No batteries required

By Mir
June 15, 2006

Monkey is officially a kindergarten graduate. He has a diploma and everything.

The kids put on an entire circus which was so stinking cute it made my teeth ache. The ringmaster kept saying things like “Aaaaand nowuh. Pwease put yowur hands togevver for da funniest cwowns awound!”

The tightrope walkers stood on the balance beam and picked their leotards out of their cracks. The clowns forgot their lines. The acrobats kept falling on their butts. The jugglers (one of which was Monkey) hit each other in the face with their balls. The magicians reached into the hat to pull out a rabbit… and pulled out the false bottom.

It was awesome.

Monkey is off to Chickadee’s school next year, where they’ll share the same bus and the same building for two years, and then Chickadee will be off to middle school. (Because middle school starts in FIFTH GRADE here. Why not just stab me in the heart with a rusty knife?) There will be no more pretending that he’s still a little kid. He’s a big kid.

I don’t think of myself as a terribly nostalgic person. I give away baby clothes. I celebrate my children’s burgeoning independence (except for the mouthiness… that part I don’t celebrate so much as try to squelch). I love watching my kids expand their horizons and I don’t miss wiping butts one bit.

But tonight, as I watched my son bounce up and down in his (very apt) “No batteries required” t-shirt, I was struck by how old I feel. Not old in the “I’m headed for the retirement home” way, you understand, but in the “time is passing and I want it back” sort of way.

Monkey is my last baby. There will never be another baby in my house. And I worry that I’ve spent too much of his life dealing with other things.

Still, he was nothing but sunshine tonight. I gave him a huge hug, congratulated him on his performance, and whispered “I am so proud of you!” into his ear.

“I am so proud of me, too!” he answered. And a few minutes later he was declaring how cake was the very best thing in the entire world, except maybe for mommies and daddies. And then he was off and running, again.

I hope I can keep up.


  1. Carol

    First, *CONGRATULATIONS*!!!!! to Monkey! What a huge accomplishment and one that I’m sure he is extremely proud of. (My own son graduated from Kindergarten on June 2nd – those Kindy graduation programs are fantastic! LOL)

    And second, you said — “I love watching my kids expand their horizons and I don’t miss wiping butts one bit.” — Amen, Sista! (Of course, I’m still wiping butts but I am fairly certain I will NOT miss it once it’s over).

    I don’t believe we’ll ever be able to keep up. Not like we used to anyhow. I remember a time when I was so in tune with my babies. Now, not so much…Too bad ’cause maybe if I was I wouldn’t want to give them away so often, lol.

  2. Kris

    I feel your pain. Em’s graduating “kinniegarbage” this year and I feel the same way.

    Are we ever going to be able to keep up?

  3. hollygee

    You said, “I celebrate my children’s burgeoning independence (except for the mouthiness… that part I don’t celebrate so much as try to squelch).”

    Gee, I wonder who their role model is for the mouth. It’s got to be someone at church, ’cause they sure don’t hear a mouth at home (even a very pretty one).

  4. tori

    I know that I WILL miss wiping butts when my baby is older. My last one is a surprise, and just before he was born my older 3 didn’t need me for that, and I did miss it. Not the actual act, but that it symbolized that they really needed me. Next year is first grade for my twins and third for my oldest and I feel the same sense of sadness/loss that you feel!

  5. Elleoz

    Congrats to you and Monkey! How sweet. While I cherish my babies right (in between temper tantrums)I can’t wait until they start school so that I can enjoy the little things like that.

    I can tell you are one proud Momma!

  6. ben


    Congrats, Monkey. And Monkey’s mom, who made it all possible…

  7. Northern Girl

    No more babies in your house? Um…grandchildren.


  8. Zuska

    AWWWWWWWW….that circus sounds adorable. And that t-shirt – perfect!!

    Living in the moment – it’s so hard to do, but events like kindergarten graduations make me remember how important it is. Sigh.

