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Finally Five

Middle D. has been waiting to be five since, well, since he turned four I guess. Or maybe it has been since Big F turned five. Either way, he has some magical notions in his head about what it means to be five years old. He went to sleep tonight clutching his “5″ candle in his sweaty little hand–keeping it safe for his cake tomorrow.

For one, D. firmly believes that the moment he turns five—as in tomorrow—he will automatically be in kindergarten. I have tried to explain that it doesn’t work like that and because his birthday is in November instead of September, for example, he has to wait a whole other year before starting kindergarten. But he’s not buying it.

He goes to a Montessori preschool that also has a kindergarten program. I feel sorry for the teachers there that will have to explain to him (likely more than once) that yes, he is five. But no, he can’t be in kindergarten.

And the bummer of it all is that the kid could very well be in kindergarten and do well. He has been going to all day preschool since he was three. He is ready, willing and able. But in Colorado, where we live, the cut off is October. Or maybe it’s September. Whatever it is November is too late unless you petition for special permission to enroll “early.”

I can’t remember to return library books—or the best way to get to work for that matter—you really think I even looked into how to get him into school a year early? To be fair, I didn’t even know that was a possibility until I heard two mothers talking about it at a birthday party last week.

Speaking of birthday parties. Heck, speaking of being lazy and overworked and overwhelmed, too, I talked D. out of having a birthday party this year. For one thing, I couldn’t deal with planning it. This whole year has been one great big run on sentence without even a comma or semicolon to force a pause to take a breath. So planning a birthday party for my 5 year old that would likely involve Chuck E Cheese/ Bounce Castle Heaven/Indoor Playground/fill in the blank germ petri dish was not on my list of things to tackle. Instead, he is having one friend come over for the day and spend the night. They’ll play, no one will get pink eye (well, chances are slim anyway) and he will not receive a gazillion presents he doesn’t need.

Am I a bad mom for robbing my five year old of a clowntastic birthday extravaganza?

Should I feel guilty for not accelerating his academic journey and thereby forcing him to spend another year in preschool when he so clearly is ready for the big K?

To both of those I say, “There is always next year.”

I’ll continue to do my best. And I’ll probably continue to fall short of the mark here and there. But  the fact of the matter is—middle D is kind of an awesome guy. I’m pretty positive he is going to be just fine in spite of me and my maternal shortcomings.

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