Last Friday, I took X-man to his future kindergarten school at Carrie Busey Elementary. They held free breakfast there for all children under age 18 from mid-June to mid-July. Quigs had mentioned that another parent had taken her son there to see what it was like to eat in the cafeteria at school. And I have to admit, it was a really great idea. They served breakfast and lunch, but we were busy at lunch... so 8 a.m. breakfast it was. And you should have seen X-man's blue eyes get as wide as saucers when he realized he was going to get freaking Trix and animal crackers and orange juice for breakfast. I had to help him carry the two packages, the milk and the juice container to the table because there weren't any trays.
But we sat down with the summer school students who were namely there in the continuing special education program, and I showed X-man how to open his milk carton, peel open his cereal and how to open his juice just enough so it wouldn't spill. He managed to open the animal crackers all by himself. I am suddenly realizing how challenged he is with food packaging. He's fine with pull-apart string cheese, but I'll have to practice the milk cartons with him over the next few weeks.
After breakfast, we walked down to the kindergarten wing and peeked in the classrooms. They were busy waxing the floors and getting the building ready for the fall. We walked down to the opposite hall, exited by the parking lot and then walked around to the playground.
The equipment is a combination of 1998 new and 1960 new. That is there are a number of metal climbers in the area with monkey bars and such. We found out that last week some jackass had decided to set fire to one of the plastic crawl through tubes on the playground. It had a large hole in it, so the school had boarded up that section and put caution tape around it. There was also a metal climbing section of the park that really needs to be replaced. It's rusty and most of the stepping areas are broken... and if they aren't broken now, they will be when some person is trying to climb them.
But mostly, what X-man and I noticed was how dirty the park was. There were no trash cans out there, so there was litter everywhere. Next Friday, while Luke is in for his surgery, he and I are planning on heading back to the park with some garden gloves and trash bags to do a pick up after breakfast. If anyone wants to meet us there around 9:30 a.m., you're certainly welcome to join us. I put a call into the school about whether or not the tunnel and climber would be replaced before the start of the school year. I told them I'd be happy to make a donation toward the purchase if they got an estimate. The school secretary took down my contact information and was to pass it on to the PTA.
I know the new school will have all kinds of bells and whistles, most of which I will find unnecessary, but nice. I already know that the Prairie Fields playground is nice, although lately, I've been picking up a lot of garbage over there, too. I think it's not as bad because the Savoy Parks Department puts out garbage cans and collects them.
But I do have to say that I like that X-man's first instinct was that we should come back and pick up the park to make it nice for everyone when they got to school. And I like that usually he's disruptive and needy when I'm on the phone, but since he wanted the tunnel and climber replaced, he didn't bother me once during the 10 minutes I was on the phone.
I like that he wants to build that sense of community and that he understands that he plays a role in making his school a nice place to be.