Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Day of School 2012

Aren't they something?  And so big!  After drooling over the new fall catalogs that have already arrived, I decided to go frugal this year.  Neither of them are up a size, the season hasn't changed, and they both have loads of cute clothes from last Christmas or birthdays.  And their shoes and backpacks are still perfectly good.
Ginger's shirt & cardie - Old Navy; belt - Walmart; skirt - Gap, last winter; polkie socks - Boden; sneaks - Zappos

Hazel's dress - Downeast Basics; sneaks - Zappos
Telling abut their clothes is the easy part.  I cried for two days leading up to school.  Then, the morning of, I woke with a weighted feel of dread I could not escape.  I truly did not want to take them somewhere and start not seeing them all day.  Even though the day was cloudy, I wore sunglasses to hide my red eyes. 
We walked there and dropped them off; the whole school was in chaos, it seemed.  Especially the kindergarten hall, where busy dressed-for-work parents were smothering their new kindies with advice and kisses, and trying to get spastic bodies to hold still for pictures.  Others were trying to extricate themselves from terrified, crying five-year-olds at the classroom doors.  Hazel had already made a speedy departure at the staircase; second graders are upstairs and she was anxious to join those ranks.  Ginger and I were a bit stunned by the masses when we turned the hall, and spent our energy on navigating the traffic jam outside her door rather than an emotional good-bye.  But once Poppy and I were back outside, on the long, slow walk back home alone, the floodgates opened, and never really closed again for a few days. 

I hated the second day as much as the first.  By that afternoon I'd talked myself into looking into homeschooling.  Frankly, it's still not off the table.  But my motivation is 99% selfish.  And that night at dinner, as if on cue, Hazel spontaneously exclaimed, "I LOVE being back at school!"  With Ginger heartily nodding her second. 

Don't even think Poppy and I are living the high life, with "just one" kid.  I'm still running the same errands I did with three, or two, plus a few I've been putting off.  If anything, I am getting more work done around the house...a little more.  Last Wednesday I spent 4 hours cleaning, including scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, washer-woman style.  Not the easiest task with a 2-year-old who wants to "help", but satisfying in its own occasional way.  I've been babysitting for a friend, taking other friends with new babies meals and company, folding laundry eternally, catching up on the bills and budget, and a few other little projects that just need to get done.  Truth be told, I'd rather have my girls.  But I'm trying to use my time well.

I've learned by now you can't get a straight story of "what happened at school today" just by asking.  Most of the stories that trickle home are about the drama and games that happen on the playground.  Occasionally I get an anecdote from specials.  But almost nothing from the homeroom.  So the other night, I came out and asked Ginger, "What do you think of Ms. W?"  I wanted to know what's going on in her classroom.  "Well, she's really nice, but she's fierce with the boys."  Good, I like Ms. W.  To Hazel, "Tell me about Ms. B."  "I really like her because she gives us a writing prompt each day and I love to write them."  I like her, too.  That'll have to do until Back to School night, and later this month, parent/teacher conferences.  In the meantime, I get them going in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, and try to enjoy the time we have.


Shells said...

They look so precious. Every day we ask the kids three questions: 1) What did you learn today? 2) Who did you help today? 3) What was your favorite thing you did today? It helps a lot in getting answers. If they can't remember we do some prodding and they know they don't get a pass. Answers are mandatory!

kat said...

my people go back to school this week. so bitter sweet. i LOVE that they love school. i hate that they're gone during the day. MOST of the time. :)

Mia said...

I hear you. Sigh. I was whiny and sad the first day. A tad better the second day. But fell apart again today when my last chick started twice a week preschool. I love that they are happy and love school but I do miss em.

Rachel said...

I read a friend's FB update something about how she feels like she was on the losing end of a joint custody battle and only got nights and weekends. So funny. And, I want you to homeschool for selfish reasons too - then I could glean from how amazing you would be at it! :) (we start homeschooling Sophia this year! Wow.)

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