Reflections

RemembeRED: Sour Milk

Every Tuesday, The Red Dress Club gives us a prompt to, well, “prompt” us to remember something from our childhood/youth.

This week’s prompt: Kindergarten

Her name was Mrs. Bacon.

For some reason, I remember my kindergarten’s teacher’s last name, but I don’t remember what I had for dinner last night. Or maybe I remember her name because we’re scheduled to have breakfast tonight, and bacon is on the menu.

Whatever works, I suppose.

She was tall, or maybe she just seemed tall because I was only five years old at the time, everyone and everything seemed tall to me back then (though I don’t know, I’ve always been tall for my age, so chances are she wasn’t as tall to me as she was to other kids), and she was skinny.

She had a shag hairstyle with pointy lady sideburns – If I had her as a teacher in say, middle school, I might have thought she was a lesbian. She wasn’t, but she had a boyish frame and a boy haircut – you can see where I might make that leap.

She was nice, which is probably the real reason I remember her. She made school fun. School WAS fun until the fourth grade and Mrs. Hill.

*shudder*

Let’s not talk about Mrs. Hill.

We sat at round tables and we used a lot of crayons. The smell of crayons, to this day, reminds me of kindergarten.

I remember those little half-pint milk cartons and how we had milk every day at snack time , and how every day, I would force myself to drink the rank stuff because even though it smelled sour and tasted like warm cottage cheese, I drank it to please Mrs. Bacon, so she would like me – that was back in the days when I cared what people thought of me.

Those days didn’t last long.

I remember toys, in cubby holes, that we were allowed to play with if we behaved. I don’t remember really learning anything in kindergarten, but I do remember learning to get along with other children, which I suppose was the reason for kindergarten back in those days. Now you can’t even get into kindergarten if you don’t know your letters, numbers and how to write your name.

Screw socialization.

I want to say I went to half-day kindergarten, but I can’t be sure. I know half-day kindergarten was more readily accessible back in those days, now full days are expected, and sometimes required, after completing two years of preschool.

And yet, America is still behind in educational skills. You would think putting our children into a school-like structure at such a young age would give them a head start, but alas, the system breaks down somewhere in the middle school range.

Now we’re talking about making our children stay in school longer and dumping more money into our educational system when that’s not where the problem lies, our educational problems lie in an ineffective government and their insistence on taking over nearly every aspect of our lives.

But I digress.

I remember wearing dresses to kindergarten. My mom made a lot of our clothes and I was always wearing something pretty to school. I also remember her pulling my hair back really tight to keep it out of my face. Sort of like this picture … or maybe I’m remembering the tight ponytails because of this picture.

However that works, I suppose.

I remember kindergarten being an age of innocence, of being happy, of being a carefree child … as kindergarten should be remembered for every child.