Friday, August 23, 2019

It's the First Week of School!

My favorite week has come and almost gone! It's the first week of school!

Uniforms were laid out with care, bows were painstakingly selected, brand new backpacks that had been hanging in cubbies for a month were finally used. Traditional pictures were taken, first day handshakes attempted (we need a better 3-person handshake method) and poppyseed bread was consumed.

(Flashback to when our 6th grader was a brand new baby Kindergartner and the handshake tradition I stole from my childhood friend Meg began!)

This year we had two kids starting at new schools: Cora in Kinder and Landon in Middle School! Claire is in 4th and Maggie remains home schooled.

It's so crazy to me that I was pregnant with our current Kindergartner when we took our original Kindergartner to his first day of school. Cora's in that picture, we just hadn't met her yet. And now that Kindergartner is a MIDDLE SCHOOLER. This picture is 6 years old. Six years from now Landon will be a senior in high school and Cora starting middle school. All the cliches about time flying by are true.

Cora the Kindergartner was calm and confident as we walked to her classroom. She got a daddy hug because he needed it and then marched into class and didn't look back. She's been ready for this moment for years.

Claire, always one for additional parent-time, requested a walk to her classroom and so up the stairs we went to drop of our big girl 4th grader who loves the first day of school as much as I do.

Landon's new school starts crazy late (first bell at 9:15!), but he got up for our traditional pictures and to walk the girls to his old stomping ground.

A million years later (like 60 minutes) it was time to meet Landon's crew at our friend's house who lives near the middle school. They were all excited and adorable. James joked about piggy-backing Landon to school, but Landon called his bluff by declaring it a GREAT idea.

But we sent our little ducklings off on foot all by themselves like the big kids they are. We yelled "make good choices!" and took pictures of their backs as they turned the corner and went out of sight.

Maggie found the excitement of the first day prep exhausting and slept through all her lessons.

I was excited all day at work, looking forward to hearing how their days went. The girls had gymnastics at 4, so James took them (he always closes the swim school the first week of school and it's the BEST because he gets the download each day direct from the kids and we figure out our routine before the after-school nannies begin, plus he loves getting to see them at a time of day he's usually in the pool). Landon got dropped off at home by a friend's mom about 5 (normally he'll ride his bike to/from, but we wanted to drive over on the first day) and I skipped yoga on my way home from work in lieu of hearing about his day.

And OY did he have much to tell me! I pulled up in the driveway and closed the gate behind me. I looked in the rearview mirror to ensure the gate was closing and see Landon SPRINTING out of the house, his mouth already moving. He bounded over to my side of the car and as soon as I opened the door, the stream-of-conscious hit me mid-report:

“ art was great [art is 2nd period, so apparently I'd already missed the discussion of 1st] and we had to direct someone else to draw a picture with a blindfold and I was the director and I picked a unicorn because it was the hardest and this boy from [other school] was my partner and we won a lollipop! He drew a nice unicorn. In social studies we had to organize by birthdays and as soon as she said it I jumped up with two other kids and we got everyone organized REALLY FAST. In math we get extra points on our birthday but since I already had mine I can use my points whenever so I’m going to use them when I just don’t get a topic you know? And reading is going to be GREAT. My teacher has a 1,000 stories and said we won’t learn anything if she tells them all. The AR Word Count Record is 9 million words and it hasn’t been broken in NINE YEARS and I’m going to break it. We have to read one million to graduate the class but we can read ANYTHING! She likes ducks and I forgot to give her the post it’s you bought but I will tomorrow. I think I want a binder? It’s a lot to keep track of in all the classes. No one i know is in my lunch table but Caden sat behind me at a DIFFERENT table but we can still talk because he’s behind me, you know? So I can hear him. Recess is good but I wish all my friends were in it. I have homework but it’s for you and not for me. I gave Caden a pizza roll because he was hungry; no one saw. OH! Computers was easy but probably because we didn’t do anything yet. It’s my first class. Oh, Mom! what are we having for dinner?”

