change is bad


Today was another big day for Connor the Grader. Starting today, he will have to change out of his uniform each day and into his gym uniform for PE class. Yes, my son’s school has PE every day, and once his teacher has gotten 17 first graders down three flights of stairs, into the locker rooms to change, into gym class, back into the locker rooms, sorted out 17 identical white polo shirts and 34 white socks, and straggled them back up three flights of stairs, each day, I am not sure when she will be working in the whole teach them how to read part.

Connor has had PE every day so far this year, but this post-Columbus Day week is the first day he will have to actually change into his gym uniform. And this morning, he was a wreck.

CONNOR: I don’t want to GO. I don’t want to WEAR a gym uniform or even GO to gym or school. (sniff)

MOMMY: Why not?

CONNOR: Or karate. I never want to go to karate again.

MOMMY: Buddy. Why not?

CONNOR: Cause I don’t want to.

MOMMY: WHY NOT?

CONNOR: C-c-cause… (breaks down sobbing)

MOMMY: Sweetheart, you have to give me a reason besides you don’t want to go because you don’t want to go. Maybe there’s something I can help you with.

CONNOR: Just let me stay home.

MOMMY: Not an option.

At this point, Connor ran to his room and threw himself on his bed, sobbing that no one in our house understood him.

Am I in big trouble? Because he’s not even seven. What can I say? Transitions are very, very difficult for my sensitive oldest child, though this one seems a little ridiculous. If he were overweight, I could see some anxiety, but he’s as tall and bony as all the other boys in his class. I think he’s just anxious because he is a classic First Child. Which means, I guess, that it’s my fault.

I managed to calm him down on the bus to school, and by the time we got there he ran in with two pals without an apparent care in the world.

“Guess what, guys!” his teacher boomed as his little gang burst into the classroom. “I’ve moved your desks! Today, you’re all going to sit somewhere new!”

I look at Connor. His eyes widen in abject panic. Thanks a lot, Ms. B.

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