Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

OK, I'm in tears and not just because my baby started school this morning.
My baby started school and I didn't bring her there.

Also, she was tardy on her very first day.

My God, what is WRONG with me? I've been late for everything in my entire life. It's somewhat of a family joke. But I was quite determined that the whole family would be taking Nutmeg to school this morning with plenty of time to spare for pictures.

This morning, Toth woke up at 6 to nurse. I was still pretty tired since I'd stupidly stayed up until 1 to blog after getting Nutmeg's school things together. But no big deal. He wouldn't quite settle back down afterwards, so I got him up a couple more times to swaddle him, rock and burp. No big deal.

Then, just as I sank into bed for a few minutes of shut-eye before we all had to get up at 7, I heard Pebbles cry. She was lying on the floor of the hallway, of all places. She knows how to crawl out of her crib now. I tucked her into our bed and lay back down.

Then Toth started fussing again. I must have gotten him settled because when the alarm went off at 6:30 I was definitely asleep. Epu got up and went downstairs to do some work like he always does early mornings, and I fell back asleep until 7:10. I wish I could go back in time right now and poke myself with a mildly hot poker and say "Don't go back to sleep, moron! It's the first day of school!"

When Pebbles and I woke up and came downstairs, Nutmeg was sitting at the table eating breakfast, the coffee was made, and Epu was heading for the shower. I ate something and then noticed that Pebbles was putting her head down on the table. I figured she was tired from waking up too early and carried her to the couch.

Then I showed Nutmeg the backpack I bought her last night -- she loved it -- and the outfit I'd laid out for her. She didn't want to wear that so we looked through her closet and found something different. Naturally she picked something that had fallen to the floor of the closet and was wrinkled, but, no big deal. Then I had to sit down and nurse the baby.

She got dressed while I took my shower and by the time I got out it was 7:45, the time we really should have been leaving. Epu got Toth dressed, Nutmeg combed her own hair and put on -- interesting fashion choice -- the crown she made in a craft class yesterday. Epu got Pebbles dressed. I got dressed, took a minute to argue with Nutmeg about what shoes she was going to wear, and then we were all scrambling to get out the door. It was 7:55, 3 minutes till the line-up bell. I went out with Nutmeg, camera in hand, realized I'd forgotten Toth in the swing, and ran back to get him.

Nutmeg was already partway down the block when Pebbles threw up on the front porch.

Well, that explains why she was lying on the couch all morning.

"You go ahead," Epu said.

"No, you go!" I said. He knew it meant a lot to me to be there for her first day, but I knew it meant even more to her to have her dad there. She'd been so excited that the whole family was going to be allowed to stay with her for the first half hour of school.

Pebbles and I stood next to her little puddle of watery barf and watched them disappear down the block. We were both disappointed at this turn of events.

The school is less than two blocks away, so I pictured them getting there just in time to get in line before the bell rang to call the kids inside. But, when Epu stopped back here before heading to work, he told me that the kids had already gone in by the time they arrived. He'd snapped a couple pictures outside, and then had to ask directions to her class, which is just inside the door.

When they got there, all the kids were already sitting down, ready to listen to a story.

This just breaks my heart. Nutmeg had no time to reconnect with the friends she'd met at the kindergarten meet and greet, no time to soak up the moment of her first day of school.

Apparently Nutmeg didn't even realize she was late, and was a big ball of happiness, chatting with her teacher and skipping down the hall when the class adjourned to the auditorium. And one other parent and kid showed up after Epu and Nutmeg did. And hey, lots of parents were lined up at the office because their kids probably weren't even registered yet or something.

But still. We effed up her first day of school. What kind of parents are we?

I now realize that our error was purely tactical -- since Epu and Nutmeg were ready first we should have had them go ahead without me and the little kids. We could have caught up later. Oh well -- I'll keep that in mind for her NEXT first day of school.


Megan Cobb said...

A) She's adorable - I think the crown was the perfect touch!

B) We do the best we can as Mamas. Barf happens!

Glad I found you at Chicago Moms. I'll be back - it seems we're at similar points in our lives and I can so relate to the things of yours I've read this morning.

Bert said...

What a perfect storm of messiness you had to deal with! It seems you managed it with class and determination and good motherly sense.

And it seems that the Nut had little issue with the way things turned out, so no harm done to her psyche.

You're great parents! I should know, I've been taking notes on you two for 5 nearly 5 years now.