I have put off thinking about "the k word" for as long as possible. Unfortunately, time has flown by and, despite my efforts to live in denial, I can no longer avoid the inevitable. Robby will be going to school next month, and I need to get him ready, so we packed up Robby and took him shopping for a backpack.
Standing in front of the shelves lined with backpacks, Scott and I realized that Robby was becoming confused. We quickly chose 10 backpacks that were both the appropriate size and featured cartoon characters that he likes, and we laid them on the floor in front of him. Robby was instructed to choose one.
After contemplating his choices for at least ten minutes, he finally decided upon the CARS backpack. With his new pack strapped onto his back, we moved on to pick out a lunch box. Another ten minutes passed before he picked up the bright yellow Spongebob lunch case. I was feeling a personal sense of satisfaction because I knew that he would pick those two!
Robby was elated with his backpack and lunch box, and at dinner he requested that his food be placed into the lunchbox. I quickly switched the menu to cold cut sandwiches and obliged. I remember being excited about receiving a new backpack and lunchbox. I'm so glad that little things bring him such delight!
After dinner, Robby pleaded to show his new backpack to Mr. Bill, our neighbor across the street. Mr. Bill was appropriately impressed by the CARS design and mesh water bottle holder. He then asked Robby what he was going to do with the backpack.
"Well, Mr. Bill," Robby said with a serious tone. "I'm going to be going to school this year. When I'm there, I will probably slip on an ice cube. After I slip on the ice cube I might fall on my back. My backpack will keep my back from getting hurt."
In that moment I realized that, despite his enthusiasm, Robby had no clue about the purpose of a backpack. He wasn't sure why he needed a backpack, but that certainly didn't keep him from becoming excited. After he was shown the pockets and carrying potential of his new backpack he is even more excited about his new acquisition!
I realized that we need to provide more background information when we are referring to school. Robby has no foundation or previous experiences so everything, even the purpose of a backpack, is a foreign concept to him. Seeing Robby pour his evening cereal snack from the bowl into his lunchbox perplexed me. Trying to keep my frustration about the mess in check, I asked him why he would do such a thing.
He was matter of fact with his reply. "Momom, I have a lunchbox now. I don't need to use a bowl or a plate." Yikes, I have a lot of prep work ahead of me in the next few weeks!