Tag Archives: starting school

Jazz hands

It’s 12 noon. This is about the time when, last year and the year before, and three days a week the year before that, I would regretfully set the timer for 20 minutes so that I didn’t get lost in whatever I was doing and forget to go and pick Mabel up from school. (Because you know how it is, you finally get down to business and get absorbed in a task just when it’s time to leave.)

This year, at 12 noon, I usually do a little shimmy in the front room, with jazz hands*, and sing, in a vibrant if somewhat off-key contralto, a little melody with the lyrics “Three more hours!”

Which is to say, I’m quite enjoying this.

I said as much to my optician yesterday as she determined that the only thing in the way of my vision is all these scratches on my glasses, when she asked how the transition was going for me now that my baby is off to big school. She – recently married; no kids yet – probably thinks I’ve a heart of stone, but hey. As long as my kids are happy at school (and Mabel’s fine, she really is), I’m very happy to send them there. I’ve done my time with small children at home, and the truth is, I’m not really very good at it. That is, I can do it, but a lot of other things fall by the wayside.

(Right now, cleaning the house is still falling by the wayside, but shut up, I’m sure I’ll get to it in due course. I’ve been busy shimmying and jazz-hands-ing and contralting.)

I’m really bad at self-care, for instance, when I have small children in the house. There were about three years there when I barely managed to put on moisturizer before bed; you can imagine how often I went to the dentist. I can’t even make a phone call without my kids deciding now is the time to need mommy, so it was hard to schedule things, never mind actually leave the house without a constantly nursing baby.

I have nothing but admiration for those women who get things done and also have babies. I am not one of those women, but we all have our strengths. Soon I will do Very Useful Things with all these hours I have (when they stop inexplicably melting away as they seem to have done so many days of the past three weeks), but for now I’m indulging my introvert side and spending some quality time with myself. I deserve it.


*(I really want to put that animated gif in here, or this one, but I can’t figure out how and they’re probably copyrighted anyway, so please do just click over and enjoy for a second.)

Kindergarten report: Fun is relative

Two weeks in and I think I can give kindergarten a tentative thumbs up. I don’t think Mabel would give it such a wholeheartedly positive mark, but, as I have said to anyone who asks me how it’s going, I leave her in the classroom every morning and I don’t have to go back and get her until the allotted time, so I’m calling that a win. I haven’t been called in early to remove her, and though some partings have been a little more sorrow and a little less sweet, on the whole starting big school has been much easier than it was with her brother.

(Please, Fate, do not clobber me tomorrow, or next week, or next month, for this complacency. I know she can make my life hell whenever she chooses.)

Every morning until today, she has said “I’m not going to school”, but I’ve just pushed some breakfast into her mouth and put some clothes on her body and by the time it was time to get into the car she would be more used to the idea. Every night she’s said “I’m not going to school tomorrow,” and some nights, when she’s extra tired, have been more pathetic than others, but I have not yet broken down and said “Okay, okay, I’ll homeschool you,” so I count that as a personal victory.

The sad truth is that we all (all the parents, I mean) spent all summer selling kindergarten for all we were worth, with all the “It’s going to be great” and “School is such fun” and “You get to do all sorts of wonderful things” but in reality it’s just a whole new ballgame and fun is a relative term. I mean, PE might be fun compared to math, and art is definitely fun compared to spelling (don’t worry, kindergarteners don’t do spelling) and music is probably more fun than learning new classroom rules, and you have to get used to finding the fun parts to look forward to. I know Mabel’s not the only five-year-old who’s feeling a little betrayed this week, and I do feel bad about that. (Not bad enough to homeschool, no.)

Of course, Mabel says none of it is fun and she doesn’t like art and she hates music and recess is stupid and PE is boring and if I didn’t know better I might think she was just a big ol’ black hole of negativity; but ten minutes later she’ll volunteer the fact that the music teacher has a funny voice he puts on to make them laugh or that they made shapes with gumdrops and then they got to eat them, and I’m pretty sure it’s not as bad as she’d like to make out.

Mabel eating an apple

Stay green, Ponygirl