Easing the transition to Kindergarten one episode at a time

You guys!!! I have eight weeks until EK heads to Kindergarten. I know it sounds like a lot of time but honestly, it might as well be tomorrow.

I know, I know, it will be exciting and fun and blah blah blah. I’m terrified. Why?

– Tardy slips. I’ve toured those schools and seen the kids lined up one second after the bell rings to get a slip and march into class. I can’t even get my kid to the bathroom on time, let alone school.

– Goodbye impromptu vacations. Fine, we never took them…but we could’ve. We should’ve. [sob]

– This is the first step in my kid moving out and only calling me on the day after my birthday. I’m not complaining; I’ll take whatever I can get but COME ON! I can’t keep up with this new pace.

But let’s focus our attention on the kid who actually is about to get his life totally upended. For months, we’ve been on the receiving end of “I’m nervous to go to Kindergarten,” and “it makes me sad that I won’t see my pre-K friends every day”. Cue knife through the heart.

We found a few books to help with the transition, but I also thought it wise to assemble a list of shows and/or movies to illustrate just how awesome school really is…we’ve got to do something on those rainy summer days. Plus he’ll sit on my lap which is extra incentive for me to turn on the boob tube.

PHASE I: Getting them through the door.

51AB2AMG6QL1. Emily’s First Hundred Days of School. Emily (bunny) starts Kindergarten and thus a countdown to rage at the 100 days of school party. Her relationships with classmates grow closer as well as her understanding of new concepts.  I hear these 100-day parties are pretty common now, so why not get the excitement going early? And you can buy the book on which this animated tale is based here.

2. The Magic School Bus is a perennial favorite in our house. Subscribers can stream four seasons of the show via Netflix and watch their kids surrender to the awesomeness that is Lily Tomlin voice-overs educational field trips that they’ll never take in real life.

PRO TIP: Leave the room when the show starts to avoid getting the opening song suck in your noggin.

3. Leap Frog Let’s Go to School.These animals seem fairly trustworthy to my kid, so this episode seemed to resonate with him. Our fair protagonists take it upon themselves to ease a preschooler friend’s angst about starting Kindergarten and hilarity abounds. Fine, it’s not that hilarious, but it is effective in calming a little dude’s nerves.

PHASE II: Keeping them interested.

Have a curious kid on your hands? I mean, of course you do? I recently read a study reporting that the average four-year-old asks 390 questions a day. So use the next few weeks to teach them that learning kicks ass…especially now that you’ll have other adults to field some of these questions..

4. Modern Marvels. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sit down, pick an appropriate episode and you might even learn something yourself!. Our favorite episodes include “Helicopters”, “Shoes” and of course “Stink”.

nye5. Bill Nye, the Science Guy. [swoon] We all know and love this goofball. He makes complicated theories easy to comprehend and maintains viewers’ attention effortlessly. The dude is inspiring for even the youngest of scientists – Hell, he makes me want to go back to school!

6. Sid the Science Kid. Sid might ask more questions than my own kid. If that’s the case, condolences to that dude’s parents. Anyway, I like this show because it presents elementary school as a welcoming place with teachers who work with the kids to solve 12 bazillion science questions. EK recently busted out his own “hypothothisis” thanks to Sid, so it seems like some of what he’s watching is actually sinking in.

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This Week’s Top Ten Parenting Fails According to My Kid

1. At 2:30 AM today, I was summoned from Dreamland by a screaming preschooler. I did what any responsible parent would do and covered my head with a pillow. However, his relentless cries finally won out and, after dragging myself out of bed, was told that I “ruined his birthday party by not playing the right songs”  in August of 2014. That’s right, last August.

Read more at ChicagoNow…

Going postal! I love you so harGoing postal! I love you so hard, snail maild, snail mail

I like fruit baskets because it gives you the ability to mail someone a piece of fruit without appearing insane. Like, if someone just mailed you an apple you’d be like, ‘huh? What the hell is this?’ But if it’s in a fruit basket you’re like, ‘this is nice!’ – Demitri Martin

I love mail. All types. Food, packages, packages filled with food, cards, letters, raw mail. You name it, I want it on my front porch.

