Photo: How on earth did I manage to get myself two preschoolers!?
I sat down in this office chair and let out one of this loud, long, obnoxious woooooo that is quite characteristic for fat old mamas like myself. There was an “oh my!” right afterward, which came straight out of my mama’s mouth, and I could just hear her when I let it out. It didn’t take long, as my back stopped screaming and everything relaxed, for me to have a thought that usually comes from my grandmother: “Shouldn’t have sat in this here chair! It’s gonna be impossible to get out of it, now!” Umph. Truth tellin’. You ain’t gonna get me out of this chair for nothin’!
We are, full blown, into the swing of things, and I’m sitting here understanding that the systems that I executed brilliantly last school year are absolutely not going to work this year. Especially with the whole potty thing in the mix. Lord. Potty training is the greatest time suck on earth.
Last year, get-ready-for-school was a 90 minute gig. Coffee maker went off at 7. I caught the first 30 minutes of the Today show and drank a cup. Would go upstairs and get the boys up at 7:30 and do a little song and dance while I roused them out of bed (literally! “Who wants to go to school today? Who wants to go to school? Me, me!”). We’d get the diapers changed and then little boys were down the stairs and breakfast was consumed, and then we were back up the stairs no later than 8 for getting dressed, and then downstairs one more time for socks and shoes… and out the door. 8:30. Boom. Masterful.
I learned on Monday that potty time eats up a huge chunk of our routine time, so 7:30 is absolutely no longer go-time for babies. That means I gotta get those boys NO LATER than 7:15. Which is backin’ up the coffee consumption to the 6 o’clock hour, which had been reserved for writing time!! Oh noes!
But I adjusted. This morning, at 7:15 when I came in with my cheerful little song, I got
From Ursa Minor.
Ursa Minor screamed and whined from the moment he woke up until the moment we walked out the door. I had just a small enough window of joy that I could get off some first-day-of-school pictures of him before I threw him in the car and sped off (late!) for school. He was cool for the car ride, and then lost it again just in time for drop-off at school.
Why? I have no idea. Not a single articulation about wants or needs. Just a consistent whine and cry of anguish. Lordy.
Finally, we get into the school building after dropping off Ursa Major outside with the big kids, and Ursa Minor decides that he wants to hang out by the door and bang on it in order to get out. Really? Really? This, the child who I always had to drag away from the playroom last year! This, the child who I had to drag away from the playroom a week ago! You are killin’ me.
Another mom came by, offered help that I, in my pride and fury, refused as gently as I could manage. She walked past Ursa Minor and simply said, “I hear that your friends are playing with the magic sand. Would you like to play with magic sand?”
This is my child. All tears cease. “Um, yes!” he says enthusiastically before running, with a smile, to the front door.
I tell him he needs to take his jacket and backpack off and put it in his cubby. He almost melts down again as he takes them off and puts them on the floor. I was like, augh, screw it, and just opened the door for him and watched him run into the playroom.
All of the other mothers were talking about how they cried when they saw their “babies” off. Ursa Minor’s class is full of younger siblings, so all of the other mothers are feeling nostalgic. I waved to my son and said, “Bye! I love you! The minimal amount at the moment!” and walked away. He’d had his back to me anyway, as he was super-involved with the train table and couldn’t be bothered to see me off. Like I said before, we’re all doing something right if I can drop them off and they are happy to get lost in learning and I’m happy to walk away from them without a lot of drama.
What did I do with my first morning of baby-free time? First, I sauntered over to the local bookstore in town in search of a new moleskine and what I found was a wondrous little spot. I forgot just how much I love bookstores! I also forgot how expensive the little non-chain bookstores are and I spent way more money than I intended (The Husband, seriously, is gonna kill me for that one. I’m just gonna… wait….to explain…). New journal in hand, I went to a diner in search of eggs benedict (my absolute favorite breakfast dish). What I found instead was a way over-salted cornbeef hash and homefry plate with two eggs that were way over poached. All that and one cup of mediocre coffee for 13 whole American dollars, too? I’ll never, ever do that again!
Disappointed by breakfast, but feeling good about the brainstorming I did in my new journal, I decided to find a quite place to sit and finish my thoughts. I found myself at my car before too long, and decided to take it to the Old North Bridge (there wasn’t time to go to Walden Pond, which I think would have been even better…next time!). It was perfect. The sun. The sky. Not too many tourists. A quiet little perch on a stone retaining wall… I got another 45 minutes of sitting, thinking and writing time. Perfection, really, in every way!
The good news is that both boys had a lovely day at school. Once he was in, Ursa Minor played and had a great time. Ursa Major is in love with his teachers and has been having great days, too! Of course, I’m responsible for snack on Friday, and I need to bake no less than 3 loaves of pumpkin loaf for Friday in order to feed 20 children! And I’m baking brioche for one of the teachers, too! And the boys need to color some card thingys to put in their cubbies… Lord… too much to do!
I’ll leave you with some pictures from my latest cooking adventures!
For seriously, this is my new go-to pizza dough recipe: See King Arthur Flour (also known as, the Flour Gods) I made mine with Sam Adams Boston Lager because it happened to be in the house. It came out well. But I know that there is probably an even better beer to use…
Quiet Thoughts on Friday? How about a nap instead??