Just a quick update. After two buses went by and the clock ticking later, things were getting anxious again on Spring St. Thankfully, the next one stopped and after a brief hesitation Cecilia hopped on.
She came down the stairs this morning completely dressed with her new shoes snug and tight. She told us right off she had left her lovey and blanket up on her bed because baby things didn’t belong in kindergarten (small heartbreak). She was ready to go.
Now if only the school had been ready to go, too.
Cecilia’s first lesson was about civics and public bureaucracy and that specific type of sticky red tape that might shuffle bus routes around at the last minute and drop an address off the list and leave a very excited 5 year old watching yellow bus after yellow bus approach and then pass as she stands at the end of her driveway with her new backpack.
Honestly, after the initial (and totally understandable) display of tears, Cecilia handled it better than her parents. She was brave and resilient and by the time we dropped her off at school she was smiling and made a very memorable entrance.
Meanwhile, Mom and Dad were still stewing a bit and that feeling took awhile (and a hard workout) to fade, but after a nice lunch, a bottle of wine (also understandable in my opinion) and some commiserating we were able to start laughing it off.
Just in time for another call from school asking if Cecilia should be on the bus home or going to the after school program. Mind you, we’d filled out a very specific form on when and where she should be picked up and dropped off and CECILIA WAS WEARING A NAME TAG THE SCHOOL SUPPLIED WITH THAT SAME INFORMATION AROUND HER NECK!
Thankfully, the classroom part of the day appears to have gone off without a hitch and Cecilia gave us a very excited rundown of everything they did. She learned classroom rules. Practiced the letter ‘R.’ And used the monkey bars so much she has blisters. Her biggest gripe was the very short amount of time they get to eat lunch. No more lingering lunches.
She also told us very seriously that her biggest lesson learned today was that “Nothing is perfect.” Which is a fine lesson to learn in time, but perhaps not on the first day of kindergarten.
Stay tuned. In the last eight hours we’ve been told she is on 3 different buses so despite stopping off at the school offices in person to make sure things were all copacetic, I’m not exactly confident this whole scene won’t repeat itself tomorrow.
Five years ago we dropped 14 week old Cecilia off at day care for the first time. That initial drop off was a bit rough. I was in full robot mode with feelings set to low. Michelle had trouble finding the door through the tears. Cecilia probably handled it the best.
In the end it all worked out fine, as most things do, but in the beginning there was stress, doubt and worry. Five days before we were both scheduled to go back to work after our leaves, our original, home-based day care flaked out on us. Despite filling out the application and providing a deposit before Cece was even born, they suddenly couldn’t accommodate us until September. Here’s a tip day care professionals of the world: fragile new parents do not like surprises of any kind. I continue to harbor a grudge against the whole street and mentally put a pox on it each time I drive by for the emotional cocktail shaker they put us through.
Call it fate, synchronicity, luck or just an improving economy, but a new daycare was being built just up the street from our house. They weren’t open yet, but were close, there was a roof and staff and they were happy to take a new infant a few days early to help out some obviously frazzled new parents.
The parents are still frazzled most days, but that infant will start kindergarten next Thursday and yesterday was her last day at the Goddard School. There were definitely some ups and downs, but ultimately we made the right choice (or the right choice was made for us!).
And who knows, maybe even robots had a twinge of emotion driving away last night.
Allison turned one last month and it was a big milestone. We managed not to drop this little screecher creature on her head for a full year! But in retrospect, minus the pink frosting, that day was much like the day before or the day after. From my porch rocker, with my Werther’s Original, I’m sure I will remember the birthdays, the holidays and the graduations, but I also think other, everyday milestones might linger just as large as those more well-marketed Hallmark days.
The last couple months have brought four of these events for us:
Cecilia is out of a car seat
Sure, this one is more driven by our frugality and Allison’s legs hanging out of the baby carrier, but it sure is nice to have one less bulky monstrosity clogging up our back seat and fossilizing months worth of Cheerios and milk stains.
On Wednesday we attend an information session in preparation for Cecilia going to kindergarten in the fall. How did that happen? I should really call this one the last days of day care bills, at least for two children, but we’ll still have tuition (for full day kindergarten) and after school programs, so it feels like a wash. I sometimes dream of disposable income.
The return of the potty seat
One big advantage of two kids? The younger one is a mimic and for Allison that extends right into the privy and your personal space. For much of January she has been using the potty. Not full-time, but a couple times each day, usually in the morning and at night and I’m in favor of anything that results in less diapers. And laughs. Because the site of such a tiny person on a toilet is funny. It just is.
This last one is an example of how the smallest things can have the biggest impact. After the Christmas break, we swapped Allison’s soft infant moccasins for a pair of toddler sneakers. SheShe quickly took to them, stomping playfully around the kitchen and looking for all the world like she was ready to demand the car keys.
I’ll be quite happy to delay that milestone for a few more years.