Hakuna Matata

“Mama, I can’t be hakuna matata today.” He said.

Hakuna Matata is Swahili for “There are no worries”. If you’ve seen “The Lion King” you probably already knew that.

The first week of kindergarten was wonderful. The twins loved it. They both love their teachers, they were enjoying the bus, they were learning new things and making new friends.

Then the second week of kindergarten came along and the stress set in.

Claudia didn’t know where to put her Tuesday folder and she is freaking out because it is too hard to open up the bag of pretzels that I sent for snack.*

Ian has a coloring project at school that he doesn’t think he will be able to finish before the back to school night.

Claudia is worried because she can’t read as well as her new best friend.

Ian is sad because the big kid next door that plays with him made some friends that are his own age and now Ian falls through the cracks.

Claudia is stressed out about the bus. She says he doesn’t drive fast enough and she is late to school every day.

Now I can’t be hakuna matata either.

Even if you ignore the fact that with the kids gone six hours a day I still can’t seem to get anything done, now I have to spend time worrying about the fact that my babies are distressed.

I too am distressed.

Maybe Venus is in retrograde. Maybe I need to up my medication. Maybe it is just the massive changes that happens when children make the transition from pre-school to elementary school. I don’t know, but I know I can’t be hakuna matata.


* We solved this problem. I removed all of the pretzels (that I paid extra money to buy in single serving packaging) and put them into a baggie. She can open those.

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  1. It gets easier. Or so I’ve heard. My daughter is in 3rd grade (how did that happen!??!) and we still deal with stress like this. Homework assignment due next week? NOT ENOUGH TIME! Doesn’t finish her lunch because “I’m scared the bell will ring while I’m eating and then I’ll have to hurry to pack everything up!” “ALL the kids are mean to me.” “My teacher hates me!” Her teacher is AMAZING.

    Hang in there…and if you figure out a coping tool…let me know. STAT!

  2. Oh mama. You’ll ALL be ok. You’re right-it’s the changes. Have Ian find someone to have a playdate with, sit with Claudia a few times to read, and they should be more relaxed. I’m smiling because I remember….

  3. This seems to be the month for growing pains all around.

  4. My twins are having some growing paisn in 1st grade as well.
    We all try to hold on…..

  5. It’s so exciting at first and then reality sets in. It will get easier, it really will.

  6. Ugh, that hurts my heart!

    I think this is normal, though. And I’m sure it gets better, at least some of it. But it pains me to think about Ian stressing about an assignment in Kindergarten. I watched my poor nephew stress about school as a first grader last year and it stressed me out that he was just starting his education and it was already causing distress.

    Thankfully, 2nd grade is like way better. He even said that 2nd grade gets a 9 out of 10! So it does get better!

  7. Thanks for sharing this story. My daughter is yet to be in pre-school let alone school. It’s good to read about the ups and downs I have a head of me and know I’m not going to be alone!

  8. Beer? Beer. Definitely beer.

    I got no suggestions for the Squad, though.

  9. I agree with Lumpyhead’s mom. Beer, then wine.

    I wish I could say it gets better, but it just gets different. You’ve heard my stories…

  10. I feel your pain! I did not send my kindergartner today because all of a sudden she hates it, does not want to go and misses me and was a crying mess this morning.

    She stresses about going to the bathroom, how to order lunch in the cafeteria, where to hang her coat and loads of other things. I guess it’s a lot of pressure for a five year old!

  11. Tanner & Morgan went through this for a week or two. Theirs manifested as nightmares – and we had two, not-well-rested kindergarteners. ICK. Gradually it has become better – and we’ve made a more concentrated effort to volunteer around their classrooms and be present. I think it helps for them to know that we are still involved and active. Now, at 4 weeks in (already!?!), they are more well adjusted, lasting throughout the day, no tears at drop off, etc.

  12. The second week is always going to be hard. It isn’t the first exciting, NEW NEW NEW! week, and it isn’t yet old hat. Kids recognize that this is their new reality, but aren’t masters of it yet, so they get stressed. Totally normal. Hard, but normal.

  13. They will be fine.

    Until college when they have 3 exams, 2 papers, 1 homework due on the same day but they don’t have time to do it all because they have to go to lab class which lasts for-ev-errrrrrrrrr, and then work and then study group. And of course the big party is tomorrow night and you know they just can’t miss that and the next night is date night with what’s his/her face so they’ll just have to “wing it” and hope for the best.

    Just like us.

  14. They’ll settle in and so will you, it’s the getting there that sucks. Two at a time with stresses must always be a lot, but now they are new, big-kid stresses. No easy answers, right?

    For you I will pick up the phone. That’s all I got.

  15. The second week is always going to be hard. It isn't the first exciting, NEW NEW NEW! week, and it isn't yet old hat. Kids recognize that th8s is their new reality, but aren't masters of it yet, so they get stressed. Totally nofmal. Hard, but normal.;

  16. Awwwwwwwww. I loved school mostly, but I always felt vaguely undone as I settled in every new year. I don’t do transitions well. Not even now.

  17. Hang in there. It will get better, and by the end of the year, you’ll forget these worries. Also, dear god, the kid’s already worried about homework? Oi! Wasn’t kindergarten a place to play and socialize once upon a time?

  18. Don’t worry dearie, my niece was the exact same way. I worried for her constantly because elementary school was so tough for her at first. Over the first two months she eased into it and got to even enjoy herself. Do not worry too much, your children are growing up slowly. :)

  19. Since being a SAHD, I’ve found myself kind of doing the same thing. As all of them advance to the next grade I start mentally going through all the stuff they could be exposed to both good and bad. To some extent, it doesn’t stop with Kindergarten. I think I’ll take up knitting.

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