So he had a good day! The girls got home and also reported good days, though in significantly less detail than their brother. Cora learned about raising her hand and thought the rule to be the greatest addition to her life. We are all now expected to raise our hands at dinner. Claire reported that Cora apparently hadn't enjoyed the game played in P.E.:

Claire: "Ms. Luna said that Cora did not like being It at tag in PE."
Cora, indignant: "I was just not playing that game Claire! I didn't understand the rules. I was just playing with Scarlett and I was not ever It!"
Claire, gently: "It's PE Cora. You play the game as a big group."
Cora: "No, Claire, I just decided I was not playing. I did not know the rules!"
Me: "Weren't they explained to you before the game started?"
Cora: with a sigh, "Probably. I just decided I was not going to be It, so I played my OWN game with Scarlett instead."
Claire, to me: "I see why she was a problem."

After Cora received clarification that PE was not just an indoor version of recess, she apparently got on board, but it is extremely Cora to observe a group at play and decide to opt out. She LOVES being in the classroom and doing the work (she noted it's a lot of coloring and not a lot of "hard work" so far; she's hoping it picks up soon) and has made several friends, though she doesn't know any of their names. As she pointed out to me, "I don't need to know their names to play with them Mom."

The week progressed, everyone cheerful and uniformed and absolutely loving school. Landon pooled all his birthday money together and bought an electric scooter. It was delivered Monday night and he was up at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to practice using it so we'd approve his riding it to school.

We did. It's equally strange and amazing to wave goodbye to him from the front porch at 8:30 and then have him scooter back home around 5. It's like sending him off to work each day.

Maggie went with me to drop off the girls on Tuesday, and despite wearing her finest PTA spirit shirt, she couldn't figure out why we were all awake and driving somewhere at 7:30 a.m.

I don't understand the school carpool line and the thought of breaking the rules I don't know is paralyzing, so I always park at our friend's house and walk over.

Maggie, used to picking up the kids, but never involved in drop-off, was horrified when we left the children behind and felt very strongly that we should go retrieve them before leaving.

Also on Tuesday I took the whole day off work to spend the day with James in celebration of being done with my yoga training and him having me back at night. We went out for a fabulous brunch and just enjoyed hanging out in an empty house.

Then I used a groupon for a Brazilian Blowout. I'd always wanted to get one- my hair, when left to dry on its own, is an awful, unworkable mix of frizz, half curl, and floating fine hairs. Blow-drying takes too long and then I still have to straighten it, so I pretty much just wear my hair in a wet ball on top of my head like the professional attorney I am.

But now, it's straight! And not frizzy! It dries in 5 minutes with a blow dryer and I don't have to straighten it at all! I went to hot yoga yesterday morning before work, did a quick partial blow dry so it was no longer dripping down my back, and let it AIR DRY at work and it looked good! Insanity.

Not that you can see it here, but it's straightish!

The family-chosen meals were much enjoyed. Last night was James's at HG and it was delicious. Particularly the dessert he apparently needed two spoons to eat.

As noted in his first-day rapid-fire-report, Landon has decided he's going to break the 9-million word AR reading record that is 7 years old. We'll see about that, but what's important is it finally enabled me to convince him to read Harry Potter. I googled the word count for the series (1.08 million!) and bam, FINALLY, he cracked open The Sorcerer's Stone.

And Claire is finally reading Little House in the Big Woods! I've owned these series to read to children since before my children existed and they are finally being read! I had no chill about any of it. (#HarryPotterFangirlForLIFE)

The only person possibly not loving this week is Maggie who has expressed her displeasure at the tiny humans being gone by pooping in the girls' room three times.

Obviously, she feels terrible. Particularly when James had just rented a Rug Doctor and steamed the rug and then she did it again.

Her guilt is eating her alive and interrupting her sleep, but we've told her that we know she's trying her best.

And so we've made it through the first week! And we're celebrating with my chosen dinner- a big pool party with friends! An accidental tradition started last year, the frosé is about to get spinning in the margarita machine and then I'm making 5 lbs. of pasta salad and picking up a giant Costco cake. Let the splashing, chatting, and frosé-ing begin! (In 5 hours!)


  1. I am dying laughing at Cora and Claire's PE/it conversation. The best.

    I am so excited for Landon to start reading Harry Potter. I wish I could read it for the first time again.

    Cheers to the first week of school!

  2. I so enjoy reading about your life! I'm a Grade 4 teacher in Canada so we don't go back until the day after Labour Day, but your kids seem like exactly the sort of kids I would looove to have in my class. I read the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my class every year and get them all hooked. It's so fun!