How I Survived Kindergarten… Mostly

Fifty Years Later, I’m Almost Over It

Hannah Andrews
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readMar 18, 2024


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

For the record, I raised my hand.

I stretched my arm as high up as it would go and scootched up to the edge of my seat, back straight, as tall as I could make my little self. Mrs. Miller just looked right past me and called on some other kid. I wriggled my hand, my whole self around a bit, and switched arms — in case the other was longer. She turned toward the board and wrote something I don’t remember in big block letters. I crossed my legs. Mrs. Miller moved as slowly as that ketchup on tv. I squeezed my eyes shut tight, concentrated.

Please call on me. Please call on me.

She turned and looked right past me, my hand still sky-high.

I felt my face grow hot. My eyes got blurry. I blinked out tears.

I gave one final desperate hand wave.

And peed my pants.

Except I wasn’t even wearing pants. I was wearing my favorite red and white gingham dress — like Dorothy, but modern. So, I peed through my underwear onto the plastic bucket chair. Also, they shouldn’t call it a bucket chair. It wasn’t anything like a bucket because it spilled out and down my leg, soaking into my little lace foldover socks and leaving a puddle of piddle around my genuine leather with the fancy stitching Buster Browns — my favorite shoes.

Mrs. Miller was, what was that word Mama had just taught me? Exasperated.

“Oh dear, why didn’t you just go to the little girls’ room?”

Except I did the right thing. I was a good girl. They gave me new underwear from some magical underwear supply they kept on hand, “for situations like these, ” and Mama brought me a fresh dress. She must’ve brought my churchy patent leather Mary Janes too, because I didn’t slosh when I slumped back to the classroom.

It was the worst day of my life, worse than when I threw up spaghetti and black raspberry pie out the car window the summer before, after Independence Day fireworks, with Grandma yelling, “Dagnab it, Robert stop the car,” from the backseat. Him just whistling along to his Delco car radio and driving, “deaf as a doorknob,” as Grandma would say.



Hannah Andrews
Human Parts

I'm an aging GenX Baby Scoop Era adoptee, and that's mostly what I write about. My life is a tragi-comedy.