August 29: The first days of school


The weekend with my father was wonderful – it was filled with playground visits and preparation for back-to-school.  We got all the “necessary” gear to make Big Bro’s first day of Kindergarten and Red’s first day of pre-school successful – new lunch boxes, backpacks, sneakers….   We also went to a birthday party yesterday and all four kids had a blast.    The parents still don’t know how we’re doing it, and to be honest, I don’t know how we’re doing it either…

Highlights of our Morning and Commute:

Again, because of the first days of Kindergarten and pre-school, this morning was very unusual:

  • Wake up at 6:30 so I can enroll Big Bro in an “after care” program since Kindergarten ends at 11:30.   Leave it to us to wait until the last-minute.   I also have to look for Red’s immunization records so we could hand in her completed application form for pre-school (again, last-minute).
  • I want to get to “after care” at 7 AM since we were concerned spots would fill up.   As I start to leave, Red is already walking downstairs, after gotten dressed by herself in her first day of pre-school clothes that she picked out by herself the night before.   She said she wants to come with me.
  • We get to the “after care” and they tell us that there are spaces, but they needed more families to sign up before hiring a teacher.   So we are on the waiting list and nothing is confirmed for us for today.  SHIT!!!!  Now what are we going to do?  Good thing I’m working from home today.  I might have to cancel my business trip this week.
  • At home, Big Bro is eating a special “chocolate bagel” since he is nervous for his first day.  I guess Hubby feels bad and is trying to help him through this.
  • Red gets ready for oatmeal.
  • Twins are walking around talking and playing with books and eating.
  • I pack Red’s lunch; Hubby packs for Big Bro
  • Red and I pack her bag with some extra clothes and sunscreen, and some small toys.  She is ready and organizing all of her stuff.  So cute.   She asks for a pony-tail so we go into the bathroom to wet and comb her hair back.  She is gorgeous.
Red packing for her first day of pre-school

Red packing for her first day of pre-school

  • OK!!! Time to go!!!!!
  • First drop off:   Twins are dropped off very quickly.  No problems.
  • 2nd Drop off:  Big Bro is acting very nervous about school.  There are people everywhere.  It really is over-whelming even for us.   Me, Hubby, and Red are there during Big Bro’s drop off.   We find his name by his hook and hung his jacket and backpack there.  His lunch goes on the above shelf.  Inside, his spot is near a friend from pre-school (thank goodness).  We play with play dough that is provided at his seat.   He is very clingy.  This is going to be rough.  As we start to leave he runs after us – we go up to the teacher and mention that Tyler is VERY shy.   She asks him if he could be her helper.   He agrees.  My heart aches.  We take a few (but not many) pictures but honestly it breaks my heart to think back on the morning.  He is so painfully shy.
Big Bro being very nervous on his first day of Kindergarten

Big Bro is very nervous on his 1st day of Kindergarten -- look at how he's sucking in his lips

  • We drop Hubby off at the Ferry
  • 3rd Kid drop off:   The front desk is very welcoming since they know Red through Big Bro.  I drop off all the paperwork and sign the (BIG) check.   We go to her new room and she is a bit cautious.  I help her find her name on her cubby and put her things away.  We try to do “pegs” which was the activity set up but she is not that interested.   We go for a walk around the room so she can soak it in.  Most of the kids there already know each other from the earlier classroom and she is the “new kid” but the people there are so nice and she is so spunky that I’m not worried about her.   We wind up at the pegs, she becomes occupied, and I hug and kiss her goodbye.  She looks down engrossed in the pegs and ignores me as I leave.  This is always how she was at the older daycare center – she had her routine.  Sit down at the activity for the morning and don’t say goodbye to us…. She is so sassy.  I think she’ll be OK.  From what I know, she did not shed a tear.
Red is READY for pre-school

Red is READY for pre-school - no tears at drop off

  • I then go back to after-care to sign up Big Bro.  There was a misunderstanding and they called us back.  They will take him starting today.  The problem is that they close at 6 PM which is impossible ffor us to do if we are taking the ferry.  If I work from home it will be OK, but days I work in the city I will just have to take the earliest ferry home so I can pick him up in time.
  • I am home now, trying to work.  It has been an emotional day today but I held it together.  Hopefully big Bro is doing OK.  I worry about him.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I set myself up in the living room; answer emails since I was off on Friday and there were a bunch in there.
  • I start to organize meetings for the Best Practices discussions as a result of our last project.  Hopefully we can turn these into business development meetings and identify other opportunities for consulting work at these other organizations.
  • I organize sales outreach for some of our firm forums
  • I go out for lunch – sushi, head to Trader Joe’s for food for the week – Hubby will be on his own with the kids and I want to do my part so that he has what he needs.   While at Trader Joe’s I buy little mini ice-cream cones so we can celebrate the first days of school together.
  • I do more sales outreach for a separate forum our firm is leading.
  • I put a chicken in the oven.
  • I pick up Hubby early at the Ferry station.  We are going together to pick up all of our kids
  • I will need to pack up for my trip but I’ll do that tonight after the kids are in bed.

