Monday, August 25, 2008

The First Day of School, Again...Only Worse

So today was the actual first day of kindergarten. Brace yourself, it was a doozy. This is a long post but I think it will be worth it. Once again, my children went against the norm and instead of waking up between 6:00 and 6:30, they slept until 7:15. Big Sister needs to arrive at school between 8:15 and 8:30. Any earlier than 8:15 and we have to wait in the cafeteria with a bazillion kids for dismissal. We prefer to aim for 8:20 so we can walk directly to the classroom. It's okay with the teachers if we walk them to their rooms until around October. After that, we have to cut the apron strings and let them go...oh boy. So anyway, we have exactly fifty-five minutes to feed and dress everyone before leaving the house. Sounds doable...if you have a family that operates at normal speed. However, apparently I am receiving payback for all those times in my childhood when my mother was waiting in the car with the motor running while I continued to look for my other shoe. Big Sister takes her time. Little Sister moves at a little faster pace, hence the problem. You have to catch her before you can dress her. And then there's me, the mama. I can't walk into that school (and I am walking into that school until October) looking like I normally do. These people don't know me. I am putting my firstborn's life in their hands until 2:15 p.m. I must make a good impression!

So anyway, we're well on our way to making good time and then Daddy hollers as he walks out the door, "It's raining." WHAT!?!?! Rain!? I wasn't prepared to deal with RAIN! We walk to school for crying out loud. I haven't practiced driving to school yet. How long will it take? Can I park somewhere when I get there so I can still walk her in? Where? Front of the school or back? Now, in my defense, it hasn't rained in like...forever. I haven't watched the news in like...forever. How was I supposed to know I must prepare the "rain plan" on the first day!? Let the madness begin.

After running up and down the stairs about 10 times, not drinking any of the coffee I made, and holding Little Sister down to yank her hair into a beautifully coiffed "do"...we headed out the door at 8:14. Perfect if you're walking...but if it's raining....and you're driving....and you've never done this before? Well, I was able to snap a couple of pictures before we left.
On a side note, the heinous "tote bag" is a requirement at our school for all kindergartners. It is so they can easily be identified as a kindergartner (seriously, how could you miss these things?) and so that papers don't get lost in lots of zippers and pouches. Okay, like, could you have let us know that in a letter over the summer before money was invested in a perfectly pink zippered and pouch covered princess backpack that Big Sister picked out herself and now I have to explain why she can't take it to school even though I built it up earlier like it was so perfect for kindergarten and made her look like such a big girl and now I have to make it seem like that heinous "tote bag" is awesome!?! Aaarrrghhhh! We were permitted to decorate the heinous "tote bag". Notice the ribbon around the edging and the bow. Aren't I crafty? Big Sister drew on the bag while I restrained myself from adding multiple sequined iron on transfers. Here is a closeup.

In case you couldn't tell, that thing to the right is a fish standing on top of it's fish tank. (Isn't she creative?) and the word CIDRGORDIN is the word KINDERGARTEN using ebonics...I mean phonics. I'm not sure what the squiggly yellow things are. Anyway, I praised her artistry to the high heavens and somehow managed to convince her that the "tote bag" is the way to go because it's what all the hip kindergartners are wearing this year.

So we walked out to the garage at 8:14 a.m. and I immediately realized I was in trouble. I laid my eyes on the car we've borrowed from the dealership while our minivan is being fixed and remembered that I have NO umbrellas. All three umbrellas that we own are in the minivan. Because Daddy doesn't use an umbrella (he's so manly he'd rather be wet than carry some girly umbrella I guess) and because who needs an umbrella at home? All our umbrellas ride around with us... only today, the first official day of kindergarten, we didn't have our ride.

On another side note, I dropped off the minivan LAST Monday because the ABS light was on. ABS=Anti-lock brake system. I asked them to call us before doing any work and let us know what work needed to be done and what it would cost. That was a week ago and we haven't heard a thing or had any of our calls returned. While I was happy to drive around using their gas for a few days, I've now had to put more gas in their car ($10 at a time because heaven forbid I buy gas I don't get to use for a borrowed car) and I DON'T HAVE UMBRELLAS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN AND IT'S RAINING! I mean, do they still not know what's wrong? Do I need to call them and go, "Hey guys, let me help you out...it's the BRAKES."

So as we buckled in I began to formulate a plan for getting in the building. First, I found out that it takes waaaay longer to drive to school than it does to walk. I managed to figure out where to park and I got everyone unbuckled and ready to bolt for the door. I got soaked, which is fine, and I ripped the girls out of the car at the same time, placing one on either side, slammed the door, and yelled, "Run!"

Now imagine the Chariots of Fire music and us running for the door in slow motion. Me in the middle, Little Sister on one side trying to break free from me and go her own way, Big Sister on the other side carrying her cool "tote bag". As we reach the median and are almost home free, Little Sister hits it first (because she's trying to get away from me), I cross the median next, and as I easily jump and clear the small river forming against the median...Big Sister trips (or I pulled her down but...whatever) and she sprawls out half on the median and half on the road directly into the mud. I yank her arm up in the air in an attempt to keep her from hitting the ground and all I manage to do is save the "tote bag". Her left hand firmly plants in the mud and her left leg goes all the way down from hip to toe into the muddy river. Yep. I dragged my child through the mud on her first day of kindergarten. We're all so shocked that she doesn't even cry at first and I don't even wonder if she's hurt herself. I look at her wide eyes and say, "Let's just get inside the building and then we'll figure out what to do."

