Hi! I’m back! Or so it seems. I INTEND to write this week about a) Max, my middle boy, my conundrum, my joy, who just turned eight, b) that WOMAN I talked to on the phone and how she made me wish to be deaf and mute so I could neither hear her nor speak to her, c) WHY I stopped blogging (fer reals this time), and d) the seed catalogue that sent me THE WRONG PEPPER PLANTS and how there are no words for the bitterness of nurturing a gorgeous Golden Baby Bell plant, only to have it spitefully grow great big nasty banana peppers, as IF.
Monday heralded the return of Monday school.
*cue heavenly chorus*
(For those of you just joining us, I homeschool the boys, but they go to a one day a week enrichment program, which meets on – ta DA – Mondays.)
I honestly don’t know how you traditional school parents do that whole “getting out of the house on time” thing five days a week. It nearly kills me. This Monday was particularly hectic. I was pitching school supplies into backpacks while Tre hung over my shoulder.
“But WE NEED FOLDERS. We ALWAYS need folders! Why AREN’T THERE ANY FOLDERS?”
“Folders aren’t on the list, Tre.”
“But we ALWAYS NEED FOLDERS. ONE FOR EACH CLASS!”
“But they didn’t ASK for them.”
“BUT WE ALWAYS USE FOLDERS.”
“IF YOU SAY FOLDERS AGAIN I WILL SCREAM.”
He scowled bitterly and stomped out of the room. I picked up the list and read on the top, “In addition to the following supplies, students will need one folder for each class.”
I’d missed that.
I dug through the school cupboard and came up with some folders. Tre saw me shoving them in the backpacks and heaved a sigh of relief.
“Is that better, son?” I asked. He nodded. Petty, horrible person that I am, I let him think I gave the folders just to make him feel better.
Max wanted to pack his lunch because he doesn’t like the pizza they serve and he lives to complicate things. I stumbled around the kitchen, desperately pulling foodstuffs out and offering them to Max for lunch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Check. Baby carrots? Ew, ick. Grapes? You betcha!
Finally I assembled a passable lunch and realized that I don’t have ANY IDEA where his lunchbox is. I tossed everything in a paper bag, wrote his name on it, and handed it to him.
“And the NEAT thing about THIS,” I said brightly, “is that you can THROW THE WHOLE THING AWAY when you are done with lunch!” He grinned at my clever invention – the Lunch Bag.
“What a GOOD IDEA!” He beamed at me. I smiled back modestly.
Taking my children to school seems to turn me into something of a liar and a fraud. Huh.
Raphael was a bit more nervous about the new school year than he wanted to let on. However, as his mother, I am attuned to his subtle cues, and I could tell. For instance, he marched around alllllllllllll morning, talking to himself.
“I will be in Kindergarten and I will have Ms Sue and she will be a good teacher and I will like her I bet I will like her even more than Ms Debbie because she will be nice and I bet there will be toys and I will be in Kindergarten with the toys and Ms Sue and Max says Ms Sue is nice and I bet she is and I will like her-“
He seemed to be doing some sort of circular breathing technique that allowed him to talk without pause. All. Morning. Long.
“Raphael? You’ll be fine, honey.”
He glared at me.
“I know I’ll be fine I’m in Kindergarten now with Ms Sue and she’s nice, I bet and-“
Tra-LA! Off to school!
Somehow I still can’t watch my kids march off to their first day of Monday school without a lump in my throat and a slight whimper. It’s MONDAY school, Kira. Honestly. Get a grip. Better yet, go get a latte and some uninterrupted computer time.
And that is what I did.
I chatted online from one of my favorite coffee shops with one of my favorite people. I went clothes shopping (note to whomever decided grown women need to wear bubble skirts: Stop it. And repent). I did the grocery shopping with NO CHILDREN WHATSOEVER.
I took several deep, cleansing breaths for no reason. I drank expensive bottled water, because I could do so WITHOUT SHARING.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Then I returned to pick up my children, whose adorable faces I couldn’t wait to see. Tre and Max barreled up to me, chattering a mile a minute, and we set off en masse to collect Raphi from Ms Sue’s. She was sitting on the floor, sorting through the pieces to roughly twenty puzzles that had been scattered. Raphael ran over to me, hugged my legs, and quickly set to body-slamming his brothers. Oh so sweet.
“So, how was his day?” I asked Ms Sue.
“Just fine. Wow, I seem to have a class full of talkers this year.” Heh.
“Yeah…good luck with that.”
“OH! You’ll never guess what Raphael did today.”
“Well, yes. AND – “she peered at Raphi around my legs, “-do you want to tell your mom about what happened?” He shook his head.
“He stuck a puzzle piece in the electrical outlet.”
“The SAME electrical outlet?”
”The same one. It wasn’t as dramatic this time, since the puzzle piece was nonconductive, so nothing shorted out.”
We looked at Max and Raphael, who were both looking a little sheepish at the mention of electrical outlets.
And we agreed – it’s going to be quite the school year.