Why I hate to be late

Grandma Kc wrote this on January 3rd, 2014 17 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

Kc age 5I will never forget my first day of kindergarten. I had been so excited to start school. Back then, you had to be five by December 1st in order to start. I was 16 days late. Another reason I hated my birthday! Later when I was in high school, I would find it to my advantage that I was older than almost everyone else in my class was! I turned 16 before any of them and immediately got my driver’s license. Freedom!

But back to Kindergarten, after all of the waiting the time finally came. I would be in the afternoon class and I would have two kindergarten teachers! Mrs. P, who lived down the street from me and who had been the kindergarten teachers for many years was retiring. She would spend our school year teaching us and training Mrs. G who would be the new kindergarten teacher.

The first day came and thanks to my mother, I was late. Punctuality was something she was never good at, it wasn’t important to her. She was always late for everything. I can tell you from that day forward punctuality became very important to me.

I don’t know why she drove me to school the first day. It was only .4 of a mile straight down our street and I would walk most days after that. That first day she drove and when we got there, she pulled up in front of the school to drop me off! I was scared to death. I knew where my classroom was, it was the first one on the right at the top of the stairs but I was still scared. To me those stairs were at least 100 feet high and at an extreme angle. Besides, our kindergarten classroom was in the high school building filled with intimidating tall people! I don’t know how I made it to the top and in the door but I did. Mrs. P was very nice and seemed to know I was struggling.

My kindergarten classroom is at the top of those stairs on the right

While my first day at school got off to a very difficult start, it was a wonderful year. I loved kindergarten and I loved both of my teachers. I loved the big round tables that we sat at in groups of 6 or 8 and I loved learning to read and to write. I loved the huge playground with the very tall swings and teeter tooters. Of course, one of the best parts was our afternoon naps. Each of us had a little rug tucked away in its cubbyhole that we laid out and rested on for 20 minutes followed up by a carton of milk. With no little sister to bother me, I was loving nap time! I don’t think kindergartners take naps in the classroom anymore. Things were different; none of us had been to preschool for a couple of years! It was our first time away from home and a big adjustment.

The most important lesson learned in kindergarten:
Don’t be Late!

17 thoughts on “Why I hate to be late

  1. debra@ HOMESPUN

    I have always hated to be late too…used to dream about the schoolbus being at the end of the driveway and I wasn’t ready…

    We didn’t have kindergarten in my school district and they started me in 1st grade at 5. I regretted that later, as I was one of the youngest in my class all through school and I don’t think a year of maturity hurts …you are right that you were lucky that way! 🙂

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I wonder when our school started having a kindergarten class? I know there was no preschool in the county anywhere! In looking back I can tell you there was a big difference between kindergarten and first grade – besides the fact that first grade was all day. It was a lot harder and I am glad I got to do kindergarten first.

  2. Launna

    I do not like to be late, it drives me crazy when it is out of my hands. I don’t have to be at work until 8:30 but I get there a good 40 minutes early, I don’t like to rush.

    I have a grade one memory, I was taking my sister to school, I got her to her line up on time but was late for my own. I didn’t go to school, I walked around the neighborhood for hours until it was lunch time. I was six years old and at the time I lived In Toronto, Ontario. Pretty scary now that I think about it as I am older but at the time I would rather have not gone than been late.

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      That sounds like something I would have done! Only difference being I was in a very tiny town (population 1300) where everyone knew everyone and I would not have been left to wonder! Toronto would have been a million times scarier!

  3. Joyce

    First of all, what a cute little peanut you were! Your story leads me to a few points about kids that adults sometimes forget – a kind adult, like your Mrs. P – can make all the difference in the world to a 5 year old child in distress. Making “mistakes” of this kind can seem catastrophic to a kindergartener, causing lots of anxiety that a caring adult can heal if they have awareness. And secondly, wow! – I do remember how everything, especially the center staircase at my elementary school – looked tall and intimidating to me

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Mrs. P really was a wonderful person/teacher! She was hardly over 5 foot tall and very much like a Grandmother. Mrs. G was a wonderful person and teacher, too. She was just younger and taller and she didn’t live down the street from me so I didn’t feel as safe with her. At least not in the beginning but that changed, too!

