managed to get her to tell the highlights of the day and learn that yes, she loves kindergarten, and yes, she loves her teacher, and yes, she’s excited to go back tomorrow. She hated quiet time, was amused that one girl actually slept, and she thought recess was too short. 
I’m proud of her. I knew she was ready. 
I guess I just didn’t realize how ready.

It’s going to be a great year!







Who you gonna call? August 12, 2012

Superstitious Mario

Superstitious Mario (Photo credit: david_a_lea)

“When you feel a cold spot on a hot day, that’s a ghost,” Max declared as we drove home from dinner.

“Who told you that?” I asked.


“Do you really think that?”

“Yes,” he answered emphatically.

“Well, I don’t believe in ghosts.”

He gasped.  “I’ve seen one.  And if you say you don’t believe in them, you will see one too.”

“No I won’t.”

“Yes you will.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts.  Anyway, when have you seen one?”

“Well, one night in my room when it was dark and I was in my bed, I saw one floating through my room and it went out the window.”

“How did it go out the window?  Your window is always closed.”

He gave an exasperated sigh. “Mom, ghosts can go through windows.  Of course.”

“Oh.  Well, was it a friendly ghost?”

“There are no friendly ghosts.”

“What about Casper the Friendly Ghost?”

“He’s the only one.”

“Well, how do you know the ghost in your room wasn’t friendly?”

“Because when he came through, he made a face at me and he whispered, ‘I’m going to get you!’.”

“Wow.  I bet that was scary.”

“It was!  At night, all the mean ghosts party in our back yard when we go to bed.”

“How do they know when you’re in bed?”

“They have brains!”

“Oh really?”

“Yes.  Brains like mad scientists on the outside of their bodies.  But not all of them have brains.  But the ones that have brains tell all the other ghosts when we go to bed.”

“How big are their brains?”

“As big as my head!  And I have a big head.  A bigger head than anyone you know.”


“Well, don’t I have a big head?”

“I guess so.”

My phone rang, so I interrupted our debate to answer it.  It was my sister informing me that all of our chickens appeared to be dead.

I hung up the phone and wondered if the ghosts of five chickens would dance through Max’s room that night, and if they did if they’d be friendly.