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I was all ready, equipment packed to attend the second grade picnic, with my class – when I got the note from the office…”You need to go straight to kindergarten to replace the aide.” Really? No picnic. I headed to the class, remembering that I was used to being in preschool in the mornings. Kindergarten couldn’t be that different. Sure.

Scrunched in a small chair with the table that needed me, I had a very full day. In Kindergarten you learn to write on the lines, follow directions one tiny step at a time, and do it all over again. You have to share the glue bottle with others at your table, even if the boy next to you hogs it. At circle time, you need to sit ‘crisscross applesauce’ on the carpet, raise your hand for a turn and not blurt out, and pay attention.

When the time comes for snack, you have to wash your hands a lot, and don’t talk with your mouth full. Really. So much to remember. I don’t know how they do it. Kindergarten is hard. The real “biggie” is how you have to stay in line wherever you go, and put up with the pushy people behind and in front of you. Boy, just helping the kids remember all this was tiring for me. I just wanted to curl with a good book and look at the pictures!

The best time was eating animal crackers at those really low tables with the kids. I think I was the biggest kid of all, having fun biting heads off the cookie animals….buffalo and all. I left the room, finally, realizing that the book from long ago called “everything I ever learned I learned in Kindergarten,” was basically true. We all tend to rush about with so much to do, and concentrate on the problems, the tasks and the outcome so much, that we often forget the importance of basics. Like line etiquette, or laughing a lot, being nice to people and sharing the glue, trying harder, and being easier on yourself. Go look at a book, and nibble on a few animal crackers. You were a child once.

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