It’s called tempting fate. Opening my big fat mouth (or laptop) and waxing eloquent about how FABULOUS something is going to be (The Most Wonderful Time of the Year).
Maybe it’s a case of unrealistic expectations. Maybe it’s God keeping me humble, “Oh so now you think you’ve got it all figured out and don’t need me anymore?” …smite. Maybe it’s just life. Which is rarely as perfect as my daydreams.
As I prepared to embrace my first blissful full day of school, I made a crucial error. I set myself up for disappointment. I didn’t allow for that all-important adjustment period. You know, the weeks where I have to re-train the entire household to get off their butts and get their act together.
“What do you mean I have to take a drink to school? I’ve never taken a drink before.” Only every single day, always.
“My lips are really dry. I thought it was chapstick.” Bright red lipstick actually. Are we seriously dealing with this already, in Grade 5? I let her put blue streaks in her hair last week. Is this the slippery slope those pastors have been warning me about all these years?
“Everyone mismatches their socks Mom. It’s better that way.” I didn’t realize I was so out of touch. Thank you for informing me so graciously.
“Honey, your shoes are on the wrong feet, again.” Sheesh. Calm down. I love you just the way you are. You still look VERY pretty. Just leave them that way. We’re already running late.
2 head injuries, 3 wardrobe debates, 362 fishy crackers bagged, 1 leaking water bottle replaced, 4 minor sibling skirmishes and 5 really grumpy people piling into the van.
Let the bliss begin. Except little brother isn’t feeling it. At all. He keeps looking for his favourite entertainers/helpers/victims. What’s a boy to do with only boring old mom? Sure, we enjoyed more cuddles and book reading than usual. We played at the park and walked around the zoo and tried desperately to distract him from the fact that he really, really misses HIS normal.
So, I anticipated pick-up time. I counted down. I thought THIS would fix our day.
But B was at the end of her rope. She’s not used to such a long day away anymore. While she was enjoying her New Class, she isn’t quite as happy with her perfectly good New Teacher. She wants “Smelling!” (her grade 2 teacher). She wants a snack. She wants her blankie. She wants to watch a show. She wants to do anything but sit quietly while I make that all important First Contact with New Teacher. Who seems great, so that’s something.
Meanwhile, the boy is happily mauling his sisters. I think this means: “Hello. I missed you. Don’t ever leave me again.” But it feels a lot more like grabby, grabby hands, head butting and the occasional bite (ouch).
They are patient. But they are tired, too. And have a million things to tell me. Which I’m DYING to hear. Except there is only one of me. And the littles are melting down. And the garbagemen made a mess on our curb. And snack is REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY. And I wonder WHY I was looking forward to this…
We spend the evening corralling the boy, calming the weeping B, wiping up blood (when she picked open a bug bite on her face, and once again as she scraped her entire face on the side of the trampoline), encouraging our neighbour-friend who had a day of miserable-girl-drama for HER first day, assuring C that strict does not mean unkind (while secretly being pleased that she’ll be whipped into shape this year), discussing grade 7 grad plans with L (because it’s never to early to rub those fun plans in your sister’s face), and finally, shopping for some last-minute school supplies.
I was sure we had it all sorted out last week, but that’s just crazy-people thinking. There’s always something missing. I was so tired I went to the expensive dollar store. That’s right, there’s a MORE expensive one. A crazy splurge for me, but it is slightly closer and takes credit card. But even with two stops, I didn’t find everything. So we scrounged and rummaged and wondered where on earth all the stuff from last year went. I suspect the same place that our Wii remote, iPhone charging cord and DS player went (B likes to
hide things put things away for me).
C will have to make do with my dictionary until I can find the “right” edition, which I’m pretty sure we’ve bought several times over at this point. I may have donated this last one to charity. Oops.
I try not to take it personally when she laughs and laughs at it being called the “New” Websters Expanded Dictionary. “It was made in, like, the 1900s Mom!”
AND I stubbed my toe.
So here’s me, and tomorrow I’m spending the day at Children’s Hospital with the boy. I’m pretty sure that’ll give me a boatload of perspective when it comes to all these petty irritations.
September 6th, 2012 at 7:33 am
Oh yay my friend i hear you! Keep your chin up, you are doing an AMAZING JOB! And you are an AMAZING MOM. I am proud of you and thanks for the honesty cause I think we all think it but we certainly all don’t say it. Love you!
September 6th, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Thanks Pam. There’s not much I don’t say. There’s things I shouldn’t, but do anyway. Thanks for the encouragement! Love you too!
September 6th, 2012 at 7:34 am
Oh Christie… praying for you friend!!
September 6th, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Thanks. Always. Ditto.
September 6th, 2012 at 8:04 am
Thanks for this! I was just starting to feel sorry for myself and may or may not have yelled (exclaimed loudly) “Do you want me to send you to school? Do you know what every other sane Mom on the planet is doing right now? That’s right! Sending their kids to school. THEY get a clean house and no arguing and complaining and constant messes! I JUST CLEANED THIS – WHO MESSED IT UP?!” possibly once or twice since Tuesday. Now I feel better. The grass isn’t greener. It’s still grass and lots of it is trampled and there’s still poop in piles all over it-you just can’t see it as well from this side! So we’ll clean up and them make pickles, remember going to the IMAX instead of the first day or school and the kids will read books all afternoon and tomorrow we’ll go to the not-going-back-to-school-picnic and maybe next week, if we feel like it, we’ll start some official learning. I’ll remember that I have my fabulous moments while home schooling just like there’s fabulous moments while building-schooling and just like there’s horrible, messy, awful insane parts to home schooling, it helps to know there’s just a different variety of horrible, messy, awful, insane parts to sending them. Same grass. There’s some poop on both sides and lots of green, too. Thanks. I really needed to know that sending them to school isn’t always as glamorous as in my mind.
September 6th, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Oh yes, I remember those days too. Honestly, for me, it’s been pretty even. Homeschooling was more stressful in some ways, “building school” is in others. Love the analogy. As always, you paint a very vivid (and gross) picture with your words. You have a writer’s soul. Thanks for that! It really is poopie all over!
September 6th, 2012 at 8:49 am
I so remember those days when the kids were younger. So glad those days are over. And yet, some days I miss them. Soon it will be routine once again.
September 6th, 2012 at 7:32 pm
Thanks Jeannie. I needed to hear that. There are so many things about pregnancy and the baby years that I didn’t really appreciate at the time, but feel pretty nostalgic about now.
I think we’ll find our groove, just have to hang in there until we do.