Ready or Not, Here He Comes

Written by Nicole Dean

©Lisa Barker

My youngest has been playing school with his older siblings and now he feels ready to start kindergarten.

“Whoa!  You need to be five first.”

“But I’m ten.”

“Not quite.”

He recites his ABCs and counts to 100.  He spells his first name and sometimes his last name.  He likes rhyming and opposites.  When I cook dinner and he plays school with me, I better do it right.

One night I was distracted and he started screaming at me from where he sat at a safe distance on a stool while I fried, poached and maimed dinner and myself.

“You say IT first!”


He looked at me like I was an idiot.  “No!  You say IT and then I say it.”

“Do you mean rhyming?  Cat sounds like…” I made squeaky rat sounds and I swear I saw his blood pressure shoot through the roof.

His older sister figured it out.  “He means roll call, Momma.”

I turned my back and then slowly looked around the kitchen, but not at him directly.  “Aiden?”

“HERE!” he said with the biggest grin and his hand shot straight in the air.

Oh, boy, here we go again, I thought.

Every single child of mine was so ready to start school and so practiced at home in great anticipation that the closer it came to the first day of school, the more regimental they got about school and how it’s supposed to be.  Unfortunately, this little caboose of mine is no different.

“Momma!  Vee must practish zee proper vay every day!” says my little man and I must salute and fall into a goosestep behind him.

Now his father has him reading words by sight as he learns letter sounds.  This means it won’t belong before the rest of us can no longer spell things in front of him.  We’ve reached the pig Latin stage.

“Momma, can we av-hay some ake-cay?”

“Not until your other-bray goes to ed-bay.”

“OTHER-bray?”  He might not be able to spell that, but he’s smart enough to be suspicious.

I bought him a ‘school book.’  It has all the wonderful stuff kiddos do in kindergarten and first grade.  He needs practice using a pencil, and I know he’ll master it within six months, but by then he will be more than done with the book because he gets it all now.

We sat down one day to practice the letter ‘A’ and the sounds it makes…and mowed right through the book to letter ‘M’.  “I think we need a break, kiddo.”

“Yah, vee take a break!”  His idea of a break was counting, adding and connecting the dots for another hour.  Look out kindergarten here he comes!

LISA BARKER of Greenfield is a syndicated humor columnist and mom of five. Her latest book is “Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane … Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!” See for more information.


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