  4. Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma

    I seem to remember my mom walking me to school on my first day, with my little sister in tow. I liked kindergarten, but I don’t think my teachers were especially nurturing. Or maybe they were, but their faces and voices didn’t seem to be. It was a good experience, at any rate.

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      You just made me think, where was my little sister? I don’t remember her being in the car with us. My mom probably left her at home which was not that uncommon then. At least not at our house.

  5. Judy@grandparentsplus2

    Love the photos and post. I was in Sister Bertha’s class, and I remember the milk bottles in the crate sitting next to her desk. Someone brought them in the morning before school opened, they sat there until recess and when we drank the milk it was luke warm but delicious. Can you imagine luke warm milk being given to kids today? LOL I also hate being late so I’m always on time or early. My daughter is always busy and late. I laugh and ask if we are going by regular time or ‘her’ time when we are planning on doing something together. She doesn’t find the humor but I get a good chuckle while I’m waiting for her. 🙂

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am not sure why but Jenna really inherited the punctuality gene from me but I am glad she did! And on those rare occasions when she is running late for any reason – she calls!

      Warm milk? I’m still laughing! They can’t even do cake walks here anymore because there is no way to guarantee the ingredients! Everything MUST have a label!

  6. Kristi

    This reminds me of the John McCutcheon song, “Kindergarten Wall.” The chorus says:
    “Of all you learn here remember this the best:
    Don’t hurt each other and clean up your mess
    Take a nap everyday, wash before you eat
    Hold hands, stick together, look before you cross the street
    And remember the seed in the little paper cup:
    First the root goes down and then the plant grows up!”

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Kristi! I had never even heard of this song and I love the chorus! I think there are a lot of people in our world that need to learn that song, especially the line “Don’t hurt each other”.

  7. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    I hate to be late, too. Though I’m not sure where that came from. I think my persistence in punctuality is part of the reason my middle daughter (mom to my grandsons) is so very NOT punctual. It’s an additional way to resist being like mom.

    I love hearing your kindergarten story. Mine was very different. I lived on a farm in Minnesota and for some crazy reason, kindergarten was only six weeks… full days. All I remember is recess and being atop the jungle gym all alone, looking out at all the other kids play in the playground about me. I don’t recall milk cartons.

    I *do* recall the milk cartons in later years, especially the luscious chocolate milk you could get with a nickel.

    My daughter teaches kindergarten. I’m pretty sure they don’t have nap time anymore.

  8. Sandy Siegel

    What a sweet memory! I agree with your thoughts on being on time. I hate being late, too.

    I don’t remember much about kindergarten. I have no idea who my teacher was or if she was nice. I just remember a room full of kids I didn’t know and I couldn’t wait to get out of there! I do remember the little nap rugs we all had to have though! I remember going to the store with mom to pick one out .. I chose a bright yellow one! I could hardly wait to try it out! Those naps in kindergarten were so nice! It’s strange that napping is one of my few memories of kindergarten! Geesh!

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Napping seems to have been high on most everyone’s list! It is kind of sad that little ones now a days don’t get to enjoy the experience!

  9. KImberly

    I didn’t go to kindergarten either, but I do remember the first day of first grade. A little boy was crying and I knew from my mom’s reaction to him that I wasn’t going to cry, but I wanted to.
    I am one of those annoying people that is early for everything. While it still bothers me when people are late, I have learned that I really have an internal time clock that others don’t. I can usually tell you what time it is within minutes without a clock. When it is a close friend who is habitually late, I request that they call. You might not mean to be late, but at least, with the technology we have today, you don’t have to worry people.

  10. Amara's Grampy

    I hated school from beginning to end. I just liked running around and being a kid, so not much has changed. School started for us with first grade in Pine Bluff Arkansas in 1953, and it was only half a day, but that was half a day of play time.

    For some reason I thought you only had to go for six years. At some point I found out it was twelve and I remember quite clearly thinking there’s no way I could do that. But it turns out you don’t actually die from excruciating boredom so I made it through.

    The other big disappointment in my life was when I realized that summer was not endless, having a finite period that you could actually calculate and it was only 90 days.

    I do hate being late for anything – I actually wish I could be a little more laid-back about it, or at least tell the difference between when it’s important and when it’s not.


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