19 August 2006

Start o' school

I knew I was in trouble when my son started hinting that I should go two minutes after I dropped him off.

We were in the gym with the other kids, waiting for the start-of-school bell to ring. I wanted to hang out and make sure he could find his room. Plus, he couldn't possibly carry everything, even if he thought he could.

My eldest was already with her friends at the fifth-grade table. Her best friends said "Hi" to my son, then promptly told him to leave them be. He actually seemed okay with that.

The morning prayer and Pledge of Alliegance said (Hey, I still know all the words. Go me.), we followed the crowd up the steps.

"Mom, go," he says, grabbing for his nap mat as we are in the middle of the melee on the landing.

"No, I can help you carry this, at least," says me.

"I can do it," he says.

"I'll leave as soon as you get to your room," says me.

We walk down the hall, turn into his room, and he's grabbing the mat away from me. I hold on, ask his teacher where she'd like it. Son is practically shoving me out the door.

I make an attempt at a kiss, which he rebuffs. So, out the door I go. Truly, I held in the tears until I was in my car.

Two days in:

Son loves K4. (It's a meld of preschool and kindergarten, with Montessori thrown in). He already has a "very good listener" note from his teacher. If you know him, you know that is a huge deal, because listening is not his strong suit with us.

Eldest's class is practically all girls. In first grade, they had a huge class with a good gender mix. For second and third grade, they stayed in the same room, because it was the only classroom that could hold them all. Now, they are down to four boys and 12 girls. Those poor four boys. Outnumbered 3-to-1, in fifth grade, the year of female hormones starting to hit.

16 August 2006


This last six weeks have been crazy. Crazy at work, crazy at home, crazy with extended family, and hey, school starts tomorrow, so you only get a list of high- and low-lights, not a real post:

* Funny: Youngest loves to be read to. Loves to drag books to a victi-, er, reader and demand reading ability. Overheard while fixing dinner: Middle child, in best four-year-old plaintive wail: "C-, I don't know *how* to wead!"

* Stress: My younger sister had her appendix out three weeks ago. Genetically crummy appendixes run in our family, so now I live in fear for my kids. Interesting appendix facts: One in 15 Americans has their appendix removed. Some folks (read "us") are genetically predisposed to getting appendictis because of a smaller opening from the intestine to the appendix, which allows crud to accumulate and eventually get infected.

* Social: I finally get to go to a conference. One week to SPJ in Chicago. Drop me a line if you'll be there, or know someone I might know there, 'cause I'm on my own, all alone.

* Silly: My three kids, in a kiddie pool, dumping water on top of their heads in 100 degree heat, and laughing like loons.

* Depressing: My grandmother slipping into full dementia. She's now out of her assisted living apartment, into a nursing home. She's already tried to escape, multiple times. She's winging among decades, sometimes three or four in a 10-minute span of time. One minute I'm me, another minute I'm baby me, yet another, I'm not even around, she's 18 and a housekeeper in St. Louis. It's exhausting for the entire family. Some of us are coping better than others.

* Sweaty: It has been insanely freakin' hot here. No rain to speak of in weeks. But at least no sinkholes or power outages (sympathies to the St. Louie folk).

* Heartburn: Is what the Cardinals are giving me. I can handle losing years better than this schitzophrenic mess of a season.

* Scary: School starts tomorrow. I have a fifth grader and a pre-kindergartener. Two more years, and my youngest will be in pre-K, too. Babydom is finally done here. I'm a tad verklempt.

* Proof God has a sense of humor: My youngest has a temper to match her red fuzzy head. Lucky me. My husband calls her Mini-Me.

Stop laughing. All of you.