About a month ago, I wrote about the first day of kindergarten. Ahh… Was that just a month ago? It felt much longer than that because it was an eventful month. Before school started, I figured I’d have more time to do all the things I want. That’s true for the most part, but we had some glitches too. The RB40 family is not very good with change and we need a little extra time to adapt to new environments.
Super early school bus
The first big adjustment we had to make was catching the school bus on time. The elementary school starts at 8 am and the school bus stops by our place much earlier than that. That’s a big change from the preschool when we could leave at 8:40 am and still get to school on time.
Our local school district redid their boundaries recently and we are on a brand new route. The bus
pick-up time changed from 7:12 am to 6:58 am to 7:02 am as the school adjusted the schedule. It was all over the place, but I think they finally got it down after about a month. It is still very early and we miss the bus at least once per week. If everything goes as choreographed, then RB40Jr would just make the bus. But it seems we have lots of hiccups.
- This Monday, I woke up 10 minutes late (6:30 am) and there was no chance we’d make the bus. I forgot to set the alarm in my room and Jr slept through his alarm.
- On Wednesday, Jr had an unscheduled #2 and he missed the bus.
- Last week, he dilly-dallyed putting on his shoes and we missed the bus by just a few seconds.
Actually, dropping him off at school isn’t a bad option. We could leave at 7:45 am and he’d get to class before the tardy bell. It’s a lot easier on him, but it delays the start of my day by a little over an hour. The school bus is very convenient for me. I just wish it didn’t take so long to get to school. I think it should be easier to wake up when the clock rolls back an hour. We’ll see how it goes.
Okay, now to the more serious problem. If you have been following us for a while, you’d remember that RB40Jr tends to overreact to little incidents. At the beginning of last school year, he hit some kids in his class and it took almost 3 months for him to stop doing it. Hitting usually follows arguments over toys, accidental bumping, other kids cutting in line, or someone snatching something from him. He eventually stopped hitting other kids and we thought that was it.
However, the move to kindergarten was a HUGE change and he regressed. He hit a bunch of kids over the first three weeks and was sent to the principal’s office twice. The last time was because he hit his new kindergarten teacher. *GASP* She pulled him out of line when he bumped another kid who then fell down. She has been a kindergarten teacher for 6 years and this was first time a kid hit her. The teacher was shocked and sent him straight to the front office.
I’ve been picking him up once a week so I could talk with her and I got the full scoop. She showed me how he put his two little fists together and smashed her thigh. “Luckily, he only hit my leg because it was right around here”, waving her arms around her nether region. I chuckled a bit and didn’t mention that RB40Jr hit the target last year with his former teacher…
I reassured her that this will pass and hoped for the best. He’s a year older; surely he will get over hitting other kids faster than 3 months. Public schools have zero tolerance for hitting and he will be in big trouble if he keeps this up. Luckily, he seemed to have learned his lesson because hasn’t hit anyone for over two weeks now. I think a big part of this is making friends and getting to know his classmates.
It’s tough to adjust to a new environment. This school has over 100 kindergarteners and they are all on the playground at the same time. RB40Jr doesn’t like crowds or loud noises so it’s understandable that he is having a tough time with the change. There is a lot of bumping and cutting in line at the playground and he doesn’t like it when he sees that rules aren’t being followed exactly. We keep telling him that he doesn’t have to be the police. He finally learned to ignore little injustices so we really hope the hitting incidents are over with. It’s no fun getting sent to the principal’s office or getting a call from the principal.
Call from the School Nurse
Just as we thought everything was getting better, we got a call from the school nurse. RB40Jr has been coughing and with a stuffy nose for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, the nurse dropped by the kindergarten classes and she pulled him out of the classroom. It turned out that there is a whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in Portland and they are not taking any chances. Jr’s vaccination is current, but they still want the doctor to check him out. He can’t come back to school until he brings a doctor’s note to clear him. Wow, that’s a tough policy, but I guess they have to do that to prevent an epidemic.
Anyway, I went to pick him up and he was very sad to go home early. We scrambled and got a doctor appointment on the same day. Thanks to Mrs. RB40 who cajoled the doctor’s office into opening up a slot for him. If we couldn’t get an appointment on that same day, he would have had to miss another day or two of school. Anyway, the doctor cleared him and he’s back in school. I knew it wasn’t whooping cough…
No extracurricular activities for now
As you can see, it has been an exciting month at the RB40 household. We just aren’t very good at adjusting to new situations. We need to take it slow and ease into a new environment. The school has a ton of options for extracurricular activities, but I’m holding off on everything for now. Once Jr has adjusted to kindergarten life, we’ll see what activities he’d like to sign up for. Right now, he’s perfectly happy to play with his Legos when he gets home. I’m also enjoying the $0 “kid” line item in our monthly cash flow.
As for me, I’m slowly adapting to the new routine as well. If things go well, then Jr would be on the bus by 7 am. That gives me time to have a little breakfast and then catch up on emails and the blog for a bit. I’ll head to the gym at 8:30 am and usually get back before 10 am. Then, it’s time for some chores and writing. I’d take lunch break around noon and relax for a few minutes. After lunch is flex time. I could read, work online, go to the post office, go grocery shopping, or take a short nap if I’m really tired. Although, that didn’t quite work out today. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up 2 minutes after Jr’s school bus drop off. Since I wasn’t at the stop to meet him, he had to ride the bus all the way back to school. I had to go pick him up and he was pretty mad at me. I guess no more napping.
All in all, life is slowing down a bit and it’s nice. I don’t have to stay up really late to work on Retire by 40 as often now. I like the relaxed pace. Next quarter, I’ll take on more projects like redesigning the site and tackling Pinterest, but I’m taking it easy for now and enjoying the break.
*Update* – Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’m setting our alarm clock to 7 am. If we wake up early and make the bus, then it’s a bonus. Otherwise, I’ll drive him to school. 🙂
Alright, how did your first month of school go? I hope it wasn’t as exciting as ours.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.