Monday, August 27, 2007

Edgy Mommy

You know that feeling you get when you're nervous about something but you're trying not to show it, but it keeps on popping out anyway?

That's what I'm like today, on my oldest child's first day of school.

There were no tears, just a few moments of agitation when I realized that my daughter was listed as a car-rider instead of a walker, at which point I began to freak out just a little bit at the thought of my poor five-year-old being left to wander in a sea of car-riders at the front of the school, doing battle with traffic and older kids all alone. I tend to exaggerate negative scenarios when I'm nervous.

Walking home after dropping her off this morning was sad. Little Sia, who wanted to wear her backpack just like Gina, got upset with us for not letting her stay at school. This made me even more freaked out, until she started asking us to carry her on the way back, and I realized she's still got some baby left in her.
My mom, who lives across the street from me, "just so happened" to be out mowing her ditch as we trudged home. When she saw us pass by, the mower magically disappeared and she walked over to inform me that she'd already cried this morning and that my daughter now belongs to the school district, not me. I don't know why she keeps telling me this. Maybe because that's how she felt when my brother or I started school. Or maybe she just always felt that I didn't belong to her because I was a Grandma's Girl, and she wanted me to know what that felt like (i.e.: rub my nose in it). I get paranoid about the intentions of others when I get nervous.

As a nice surprise, we brought over the old-fashioned desk from Grandma's that I used for my homework when I was in elementary school.

Solid wood and metal construction, with a swivel seat and a hinged desktop that opens to storage space. Notice the black circle in the top right corner. That's not a painted-on circle, my friends. It's a hole. For an inkwell.

I focus on something minute when I'm nervous.

Mom stayed with me for part of the day, doing me the favor of distracting me with unrelated subjects, like income tax evasion. The rest of the day, however, dragged on like a recital of the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles. And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah... I had to do something with all that time and jittery energy, so I made a coconut pie. Yes, that's right, I have turned into Kitty Forman.

Every time the phone rang, I thought it might be the school and jumped about six feet in the air (a feat to be applauded, as I am less than five feet tall). Fortunately it was always a family member calling to ask a question or keep me informed of good news. For once I am thankful that my sister-in-law is an active busybody with so much influence in the school, because it means she was allowed to go check in with my daughter's teacher without needing to make an appointment first. Turns out I gave birth not to a girl, but to a Chatty Cathy doll.

Finally, thank Father Time, 3:00 rolled around and our whole family once again made the trek to the school. And waited. And waited. And stood around waiting some more. It is apparently school policy to wait until ALL the cars picking up their kids are gone before dismissing the walkers. We were there for a good half an hour.

And what happened when they finally let my baby out of there? First of all, she walked out into 90 degree weather wearing a sweater, because it was so freaking cold in that school. And then they made her go the long way around to the small gate (about 40 yards away) instead of bringing her to the main gate (where the cars would be entering, if there were any cars left, which there weren't, because they waited FORTY YEARS to make sure there were no moving vehicles). But my poor Gina, she was having none of that. She caught sight of us as I was trying to take her picture, and she wrenched herself away from the older girl holding her hand and came running to me in tears. I rushed out to meet her. It was just like on TV, when you see two people running to each other across a field in slow motion, only the grass wasn't as high, and her father was yelling "Go back! Go back!"

As I walked her back to the rest of the kids (after all, she must get used to going the right way, no matter how stupid it is), I found out why she's so upset.

"Mommy, they took away all my school surprise!"

"Your school supplies?"

"Yeah, I lost them, they're missing! I want my school sur-plies, Mommy. I let them down."

Cue Bizarro Dad and me trying very hard not to laugh and failing.

I would post a picture of her highly upset face as she told me "We'll talk about it later," (which, by the way, when the heck did she start saying things like that? What are they teaching her in that school?) but the picture contains too much private information. Apparently on the first day of school, they not only put your name on your clothes, but also your grade level, classroom number, lunch card number, how you get home, favorite ice cream flavor, and the names of the last five places you used a public restroom. Paranoid much, Principal Geometry?

Well, at least it's over. And at least I got to tease my mom by telling her that since she's the first of three generations of our family to attend this school, that means Gina is referring to her when she says "My ancestors went to this school."

Oh, hell. I just remembered: I have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

1 comment:

N said...

Welcome to the club of "Having School-aged Kids." Prepare for the inevitable immune system assault...