school daze

I walked out of the elementary school this morning, after dropping Nick off for his first day of full-day kindergarten, and realized that I’ve rarely seen so many smiling faces at the schoolhouse. Not the kids. The moms. All the moms dropping off their K5 kids, trying not to stomp-dance, fist-pump, and yawp-yawp their happy until they were out of sight of the minions.

I was smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. I felt like the Joker.

The day didn’t start out so great because Jesse is so very stressed out. She got out of the car when I dropped her off at middle school and stood next to the car, refusing to put on her backpack and grab her things. She also punched me. But I managed to stay patient (on the surface anyway), and eventually she loaded up. She was worried about how to find her classroom. So we marched over to the principal, Dr. Smith, who was outside at the car line to greet kids and parents. Dr. Smith, who is sometimes the topic of much complaining, has been nothing but delightful with Jesse so far. This morning, when I told her Jesse was worried she wouldn’t be able to find her class, Dr. Smith jumped in cheerfully and without hesitation. “Well then I’ll walk with you to your classroom!” She barely took notice of me, focusing all her attention on Jesse. I can see why that might bother some parents, but I think it’s delicious. Jesse and Dr. Smith turned their backs on me and were gone. I wiped my hands of that one.

Nick wanted to go home to play with me for half an hour before it was his turn to go to school. I had to hold stuffed animals (a chicken, a bird, a frog, an octopus) that were attacked and eaten in turn by Nick’s giant snakes. The fact that he would be gone for almost seven hours didn’t make it any more bearable than usual. When it was time to head off to school, Nick finally showed his nervousness and hid his face on the sofa. But he’s Nick, Mr. Easy-Peasy, so off we went after a few seconds with nervous smiles and giggles. I took him to the elementary school gym, he found his teacher, and then he had no need of me. I wiped my hands of that one as well and headed out the door with the cheek-hurting smile. I literally laughed for the sheer pleasure of my freedom as I drove off.

I had all sorts of plans for work I was going to accomplish today, for our renovation. I have a list. But the plumber is here doing major work to get everything hooked up in its final form, so the water is going to be off much of the day. Almost everything I wanted to do will require water for proper cleanup. I can’t even wash the breakfast dishes.

What a shame. Looks I can’t do much manual labor after all.

I’ve made myself a new list.

  1. Take a nap (euphemism for: “lie in bed and watch something stupid on Netflix”).
  2. Play games on an iPad.
  3. Write this blog post.
  4. Go grocery shopping (euphemism for: “eat lunch at Whole Foods”).
  5. identify and possibly order some fixtures for bathrooms, like towel bars (euphemism for: “surf the web”).
  6. Go to Benjamin Moore and find some paint for one of the bathrooms (euphemism for: “choose colors without Anthony looking over my shoulder”).

Gosh, that seems like an awful lot. I’m not sure I can fit that all in to the 6 hours I have available. I may have to stick to numbers 1 through 3.

These are glorious days, these first days of school.

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