The morning began at 3am with the angels playing the game better than the cast of the Big Lebowski, or more appropriately, the tweens of the Disney Chanel original Ally Cats Strike. No sound makes his tiny feet shuffle down a dark hallway faster than rumbling thunder, and sideways, diagonal, legs sprawled, feet kicking adult heads, are the positions he finds most comfortable in the bed belonging to his parents. I’ve been meaning to turn myself into one of the productive mothers who wakes up before her kids, so after kick #5 billion, I arose 4 hours earlier than an hour suitable for awakeness and did the only suitable thing to do as a mother about to take my kid to his first day of real preschool: I stared at his baby pictures while holding his blanket.
After preparing a breakfast suitable for Pinterest, if of course, bacon and eggs is suitable for Pinterest, I began dragging the sleepers from their beds, since, for the first day since summer began, James decided he would like to sleep in and so did the rest of the house.
With “15 minutes until school starts!!!!” I finally got my husband out of bed as the final kick to the head was given to him by a still slumbering James.
Within 26 seconds of Josie waking, the first fight erupted over her wanting to wear his school uniform and something about milk. Someone had it, someone else wanted it, why anyone thinks milk is good will always puzzle me.
With a backpack here, a lunch box there, and a frazzled mother everywhere we drove him to his first day as a family, as I shoved scrambled eggs in his mouth on the way, which I’m guessing no one has ever pinned? I forced the taking of mostly blurry photos and upon moment one of entering his super awesome classroom, he gave me a “bye mom,” and a real preschooler he became.
“Do you want a hug?” I said, and by ‘do you’ I meant ‘give me pretty please’
“No, thank you, I want this truck,” he misunderstood his emotionally needy mother. I forced one more photo with him, my sister, and “his friend and cousin Bailey.”
James then went to each child and said, “Hi, my name is James, this is my friend and cousin Bailey.” Josie did her best to blend in hoping I would fail to notice her left behind, as Rita went a tap, tap, tapping on my chest as a not so gentle reminder of, “you forgot to nurse me.”
The sweet, adorable, pleasantly fashionable teachers assured me of his comfort and their ability and out the door we went.
I cleaned and scrubbed and made a quick trip to Marshalls (obvi!) because I could fit the two remaining kids in one cart, as I nervously twiddled and picked my cuticles waiting for the time it wouldn’t be super crazy lady early to pick him up. When the time arrived, I darted to the check out, and Big Sister still told me I was crazy lady early and continued her Marshall’s furniture shopping.
I imagined him nervous and anxiously waiting for my arrival. I called Jim on the way and said, “do you think he missed me too much?” to which he responded, “no” and Josie responded “no way, Mama, no way.”
With their answers not comforting me, I arrived as not the earliest one!, to him smiling and waving goodbye to the pick kids in the line.
“Hey mom, Bailey is my school friend now,” he explained with poise and confidence foreign to my experience of mothering thus far. “Before he was my cousin and now he is my school friend. And sometimes he is my neighbor, too. And I asked the class if they would be my friends and they said yes, except for a kid that stole my truck. And I drew this picture. It’s you. It’s on black paper. And I didn’t pee in the grass.”
I thought we should celebrate by going out to lunch. I’ve never taken all three out to lunch alone. And it wasn’t all that bad actually, until Josie came face to face with the moment in which she thought it would be funny to throw the smoothie on me and Rita and went for it with a flying strawberry sticky success. And then she did her classic “holding hands is for losers and I’m cool,” act in the parking lot. But, again, there were no run- ins with cars, so…
Just in case you were wondering.
Also, happy feast of St. Augustine! May he guide the minds of all those studying, or playing with trucks in pre-school.