Tag Archives: first day of school

Firsts and Lasts

It was the first day of school. Maybe you noticed. Personally, I did not need facebook to show off all the pictures of my friends’ kids to remind me that it was coming. I was counting the days. After all, two months is a looooong time to spend with companions whose ability to reason is sporadic, and whose moods are dependent upon their hunger levels, last night’s bedtime, and when they last pooped.

So when that school bell rang, I was ready. And it wasn’t just one lad in a tie and a button shirt this year. It was TWO.

That’s right, it’s PreK. All day PreK! Every day PreK! Universal, free for everybody PreK! Socialist PreK! Bloody Red Communist Agenda PreK, even! And my kid is going to it! I could kiss the mayor!

Because not only was I ready to place these children in the hands of trained professionals, they were ready to go, too. At least the little guy was. When he heard that his first two days would be half-days, the expression on his face could not have said “bullcookies” more clearly. He was inconsolable. That kid wants to eat school lunch in the worst way. So, off they went.

Whatever. Bye Mommy.

Whatever. Bye Mommy.

And just like that, I worked myself out of a job.

Huh. That was quick. And took freaking forever.

I have definitely overshared on my occasional ambivalence toward being a stay at home mom. But I have also loved this time. I guess now that it’s pretty much done, I can weigh in for all those other parents who fought the Mommy Wars–and not the ones over who is going to put on their shoes Right. Now. Or I am leaving without them. I mean the agony of deciding whether to stay home with their kids or go back to work.

If you chose to stay at home with your kids, you made the right choice.

If you chose to go back to work, you made the right choice, too.

And now I am going to kick back and eat some bon bons and cover myself in glitter, because that’s what I was totally promised four years ago when I signed up for this gig.

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First time for everything

The Fun Apartment has seen some firsts lately. For example, there was the first day of first grade. This was also the first time Big put on his shoes without being asked–same day! There was my husband’s first time remembering where the salad spinner goes. My first attempt at grilling flatbread was largely successful, too.

But the big first is this:

Somehow, the button down shirt just says "first day of school," doesn't it?

Somehow, the button down shirt just says “first day of school,” doesn’t it?

That’s right, the little guy is going somewhere, too. OK, it’s only two mornings a week, but that’s Two! Mornings! Every! Week! And it’s at the Y! Where another grown up is the boss of the fun!

We’ve needed this for a while. For all the press about how awesome staying at home with your kids is, there are drawbacks. (Oh, let me count the drawbacks. . . ) I can’t really introduce him to circle time. There’s only so much Thomas the Tank Engine I’m willing to withstand. And the poor kid doesn’t have any friends. Sure, there are kids he sees on the playground occasionally. There are younger siblings of his brother’s school friends. But there are no friends that are just his.

So, while my enthusiasm for this is entirely selfish, my motives are not. He needs to learn things from other people. He needs his own friends (although I will promptly begin to stalk all the other parents for the full contact bloodsport that is playdate scheduling.)

And at drop off, there was a pang. There was the sweet feeling of his little hand holding mine for reassurance. Then there were Legos on a table. After that it was “When are you leaving, Mommy?”

I’m kinda working myself out of a job here.

That’s the point, though, isn’t it? Ultimately, I want these boys to not need me. And there are definitely times that I want them to stop needing me right now. But we’ll go forward gently.

After all, one of them is still too short to reach the sink.

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Filed under Not cool, Mommy, The outside world

Mommy, I thought there would be a garden! With kids in it!

So, kindergarten is at last upon us, and let me assure you, we were ready. After a solid month with two boys and one mommy in charge of all the fun at home, I was not really that weepy when my oldest clutched his new dinosaur lunch bag and ascended the school steps. I was too busy racing at top speed toward the nearest barstool. Sure, it’s a milestone, good for him, good for us, but really it means that my life just got a lot easier. I feel like looking down at my youngest and saying “So, tell me about yourself. You like trucks, huh?”

Due to the school calendar here, Big will actually be the youngest kid in his class. Yet another awesome thing about having Christmas as a birthday: he could be as much as 357 days younger than some of his classmates. In high school, it probably won’t matter too much, but in kindergarten, that’s kind of a big deal. And I think he’s been struggling with his search for his mature self.

Having a 4 1/2 year old (to me) seems kind of like having a kid who is 5 sometimes and 3 sometimes, and who is very rarely anything in between. He’s either solving rather complicated problems with novel solutions, sounding out words to read to himself, or he’s flinging himself around the apartment screaming because he wanted to lick the *other* beater when we made cake. Each day seems to be a toss up of how much time you get to spend with the 5 year old and how much time you have to spend with the 3 year old. Sometimes it’s 50/50. Other days it’s 90/10. And of course there are those days when it’s 10/90.

But maybe, if I put on my 6 month glasses, maybe it’s marginally inching toward more days spent with a kid who is 5 more than he’s 3. Maybe. I hope.

Hey, we're getting there.

Hey, we’re getting there.

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Filed under Not cool, Mommy, The outside world