  9. Randi

    I totally want one of those shirts! For me LOL. I know how you feel, I’m 26 with a 5 year old and a 2 year old and some days I feel 40! What happened? Yesterday Babygirl was a baby and now she’s running around and beating her brother up!

    congratulations on Monkey AND his mom for surviving Kindergarden!

  10. Patricia

    I don’t often say this — but you, my dear, are WRONG.
    There will be babies in your house again, they are grandchildren (it won’t happen for a LONG time) and according to my mother, they are completely different than children (though there is still some wiping of the butt).
    Congratulations on getting Monkey through the grueling year of Kindergarten — college will be a breeze now ;)
    FWIW: my son wears a tee that says “I do my own stunts” — also completely apt.

  11. Kestrel

    He sounds adorable! His comment about cake and mommies/daddies should be a bumper sticker. :)

  12. Jenn2

    Middle school in fifth grade?!? Yikes. Brace yourself, my dear. The road ahead is fraught with challenge, frustration and unimaginable joy.

    I don’t miss Drama Queen’s PreK days, because she is so much fun now. They truly do get better with age.

    Congratulations Monkey!!!!

  13. Cele

    Okay as apparently the only grandma here at the moment (I know your mom will chime in soon) Grans are great (except when fed too much sugar by grandfathers.)

    Mir grab on to every moment and cherish it, because as time flies by with fleeting wings you won’t notice that (seemingly) in two months time they are out on their own, becoming successful, making their own families, and becoming parents. With that comes a new love a peace for you that you don’t notice until batteries not required grans come to stay for the whole weekend. But they are sooo worth breaking the peace.

  14. InterstellarLass

    My oldest ‘graduated’ fifth grade this year. Middle school is coming in a matter of months, and I’m not ready. My ‘baby’ is going to be in second grade. My heart aches to hold them again as tiny babies against my face.

  15. Deborah

    One of the reasons I like visiting you is because you paint such a vivid picture of in the now moments. My kids are 24 and 20 respectively and your pictures often bring to mind some event from their past.
    My *monkey* graduated college this spring and I’ve been looping nostalgia for weeks now.
    Congrats to Monkey, Mommy and Daddy. HOORAY for cake.

    We had JR high (that started at 7th grade) until a few years ago-the school district went to a Middle School format that starts at 5th grade-much to the chargrin of many parents.

  16. Kathy

    Yes – don’t forget. Stay healthy and fit and you’ll be able to see your grandchildren hit one another in the head with their balls! LOL!

  17. Amy-Go

    Yay Monkey! Awwwww, Mir. If I lived closer I’d bring Sammy over for a visit. Then you could have a baby fix and still not have to wipe any butts! ;)

  18. dad

    Read your contract!
    Nowhere does it say you have to keep up.
    Just breathe it all in.

  19. peek317537

    Okay, I know everyone is being all nostalgic and all that but I can’t get past the jugglers hitting each in the face with their balls. Oh my.

    Congrats to the monkster, I have my own k graduate here although her last day is next Friday. They certainly do this growing stuff quick. And if you think you feel old you should check out my post from today, albeit a little lengthy.

    Hug those kiddies while they still let you.

  20. Mary

    I definitely know how you feel about the time passing by. Emily will be 3 this year and I was looking at her baby pictures (not a good thing to do after two glasses of wine unless you enjoy sobbing) and thinking, She’s so grown up now! It was a weird feeling.

    Congratulations to Monkey. That’s quite an accomplishment! Hope he’s excited about next year. (And I hope you’re ready for the summer…)

  21. chris

    Oh sure make me cry. What an awesome kid that Monkey is.

    I didn’t know I was supposed to keep up. My cane is slowing me down ;-)

  22. Brenda

    Randi, the shirts are at Tarzhay, of course.

    My two just finished 1st and 4th grade. My younger son has lost the last of the little boy look, and has moved into boy territory. My older son is thinning out, and starting to give me a good idea of how he’ll look as an adult.

    *sniffle* I really want to cry.

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