School news blackout: when your kid goes mum with Mom?

Posted by Erica Noonan  September 8, 2010 11:37 AM

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Now that the melodrama of entering kindergarten is behind us, I was looking forward to reconnecting after school with Dennis over milk, cookies and long, detailed chats about his day.

I fantasized that he'd happily describe his teacher, his classmates, what he did at recess, what books he was reading, what they were learning about, what the other kids wear, eat and do. His favorite new games. That kind of stuff.

Ha! What was I thinking?

Three days into the school year, and I have been able to get details on just one aspect of his day: Lunch. (Chicken nuggets and chocolate milk. It was good.)

I cannot get the sparsest of details on anything else, including how he spends a full six hours in school.

Keep in mind that I have some -- no, make that lots -- of experience with unwilling interview subjects. My JOB is to ask intrusive questions nobody wants to answer.

But I have dragged more true confessions out of indicted embezzlers and accused sex offenders than from Dennis these past few days. He's a veritable Alcatraz of information.

I'd be more concerned if my friends with boys weren't having similar news blackouts at their houses.

On the other hand, the little girls his age spend six hours in school and six hours at night rehashing every single detail of the day. (This can get a bit tedious, one mom admitted.) My young man could give a Secret Service agent a run for his money.

At least the little boys seem pleased to go to kindergarten in the morning. I get a kiss and a wave as Dennis happily dashes away into the black hole, er, school building.

Going forward, how do I get the 411 on what this kid is doing all day?

Experienced parents -- please share your ninja interrogation techniques to make my kindergartener spill his guts! Will this get better as he gets older? Leave a comment below, or drop me an email at

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about the author

Erica Noonan is chief of the Globe West bureau. Before joining the Globe in 2000, she worked for the Associated Press in Boston. Raised in Wellesley, she has a master's degree in political communication from Emerson College and a BA in political science from Trinity University in San Antonio. She lives in Natick with two energetic children: Dennis, 6, and Lila, 4.

Contact Erica

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