Truthfully, it is really me who is back in school. Let's face facts: it's moms around the country who are put back on a schedule. Without me setting my alarm for a time roughly two and half hours earlier than our natural rhythm all summer (go ahead, do the math and judge me...), my kids wouldn't make it to school before lunch. And if it were up to them, they might go about once a week, probably for recess and library time. Sooooo, who's really back into a routine? Me.
Lunches and snacks. The guilt of knowing that I should be the organized person who pre-packs lunches the night before, thereby negating the stress of the morning rush. Nay, not I. Instead, I stumble around the kitchen, bleary eyed and grumpy, stuffing random items into bags. "Mumma, why did I get croutons for lunch..?"
Back to the steady parade of various pastel shaded sheets of paper that make their way home from school, requiring my signature, or worse...action. The wall calendar is filling steadily. The summer commitments were things like, going out with my dad to get crab or checking Craigslist for antique pine. Now I have to remember to get our Entertainment Book fund raising order form in on time. Otherwise, my kids won't get their giant inflatable balloon sales prize (approximate value: 2.6 cents). Grrrrrr.
Walking. With Finny in Kindergarten, I walk down the hill in the morning, back up after drop off...then down to pick up Finny...then back up. Then down to pick up Molly...then back up. I mostly carry Lucas. The alternative is he is on his Like-a-Bike. This is terrifying to me, because he is a maniac, off-road, speed demon, adrenaline freak. I'll take the stress on my back from hauling my little Evel Knievel over the brain stress I endure watching him try to bushwhack the local landscaping.
The worst? Getting used to missing BOTH my girls. Finny is gone all morning and Molly all day. The upside of course is that Lucas and I get what has been a much more rare occurrence until now: time with just the two of us. When we walk down to school in the morning, we deliver the girls to their classrooms as Lukey chants in a sing song voice, "Time for school, Finny. Go to school, Molly. Bell's ringin'. Hurry girls. Hurry." Then they are gone and he snuggles into my neck and whispers, "You and me left, Mumma."
Finny has taken school in stride, I think. She is a wee bit glum each morning at drop off, but the familiarity of the school makes a big difference in her comfort level compared to what Molly had to deal with in her first couple of weeks. Finny complains that school is boring so far, but I suspect it is just her raring to get to the meat of school, rather than all the set-up chatter. I remember that feeling, too. Her comment to me was, "They spend a lot of time talking about what we are going to do, but we don't DO anything." So far, I think she is right, but I know her Kindergarten teacher and she has lots of great stuff to look forward to. I have been reining in her reading, because I am guessing that once she gets going on that I'll only see the top of her head. Oh, and she doesn't like being confined to the Kindergarten playground at recess. She told me it is like being in playground jail.
Here is Finny on her first day of school:
And because he couldn't handle special occasion pictures that didn't involve him:
The first day of school was taunting us with it's summery temperature. I couldn't get a picture outside with open eyes:
Another interesting sidenote was the arrival on the first day of a special visit from all the Olympic mascots. It was a media event, but since there were no media consent forms on file for Kindergarten students, they brought all three mascots down to the Kindergarten room for a private audience. It was hilarious. The room was stuffed with nervous, overexcited morning and afternoon class kids, all their parents and smaller siblings...what did that room need? Three giant mascots. Preferably unannounced. When Quatchi filled the huge picture window with his orange fur and earmuffs, there was an equal mix of hyper squeals and terrified shrieks. You know, some kids find mascots scary...? Yeah, I thought most people knew that, too.
Here Finny, hug a marketing tool:
She dug it. It made a memorable day extra memorable. Not that I could forget losing another babe from the nest. I told myself I wouldn't cry. I totally didn't...until the next day.