I knew the first day of kindergarten would be hard on my wife. I just didn’t anticipate how hard it would be on our 5-year-old. And by that I don’t mean kindergarten itself, I mean the ride home.

I knew the first day of kindergarten would be hard on my wife. I just didn’t anticipate how hard it would be on our 5-year-old. And by that I don’t mean kindergarten itself, I mean the ride home.

“How was your first day?” my wife asked the Boy, who, after a long day of coloring, counting and cutting would rather have fought in the Crimean War than answer Mommy’s questions.

“OK,” he said.

The Boy sat uncomfortably in the middle row of the minivan. You’d be uncomfortable too if a seatbelt held you in The Chair.

The interrogation wasn’t easy on him.

“Well,” his mom said, not realizing a two-letter word in response to a seven-word question meant the Boy was going to be more close-lipped than a Soviet spy. “Did you make any new friends?”

“Yes.”

“What are their names?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you like your teacher?”

He shrugged.

“Well, is he a good teacher or a bad teacher?”

“Good.”

“How was …”

“I’m done with questions,” the Boy said, snapping faster than a politician in a press conference gone wrong.

And that was it – for the day. Little did the Boy know this maternal probing into his life would never end.
Never.

Telephone conversation, Aug. 31, 2026:


Mom: How was your first day of school?
The Boy: It was fine, Mom.

Mom: What was your teacher like?

The Boy: Uh, I have more than one teacher, I’m in college. They all have beards and say “man” a lot.
Mom: Did you make any new friends?

The Boy: New friends? Mom, I’m a senior. I’m 22 years old. I graduate this year. I’m going to be a pharmacologist.

Mom: I’m sure you made at least one little friend.
The Boy: OK, yeah, Mom, I did. Her name’s Moonbeam. We met at a fraternity party. She was doing a keg stand. I think you’d like her; she’s in a cult.

Mom: So you’re making friends already. How was the cafeteria?

The Boy: I didn’t eat in the cafeteria. I drove back to my apartment and ordered pizza and Coke. I’m all grown up now.

Mom: You sound cranky.

The Boy: Mother, I’m old enough to carry a gun.

Mom: Do you need a nap?

The Boy: I’ve voted in two presidential elections.
Mom: Are you wearing clean underwear?

The Boy: I’m done with questions.

Mothers are wonderful people. They love us, comfort us and teach us to care for others. They’re supportive, make sure our noses are clean, and can kill a bear with a butter knife if it threatens one of their children.

Moms also drive children insane because they can’t ... turn ... it ... off.

“What did you have in the cafeteria?” she asked the Boy a few blocks later.

“Corn dog and chocolate milk,” he said, then realized she tricked him. “Aren’t we home yet?”

Moms, you can only do so much nurturing. Stop it. Five-year-olds are practically grown up.