Our town starts school the week before Labor Day, then gives everyone the Friday before Labor Day off, so kids have exactly two (2) days of school in the first week. I like this for kindergarten because it lets us all ease into the routine–it gives two (2) days in the first week to take care of all the administrative work, like labeling stuff and teaching kids the very basics of school life, and then the second week is still short so they aren’t too tired, and likely the real intense stuff doesn’t really pick up until the third week, which starts this coming Tuesday.
But one way or another, school started this week, and it was quite an experience.
Monday afternoon, Kyle and I took Sam in for an open house at the school so that we could drop off his supplies, meet his teacher, get him familiar with the school overall, and ease into everything. Sam’s classroom is ENORMOUS, like about the size of our entire downstairs (minus the dining room). There’s a typical desk and learning space, carpet in front of whiteboard, a play corner, a table with bouncy ball chairs around it, an entire nook for the teacher… it’s amazing. I’m sure most kindergarten classrooms are sizeable (when I remarked on its size to my mom, who taught kindergarten for a few years, she seemed nonplussed), but it still kind of blew my mind.
What blew Sam’s mind–eventually–was seeing his best friend Hunter there. The two of them warmed up to each other kind of slowly at first, for reasons that Hunter’s parents, Kyle, and I couldn’t figure out (weird new environment? They haven’t seen each other since June? Some sort of kid code? Who knows?), but once they realized that (a) oh that’s you, and (b) we are still best friends, they started frolicking about VERY happily, around the auditorium, on the school bus they had for the kids to explore, all over. It was pretty great and set a positive tone for the first day on Wednesday.
Now, granted, that great and positive tone didn’t show up again for most of Wednesday morning, but who’s counting?
That’s not completely true. The great and positive tone showed up again more quickly than it probably could have, but it was kind of like pulling teeth to get it there. Sam’s my first baby, so I went a little overboard on all the “first day of school” photo supplies, like an oversized shirt that says “CLASS OF 2032” like I’d seen in a friend’s first day of school pictures of her sons and then one of those chalkboards talking about all of Sam’s favorite things and such. I 100% did not need to do all of that, but I like celebrating my kid, and I really want to get to his senior year of high school and have these great collections of photos to look back on.
So Wednesday morning. We all got up at 6:30ish because everyone slept kind of miserably for reasons we haven’t figured out, and I used the #momprivilege card to call dibs on the shower because I’d be the one dropping Sam off that morning, and I didn’t want to look like I was heading right back to the house to spend the rest of the day in my pajamas (even though I was, because chasing after twin toddlers is so much easier when you’re in comfy clothes). As I got in the shower, I let Kyle know where Sam’s first day outfit was laid out and asked him to encourage Sam to get dressed as soon as possible.
So quick shower later, I come downstairs with dripping hair to see Sam, bundled in a blanket and wearing naught but his underwear and a smile while watching Netflix. Cue, therefore, a lot of flipping out because we had to leave in 15 minutes, and I still hadn’t taken a single picture with all the stuff I bought. And look, if I spend money on a photo prop, I am going to use that photo prop.
We all rushed. Sam got dressed, and then… well, he didn’t want to get his picture taken.
It’s the duality of the five-year-old. When I’m taking candid shots of his brother and sister being cute, he jumps in the picture with just his underwear, prompting me to say, “IF YOU WANT TO BE IN THE PICTURES, YOU NEED TO PUT SOME CLOTHES ON” in the Scary Mom voice. This has the excellent effect both of allowing me to take pictures of Sam AND stopping him from running about with nothing on. But then when I want to get pictures of him specifically, he’s suddenly hiding from the Momarazzi, like I’m going to sell pictures of him with chocolate on his face to the highest paying tabloid.
(…would any tabloids like to buy? I’m just saying, we could use some more simoleons to add to the Halloween Costumes fund)
And, of course, because I wanted to take pictures Wednesday morning, Sam would rather have had his teeth pulled out one by one.
But I did eventually convince him to stand for some pictures by reminding him that the oversized “CLASS OF 2032” t-shirt makes him look like a ghost. So he posed… in our messy living room, which is somewhat like a mausoleum (we have a gorgeous picture window that means we don’t need lights on most of the day, but first thing in the morning, it makes things kind of… you know, dark).
Whatever. I got the pictures, and he and I shipped off to school. I was in a mild state of panic because we’d left several minutes later than I’d wanted, and we were supposed to meet with Sam’s best friends from preschool for pictures before we went in. I didn’t want us to be late, so I muttered angrily at red lights and moseying farm equipment the entire ten minute drive to the school (ah, the privileges of living in a tiny town). And lo and behold, we got there way too early for us to do anything but wander around the outside of the building like a pair of lost John Travoltas.
(I did get a good picture of him in front of the school, though)
And then the best friends–that’s Hunter and Kaia–and their families arrived, and we all took pictures and watched our kids, now happily in the company of the friends they’ve had since they were just a year old, run off to their classrooms without so much as a reluctant look back.
And that was that! I’ll admit to having a lump in my throat for the drive home, but then the twins proceeded to keep me so busy that I didn’t even realize the entire day had passed by when my mother knocked on the front door to keep an eye on the twins while I waited for Sam to get off the school bus.
(I blame the speed of the day also on the return of the Weather Channel to our Verizon cable, because I’m a nerd and eat hurricane coverage up like ice cream)
For Sam’s part, he seemed to have a good first day. He didn’t get into any details about it, so for all I know, they spent the entire time rehearsing to summon the Great Old Ones and bring about the Destruction of Humanity and A New Age of Cleansing or whatever, but I’m pretty sure they mostly just practiced school things.
(I mean, not that eldritch summoning ISN’T a school thing…)
The only problem was that he got home with a backpack that was literally dripping. We’d mistakenly given him a water bottle that he couldn’t close all the way, and as a result, his backpack was absolutely flooded. Worse, it wouldn’t zip one way or another, so as soon as he was in bed and the twins were in bed, I found my bra again and headed out to Target to find us a replacement. The pickings were slim (most were like… mint green with pastel donuts or with a mauve paisley print), but I managed to find him a Jansport backpack with stars on it, and those things last forever, so problem officially solved.
Day two was a little wilder to start, somehow. It was Kyle’s first day doing drop off, and in his haste to leave and Sam’s five-year-old-ness and my having twins on me ness, we all forgot about Sam’s lunchbox. Cue Kyle hurrying back less than ten minutes after leaving and delivering said lunchbox to the office, in the hopes that it would make it safely to Sammy (which it did). But for all that hustle and bustle, Sam didn’t really eat much. He had most of his carrots (weirdly enough), and we think? he had the pepperonis we packed him, but everything else was untouched.
I get that, though. I never used to really like eating more than a snack at school, saving my appetite until I got home and could make myself some real food. But this stuff has basically been Sam’s lunch since he was about two so ???
Whatever. We’ll figure it out, and now he’s home until Tuesday, currently playing his Kindle quietly while the Weather Channel tells us about hurricanes. Isaac is awake after sleeping for maybe three and a half minutes, but seeming less upset about that fact by the minute, and I can shift my focus to the next thing…
…which is school picture day in less than two weeks. Ha.