When we got inside I checked her for injuries. Physically she was fine but here's the worst part. She looked at me with a giant tear rolling down her cheek and said, "I just wanted to look nice for my first day of kindergarten." Okay, I'm not the emotional type. I've been cool with this whole new chapter of life for the most part but I almost lost it. It was all I could do to keep from bawling hysterically. Then we heard the announcement that all children need to get to their classrooms so they won't be counted tardy. Tardy! We can't be tardy on the first day! So I took her to her class, washed off her hands, wiped off her leg with paper towels as best I could, and sent her in the door. Her teacher was somewhat sympathetic, somewhat annoyed, and suggested I leave her there and go home to get another pair of pants and bring them back to the office. She missed the pledge of allegiance and everyone was staring at her, the girl with the muddy pants on the first day of school. Without thinking, I dragged Little Sister back out to the car, rushed home, got another pair of pants, shoes and socks, and rushed back. And of course, it was no longer raining while I was doing any of this. The ladies in the office were somewhat sympathetic, somewhat annoyed, and were at least gracious enough to let me take the clothes to her room. I quickly changed her and snapped her picture again.

She seemed fine and I think she was starting to think the whole thing was kind of funny. I still wanted to cry. But I didn't. I'm just not that emotional I guess. Besides, I was beginning to think about how I couldn't wait to blog about this first day fiasco.

When I picked her up she went on and on about the strawberry milk, eating in the cafeteria and learning about how to "live above the line". She also went to music today so that was big. Nothing about "the incident". It was like it didn't even happen. When I asked her on video what happened that morning and why she had on different pants she kind of looked at me like she didn't know what I was talking about. THANK GOD! I guess in the end it was a raging success. She loved her first day.

I guess tonight I'll watch the weather forecast...right after I head to Walmart to buy three umbrellas...just in case.

18 comments:

Holly said...

Love it!!! I actually laughed out loud a couple of times, and because I am THAT emotional, my eyes teared up a time or two. Love hearing about the kindergarten experience and seeing the pictures of sweet Big Sister.

Heinzfeet said...

Ah, great therapy! I needed to read that post and laugh out loud. I LOVE your blog! It always makes me laugh. Thanks again for keeping the girls. That was SUCH a blessing. I'm sure we contributed to the 7:15 wake time. Adeline was still up by 6:30 for crying out loud. It was 10pm when she went to bed...argh....

Susan said...

Oh Tracy!! What a morning. You are the best at planting mental images- I could actually hear the Chariots of Fire music as I was reading about your run across the parking lot. I hope tomorrow its dry for you!! :)

Amy Lafayett said...

Oh, such a sweet memory. Though I almost cried for you except that I was laughing too hard!!! I am soooo glad that she was ultimately okay with it. Bless that sweet little heart of hers. What time are you getting up tomorrow??

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the much needed laugh. You're too funny. Did momma even have her coffee yet? By the way, she looks adorable!

sarahunderhill said...

Hi-freaking-larious! Oh my word! Thanks for all the details and the chuckles! Sweet Annie! Katie Beth misses her!

sarahunderhill said...

oh, and we're not allowed to do backpacks either. We don't even get an atrocious tote though. Just carry your folder. Weird. I talked the backpack up too and now am like, oh you don't need that. That's a big deal! :)

Montee said...

Thanks for starting my day off with a laugh! I don't think Annie will ever forget her first day of school! She looks so grown-up!

Julie said...

I'm SO glad she bounced back from the morning! Kids are great like that! :)

james said...

big girl,
reading this was a riot. you have always had a way with telling a story.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I found this blog today. Somehow Dana found it and sent me the link. I was having my planning period so I took a few minutes to catch up on your family. Rhonda Smith and Leslie Carpenter were with me as I started reading out loud. We laughed and laughed. We miss you guys! I wish the girls were here in school with us! I am excited to be one of your regular readers now. Cherish these days...they are gone before you know it. I have a sophomore in college for heaven's sake! Love you! Connie James10B

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tracy for the great laugh. Now I know how to prepare for our first day of school, next year...no mention of backpacks and lots of umbrellas.
courtney smith

jamieb said...

Oh my, I finally just took a breath. OK, you handled that WAY better that I would have. I can NOT believe that. Atleast she had a great day despite a rough start.

Heather said...

Hey Tracy, I only know you from the Message Board and just recently checked out your blog and oh my word your daughter is gorgeous!! I just had to say that, I love her long locks! So cute!

The Jacksons said...

Oh my word! That is so funny. I laughed out loud and actually pictured you running in slow mo as the music was playing in my head. :) I'm really glad you both made it through ok. BTW, she is beautiful.

Tracy Bro said...

Thanks Heather and Angela!

carriehayes said...

oh tracy...that was great! thank you soo much for the laugh...much needed therapy! who knows...maybe we will be neighbors soon and you can call me next time to drop you ALL off at the front door. did our parents go to kindergarten with us? i can't remember. so much to look forward to. :)

Clay and Tracy said...

Great post!! She is a doll!