The Secret Double Life of Kindergartners

My daughter started kindergarten this year. I’d been eagerly anticipating the day for five years, and my daughter was excited all summer long. Even though her nerves kicked in about a week or two before the first day, one thing she was always excited about was riding the bus. On the first day, we headed to the bus stop early and she bounced between giddy excitement and nervousness. But once she saw the bus coming down the street, she took off running and never looked back! No last-minute hugs and kisses. No final, apprehensive waves. She was off and rolling!

secret double life kindergartners

As much as I enjoyed the extra bit of quietness and one-on-one time with my son, I couldn’t wait for her to get home to hear all about her very first day of school! As she jumped off the bus with a huge grin on her face and ran to give me the biggest hug ever, I knew she’d had a great day! I wanted to know all about it! So I peppered her with the typical questions . . .

“How was your day?”

“Did you have fun?”

“So, what did you do today?”
“Um…I don’t remember.”

She didn’t remember?? She was there for five-and-a-half hours and she couldn’t remember ONE thing she did?! My fellow mom friends assured me this was normal, so I went with it. I continued to ask every day how her day was and what she did. Every time she responded with “Good,” and “I don’t remember.”

secret double life kindergartners

So now, after a week and a half of school, I’ve come to the conclusion that kindergartners lead a secret double life. It resembles a Las Vegas-style alternate universe with Fight Club rules: what happens in kindergarten apparently stays in kindergarten; my child has a double persona she adopts for this alternate universe; and the first rule of kindergarten is, “Do not talk about kindergarten.”

Proof of my conclusions:

    1. At school, my daughter not only eats her entire school lunch, but she claims to like everything she eats, too. At home, my daughter will only eat food that falls into 3-4 categories: Mac-n-Cheese, cheese slices, shredded cheese, and sometimes chicken nuggets. And even then she complains about it.
    2. At school, she has been rewarded many times with blue and yellow tickets for listening the first time. At home, she NEVER listens the first time (or second or third times). Unless I’m telling her to eat candy–then she listens the first time.
    3. At school, she also gets rewarded with tickets for being quiet. I’m not sure what child this is going to school in my daughter’s place, because my child is rarely quiet at home. Her go-to volume is “brain-grating maxed out.”
    4. At school, she has received countless tickets for being nice. At home, she picks on her brother 24/7.
    5. At school, she naps during rest time (and sometimes on the bus). At home, she throws an all-out tantrum if the word nap is even mentioned.
    6. When she comes home from school she can’t remember a thing she did just 15 minutes ago. But, if I tell her she can have ice cream next week, you better believe she’ll remind me in exactly one week that she gets to have ice cream!

It’s clear that when she gets on the bus, my daughter’s secret double life starts as she’s being transported to an alternate universe that she’s not allowed to talk about. Either that, or she has a very poor memory and an incredible imagination!


Becky is a Minnesota Native and Wisconsin Badger fan living in the heart of Hawkeye Country. Since graduating from high school, she has lived in Duluth, MN; Birmingham, UK; Minneapolis, MN; Louisville, KY; and Madison, WI, but is now happy to call Iowa City home. She and her husband have been married for ten years and have a spirited four-year-old daughter and a mischievous baby boy. Becky juggles working from home and keeping two kids happy each and every day. In her free time, she enjoys working her side business, spending time with friends, relaxing with a good book, and eating snacks.


  1. I have a kindergartener and it helps to ask specific questions like, who did you sit by at lunch, who did you play with outside etc. Found a list on Pinterest and it helps because so often if you ask what did you do today, it’s too big of a subject for them to decide what they want to tell you.

  2. This is totally my experience with Kindergarten (x2). It took several years for my daughter to be able to give me any information about her day without many very specific questions. My son is able to tell me about his day a bit earlier, but K and 1st were tough years to know about.


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