Dinner and Commute:

  • I pick Hubby up from the Ferry at 5  PM.  We go to pick up Red first.  We arrive and she, as expected, is a sassy little diva.  She stands there and tries to hold back a smile.  We try to talk to her about her day but she is silent.  She wants to hold each of our hands.   We see her seat with her name tag and she looks so cute.  She had a pee-pee accident today (small one) and had to change underwear.  She tells us about this and said we have to bring in lots of underwear for her at school.  We also need to bring in a blanket for her naps.  She had a great day.   After leaving the classroom and walking through the lobby, she holds each of our hands and her smile is literally ear to ear.  She can’t hold it back.  She is so happy.  I make a BIG fuss about the first day of school and how proud of her I am. She skips and laughs and giggles and says “stop it  mommy!!!”.   I just want to squeeze her.  She is leaping with happiness.
  • 2nd Stop:   Big bro.  The three of us pick him up at the after-care center.  He is playing in the back with some cars and some boys.  He stands up and gives me a HUGE hug.  He is proud when he says to me “Mommy… I only cried for a little bit and that was only in the morning.”.  I tell him how proud of him I am, how I can’t wait to hear about his first day, and how it was probably scary for him  but hopefully he had fun.
  • Outside, they are both playing like monkeys on the bars leading up to the building.  The reunion of the two is so sweet.  They are both laughing and giggling.   I am on top of the world.
  • 3rd stop was the Twins.  On the way over there Red says that we didn’t pack any spoons for her applesauce.  I say that I was sorry that I forgot but did they have some at school?   She says no and started to smile.  Big Bro says, “Yes there are.  There are spoons at school.”.   The twin pick up was easy shmeasy.   It seemed like the daycare provider missed Red?  She goes over to the car and mades a big deal about Red’s first day of school.
  • At home, the chicken is cooking.  The twins are running around.  The big kids are well behaved.   Big Bro is unpacking his backpack and somehow he goes outside and takes off his jeans.   I’m not sure why he did that.   He grabs his new pencils and starts to sharpen them.  He plans to vacuum up the wood shavings with the dustbuster.
  • We look at their lunchboxes.   Both ate only ½ their sandwiches but ate all the fruit and applesauce.  Seemed OK.
  • OK!!!  Time to eat!   The chicken was cooking while we were doing pick ups; I sliced bread and heated up some veggies.  It was very easy.
  • I am shocked and amazed at how much food Big Bro and Red eat.  Red eats so much we ran out of chicken and she shoves all the plates aside and starts picking at the carcass.   I’ve never seen that before of a 3 year old.  Both kids eat their vegetables.  I am astounded.
  • We receive a call from our mother’s helper – she can’t make it because her car broke down but I pleaded with her to find an alternate car for tomorrow and Wednesday night since I will be out of town and Hubby will be on his own.
  • Twin Crazy is in a strange mood – I think full fledge toddler moods are with us now.  She knows what she wants, and she wants to do everything her big brother and sister does.  Tonight she is obsessed with using a kid knife to put butter on bread.   She is so upset she eventually pukes all over Hubby.  At this point it is a signal to me to put her down for a “cat nap”.
  • She goes down, but angrily.  I grab Twin Husky, who is in an excellent mood, and ask him to take a catnap too (otherwise Twin Crazy would never go down).  They stay there for about 20 minutes; Twin Crazy crying, Twin Husky talking.
  • I bring out Trader Joe’s ice-cream cones as a celebration.  The older kids get quiet so fast.
  • I bring down the Twins for their ice-cream.  And tell them that we have this treat because Red and Big Bro did so good on their first days of school.
  • After ice-cream we have chocolate all over the kitchen so we make a  game out of finding the chocolate and me picking it up
  • OK!!! TIME FOR MILK!!! TIME TO GO UPSTAIRS!!!!   All kids start their shuffle upstairs.  It is amazing to watch.
  • I change the Twins in their room and Big Bro and Red are there.  I love having all four around me at the same time.   Kids are playing in the closet and I am changing each kid.  We read books, made fart sounds in each others bellies.   Twin Crazy is spitting milk all over the place.  Twin Husky is just a barrel full of laughs.  Twin Husky looks like he is doing exercises – reaching up to the sky and then touching his toes, over and over again.  Big Bro and I are laughing.  They are all in such a great mood.
  • I grab Twin Husky and kiss him and tell him that I feel like I didn’t spend a lot of time with him today.  Then Big Bro says that I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him either.  My heart breaks.  But I say “sure I did’ — we spent a lot of time together at your school and talking about your day.”  “Yes but I didn’t get ‘mommy time‘”.  Oh how I sunk.  It’s not even the amount of quality time I can give them… but it’s also about ALONE time.  I need to get better at this if I possibly can.  This is important to him.
  • Twins go down without a hitch – Twin Crazy acts anxious from her crib and I think of the toothbrush – I bring her one and she smiles at me and she quickly uses it, I then give it to Twin Husky, and they are fine.
  • Teeth, pee-pee, and books are so easy with the older kids tonight.  I read a few pages of each book for them.  Red changes  her mind about pajamas, and about how much the window should be open.
  • I look into each of their eyes and tell them how much I love them and how happy I am today about them… about listening to their bodies and eating so well and also for going through a scary but fun day.   I ask them if it is OK if I kiss them in the middle of the night while they are sleeping and Big Bro agrees  but Red says “No” in a sassy little way with a laugh.  I make a face at her as I close the door to their giggles.

I feel like today was so amazing – I just couldn’t get enough of the kids.   I was so proud of them and so happy — for the people that they are becoming.  For the way all of them get along and laugh the way they do.   For the way they respond to me and run into my arms and laugh and squeal and show their emotions.   For the way they try to make me laugh.   I just can’t get enough.   I am addicted to these children.  At least these ages.  I know this will change.  They will grow older and not need me in this way as much.   I hopefully will be ready for that when that day comes — but for now, I want to soak this in.  Every kiss, every hug, every laugh, even the emotional outbursts.  So much feeling – so much passion with everything they do.   I love it.  Days like this are too good to put into words.

Tomorrow I will be leaving them for a business trip so this was a great way to ease into the trip.   I will be with them again tomorrow AM but will leave for the airport after all the drop offs.  Hubby will be on his own tomorrow night, all day Wednesday, and also Thursday AM.  Wish him luck.

Til tomorrow –

–          Mama K

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