Read more at ChicagoNow…

Bonne Bell lip smacker is dead

I am not sure I want to live in a world that doesn’t include Bonne Bell Lip Smacker, but according to the news, that’s exactly what will happen on March 29, 2015.

From Crain’s Cleveland Business:

The company plans to close substantially all the manufacturing and distribution operations at its location at 1006 Crocker Road in Westlake, resulting in the permanent layoffs of 91 employees there, according to a letter Westlake Mayor Dennis M. Clough received on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Berry Heavenly was my JAM!

Berry Heavenly was my JAM!

That’s messed up, man. How many Christmas mornings did you wake up to a candy-cane tubed filled with Watermelon, Strawberry and Dr. Pepper lip glosses? Or the uber-sparkly tubes that came out in the mid-90s? I could almost smell my angst when I recently popped open a rancid tube of silvery balm goodness.

Maybe the buyer, Markwins International Corp. (also owner of Wet ‘n Wild) will keep the shelves stocked with lip smacker; HEAR OUR PRAYER, MARKWINS!

But until we know the fate of our favorite flavored lip coatings, I suggest you revel in Netflix-enabled nostalgia to the tune of high bangs, caboodle loving teenage girls and everything that made the 1980s so God-damn amazing.

MV5BMTI2OTk5NTE5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA0NTQzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_1. Pretty in Pink. We all know the plot. What you don’t know is that my friend in high school fell madly in love with a guy she dubbed “Andrew McCarthy”. They never talked or anything, but we spent many a night making mix tapes, slathering on our mom’s beauty creams and coating our lips in Bonne Bell lip glosses just because. I mean, Molly Ringwald’s lips are/were luscious, why couldn’t 13 year-old girls aspire to such great aesthetic heights.

I re-enacted this scene in front of a nurses station at Northwestern Hospital just a few weeks ago.

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Yes, I admit this film is an unexpected choice, however, it was my first exposure to unabashed cussing. If you know my family, this fact is honestly more surprising than anything. Anyway, my best friend and fellow lip-gloss aficionado introduced me to the film and we felt like real badasses. Plus the John Candy/Steve Martin duo is unbeatable. Movies like this turned us from little girls into slightly bigger girls.

Don't tell me these ladies AREN'T wearing lipgloss.

Don’t tell me these ladies AREN’T wearing lipgloss.

3. Coming to America. I might have written about this film before, however, I don’t care – it’s just that good. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Samuel L. Jackson (what? Yes) and SoulGlo. A prince moves to Queens to find his Queen and, as expected, 1980s-esque hilarity ensued. We watched this beast on repeat when moms and dads weren’t home whilst pressing on fake nails and lubing up our lips.

4. CLUE. OH MAH GAD. I can still hear the sound of the over-watched video tape grinding in the VCR while it played almost every weekend for the better part of the late-1980s. Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry and Michael McKean were but a few of this all-star cast. I considered it an educational film as I learned about french maids, deception and the definition of the term, “red herring”.

I find myself referencing this line weekly.

5. Clerks came out in my grunge phase when I desperately wanted a boyfriend, but had no idea how to go about procuring one. Watching dudes like Jay and Silent Bob “work their magic” probably wasn’t the best way to learn about the male species, but hey, it was high school and I was clueless. I still had fun though, which is all that matters.

I plan on reliving some of my lip-smacking glory days via streaming movies and suggest you do the same. Seriously. We have to cope with this loss somehow.

Click here to like Swirleytime on Facebook for quirky shares,  links and a lot of self-deprecating humor. Follow me on twitter @swirleytime.

Don’t rely on fickle Facebook for updates. Subscribe to Swirleytime below for more stories of screw-ups, caregiving and weird observations. Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Floating heads, dogs in costume, longing gazes: I’ll never beat this year’s holiday card

We created the best family holiday card ever this year. Plus our friends are still living with us which, in my book, is a very happy thing! Check out the card and such in my newest ChicagoNow post!