A New Week

I’ll keep this brief. Because, I’m not going to lie. Kindergarten is really hard work – and I’m exhausted. (Seriously – I’m only about 2% joking here.)

The first week went well – Paige had early dismissal, which means she got home at 1:00. And then proceeded to torture, torment, whine and cry her way through the afternoon and into bedtime. I’m actually not sure who that child was. And, for those of you who have witnessed a “fit a la Paige,” you know that’s a HUGE effing thing for me to say. Honestly, I would not have been at all surprised to see her head spin around and to have to clean up pea soup puke. She was that out of sorts.

So, we had a very low-key weekend of snuggling, resting, watching movies, and thanking God for the 2 rainy days in a row so we could do nothing and not feel guilty about it (except during Paige’s soccer game. Which she had to play in the rain. And also to which she had to be dragged into the car because apparently she “hates the way rain feels.” I don’t know how the game went. I may or may not have poured myself another cup of coffee, grabbed a footie jammie-clad Blair and hopped back into bed to watch the latest ‘Sophia the First.’ Tee-he.).

Fast-forward to this week, and it’s like a new child is in my house. Pick-up from school is downright fun – we carpool with the cousins, and on the days I pick them up I frequently find myself laughing out loud at the crazy shenanigans happening in my car. (I mean, when are bad knock-knock jokes, teasing about boys, and little kid toots ever NOT funny?). In fact, yesterday was the first time her Aunt EJ brought her home (remember, early dismissal … NOT a slacker aunt), and I found myself watching the clock and the driveway, not really knowing what to do with myself. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when she finally jumped out of the car (and then proceeded to run right past me into the house, slamming the door in my face and ransacking the pantry for a snack).

Evenings are relatively pleasant (with Paige, that is. The honey badger has spotted a weakness in the ranks, and has seized the opportunity to rear her cute-but-deadly head. She is having a ROUGH week). Paige comes home and tells me about school. She plays in her room. She only teases Blair a few times an hour. It’s decent. (Remember people: low expectations. They are the key to my sometime-sanity.)

Mornings, on the other hand? Ugh. Paige is sort of a train wreck. She has to be threatened to the brink of losing her blankie (and only because I can’t figure out how to take her thumb away), and even then it’s a huge pain in the ass to even get her dressed. She’s always fine on the way to school, but getting to that point is torture. And this is my little morning person! This does NOT bode well for Blair.

All-in-all, though, I’ll take the 1.5 hours of Hell in the morning in order to have a pleasant Paige in the evening.

And, her feelings on school?

She doesn’t really like it, because learning is hard work (true that).

However, I’ve gently assured her that staying home from school forever is not an option. Mostly because it’s against the law (don’t you judge me – Paige will do anything if she thinks she might end up in jail. Ironic, no?). She did however, have one question for me: how many more days will she have to go the whole time (i.e. a full day). Yikes.

I answered honestly, looking her in the eyes and saying, “Um, all of them.”

Clearly NOT the answer she was hoping to get, based on the tears and screams of “it’s NOT FAIR!” that followed. So, I guess college and grad school are out of the question.

Back-to-School

Whew – so…what was I saying?

Oh, wait. That was actually almost 3 months ago. Also known as Paige’s last day of preschool.

Aaaaaaaand yesterday was her first day of Kindergarten. Whoops.

We’ve been a little busy. We’ve (mostly) settled into a new house. We spent lots of time outside (mostly easing the girls’ fear of all the bugs in our new backyard. Because, you know. They now play outside a lot. And there tend to be bugs. Good lord, children.).

Both girls did gymnastics camp (STOP. IT. with the final “show” after that. Blair may or may not have pushed some little girl off the uneven bars so she could have her turn. Not to worry – I may or may not have gotten video of it.). Paige did tennis camp (actually, surprisingly uneventful).

We went to the center of the Sun … er, I mean Florida in July, for family vacation.

All in all, it was a good summer. Lots of fun. Lots of fighting. Lots of sunshine. Lots of rain and time inside. You know? A typical kids summer.

