Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Letter to Teacher

Dear "Kindergarten Teacher,"

I want to begin by saying I am not placing blame, simply trying to find out how on earth something like this might have happened on the second day of school.  I'm also not saying that this happened on your watch, but by my calculations, it must have occurred during school hours.

Somehow, and I'm not sure how, as I know that you keep careful watch over your classroom, but somehow, Anna got pregnant with twin bunnies during school today.

Can we please schedule a meeting to discuss how to avoid future unplanned pregnancies?  I have far too many stuffed animals at my house already.

Thank you,

A Concerned Parent

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

This morning started out like the opening scene of Finding Nemo (because I skip the ACTUAL opening scene where Coral and the eggs are massacred by the evil fish).  I pounced on Anna all excited-like chanting first day of school!  First day of school!  She rolled over and flopped back onto her pillow very dramatically and I had to resort to "Just get up already."  But we were both still excited. 

We got dressed, ate, packed up and were out the door EARLY, which is unheard of for us in the last few months, between Anna's ultra-putzy eating and trying to time everything with a baby. I only teared up twice during breakfast. We didn't forget anything either.  Doing well so far!  Took the obligatory "first day of school" photos before piling into the car and driving to school.

We dropped Anna off in her classroom alongside several other proud parents.  Most of the kids in her class looked more nervous than excited, Anna included.  But she remembered her teacher from her home visit last month and that made her feel secure enough for us to leave with just a couple of hugs.  Independent girl, that one.

Then I got teary eyed in the hallway outside the classroom and then again at church while we waited for the opening service to start. And again at home as I sat in my suddenly VERY quiet house and realized that I don't really want Anna to be at school.  I'm not ready for her to be gone every morning.  I'm not ready to share the responsibility of raising and educating her with someone else again.  I feel like I just got her back after two and a half years of working full time.  (Even though we had a great childcare experience which she still talks about all the time, I missed her horribly during that time.)

I realize it's the first day of a major transition for both of us. And I'm famously lacking in the "logic department." But there's a huge part of me that just wants to call this whole thing off.  K4 is not required by law.  Let's forget this whole thing and try again next year.  I want another year of her being little.  Another year of lazy mornings, drinking coffee on our back step while she decorates our driveway with her buckets of sidewalk chalk and colored bubbles.  Another year of snuggling on the couch, watching Disney Junior in our PJs.  What happened to the summer?  What happened to the last 4 years?

When I picked Anna up at lunchtime, she told me that she'd had fun, liked school, and absolutely did NOT want to go back tomorrow.  Hmm, kid, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this was not a one-time thing.  After an afternoon of incredible meltdowns and an unheard-of 2 hour nap from Anna, she and I both (separately) had good cries about the fact that she has to go back to school again tomorrow.  To her face I was enthusiastically supportive - asking questions about why she doesn't want to go back, offering things to look forward to, hatching plans to ask interesting questions of her classmates to get to know them better.  But here, in my room, I'm bawling.  Partially because I'm sleep-deprived (thank you very much, Llama Face), but mostly because I want to hug her tight the next time she says she doesn't want to go back and tell her I don't want her to go either and let's just stay here and bake things and hunt for bugs and play Barbies and paint the day away.

But being a grown-up means finding the will to go forward even when you don't want to.  So I'll be the grownup and I'll encourage her to keep trying.  I can almost promise that by the end of next week I'll have to pry her away from the classroom at pickup time.  But I'll still be missing my girl during my quiet mornings.

(A note - I am very thankful for my 1-on-1 time with Henry.  But even he was missing her today.  She's his favorite person in the world.  She loves him more than a buffalo, after all.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to Take a Bath

This was an exercise for the writer's group I belong to, and I enjoyed it so I thought I'd share.  The prompt was to write a list from a child's perspective on how to do something.  The example given was how to behave in church.  Very cute.  I had just had the afternoon bathtime from Hades so I focused on that for my response.  Here it is:

Anna's How-To: Take a Bath

1. When mom announces bathtime, strip naked, then run and hide. (Bonus points if you make it outside before she catches you.)
2. Dump ALL the bath toys into the tub before you get in.  If you've done this correctly, there should be approximately 9 square inches of open space for you to occupy.
3. Pretend not to hear when mom says to turn the water off.
4. When the water is so deep that you're floating a little, THEN turn it off.
5. Put on your goggles.
6. Fill at least 5 cups with water and place them strategically on the outside edge of the tub.  These will ward off and alert you to any incoming parents with the intent to wash.
7. Use your goggles to explore the 2 million bath toys you dumped into the tub in step 2.
8. Soap is a 4-letter word.  Treat it as such.
9. Resist "washing" until mom threatens to turn on the shower.  You don't want rain on your rubber duck parade.
10. Complain as much as possible during the washing process.  I promise, this makes it go faster.
11. "Keep the water in the tub" is just something grown-ups say. Go ahead and splash that stuff everywhere!
12. Rub soap across your lips. Blot lips together.  Now you will bubble when you talk.
13. When mom says it's time to get out, hunker down.  You're good and slippery all wet and naked.  No way she's getting you out of there by force.
14. Dry off - use this time to pretend you are Mary or a stone or just plain invisible under that towel.
15. Comb is another 4-letter word.  Run for the back door.
16. Insist on putting on your own pajamas.  Insist that backwards IS, in fact, the way you meant to wear them!
17. Brush your teeth.  Make sure you brush each. individual. tooth.  Repeat process as able with the toothpaste of every member of your family.
18. Fly into a rage at the mere mention of the removal of your toys from their positions in the tub.
19. Leave your towel on the floor.  You have people to clean up stuff like that.

Writing this from her perspective was fun!  I could see looking at other Anna-tics (Anna + antics - get it?  No?  Sorry.) and writing them out like this as well.