And all of a sudden (except the exact opposite of that), it was time for Paige to start Kindergarten.

I have had such a love/hate relationship with the start of Kindergarten. On one had, Paige desperately needs the routine of school. She needs the constant interaction of other kiddos. And, let’s be honest. She needs someone to teach her things. I am not that person. We can’t even get through one Kiwi Crate project without the two of us yelling at each other.

On the other hand, she and I have spent almost 24 hours a day together, 7 days a week. For the past FIVE AND A HALF YEARS. Folks – literally. She is truly like an additional appendage. I’ve been so worried about handing her over to someone else during the day. I embrace the term “Helicopter Parent.” Yep, that’s me. Blackhawk Mom.

The closer the day got, the more my heart felt like it was breaking. Yes, she was a sassy, grouchy, tired mess. But, I was feeling so sad about letting her go. Let’s be honest. As sad as this may sound? Paige (a 5 year old) is one of my very best friends. And I couldn’t wrap my head around going from having her constantly by my side needing me for every little thing, to being gone for the majority of the day and me having no idea what was going on with her.

But, we did it. We had to. I sobbed like a little baby the night before, but the morning of? She was SO excited, I couldn’t help but share in her excitement. I mean, I LOVED school. LOVED it. My Heaven looks a lot like The Container Store and Target school supply section combined.

We all filed out the door. And the obligatory pictures were taken.

DSC_0209

Blair said she was going to miss her sister. And Daddy. So….there may be some confusion to clear up here.

SOB!!!! If it weren't for the cuteness of that uniform, I might never recover!

SOB!!!! If it weren’t for the cuteness of that uniform, I might never recover!

Silly pose! A necessity in this house. Duh.

Silly pose! A necessity in this house. Duh.

Blair and I spent the day sort of just waiting around until it was time to pick up Paige. We had high hopes of getting lots done, going to the gym, cleaning, hanging out. Instead, we visited with Nani, Botsie, EJ and Nate, and had bagels. (Either way, a good time was had by all).

We picked Paige up at 1:00 (it’s early dismissal this week for kindergarteners). She looked so little walking out, and she had a HUGE smile on her face. She LOVED it, she said. There was quite a bit of misinformation that I was able to clear up with other moms (they actually DID have recess and she actually DID see two of her cousins.).

I wondered if she would be ready and willing to go back today.

I received my answer at 6:27 am, when Paige arrived at my bedside in her uniform, with teeth and hair brushed, glasses cleaned, and backpack packed. I assured her we had a TAD bit of time, and convinced her to come in for a quick snuggle.

Once it was finally time to go, the three Feldmann ladies piled into the car and headed off. According to my memories from Meet the Teacher Night, I was to walk Paige into school the first day and then start dropping her off in the carpool lane after that. There would be teachers waiting to help her in to find her classroom.

So, I pulled into the carpool lane (having never done anything like this before. Drop her off? WITHOUT ME???). And, um…there was only one person standing there. And I really had no idea what I was doing. And before I knew what was happening, Paige was jumping out of the car and walking into the school.

Alone.

I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I called my older brother to see if he had dropped my nieces off, and he had (I was going to have one of them walk past her classroom). I explained the situation, and he said he was sure she was fine. But, if I was worried I should go back to walk past her classroom and make sure she was there.

So, I turned around and was driving back, when my sister-in-law called back (I tried her first. Three times.). She said she was SURE she was fine, and that there were probably teachers waiting inside. And that, yes, I was a crazy person if I went back in to see her. (She did point out that no one would judge, but that it would still be crazy.)

I didn’t go back in. I was VERY out of sorts all morning, but e-mailed her teacher to make sure she didn’t get lost and freak out and cry and end up in some random corner of the school and…. Well, it’s safe to say my imagination was running wild at that point.

She e-mailed me back, and assured me that Paige arrived perfectly safe, sound and happy.

And? At pick-up this afternoon Paige let me know that she didn’t need me to walk her in anymore. She was fine to get to her classroom all by herself.

And, just like that. Baby Paige is gone. And quickly growing up Paige is here.

I’ll say it again: SOB.