School. Bears. Old People.

This morning my husband woke me up at five a.m. because he had a leg cramp. As I tried to massage his calf muscle, I heard the dog throw up by the foot of the bed, and then the baby started to fuss, and that, my friends, is why I drink coffee religiously.

I’m sure someday I’ll miss the days when I wander around Costco trying to find dish soap and simultaneously field 3 year old questions about emergency doors. I will probably-maybe look back with fondness on the days like today, where Shel asked me quite loudly if the woman in front of us was “a little bit old or a lot old”.

But…until I can look back at these days fondly, I’m just going to cling desperately to my sense of humor.

The reason I gathered you here today wasn’t to complain about my errands, my barfing dog, and my sons lack of decorum when it comes to the grey haired set. I wanted to document the first ever “Back to School Night” for both of the boys. This might be boring for you, but it’s fun for me. If I don’t write it down I’ll forget it. Today when I got onto the freeway I pushed the garage door opener. I don’t know why. Probably not enough fiber in my diet or something. The point is, I need to write this stuff down.


Β Last year, I tried to put my oldest into preschool and I lasted exactly three days before I pulled him out. This year, I put both my three year old and my four year old into school and I didn’t even shed a tear. It was time. IT WAS TIME.

I planned to represent the family well and look like one of those cool moms who wear makeup and cut their toenails, but I pooped out and took a nap instead. No regrets, but my untrimmed eyebrows were a tad embarrassing.

The first stop was Q’s Pre-K class, The Busy Bees. It was very business-like with a class turtle named Cecil and a lot of interesting art work. Q had drawn a picture of himself on his first day of Pre-K. He had drawn a face with craggy teeth and buggy eyes. He looked frightened and dinosaur-like, and I loved it. I learned a few things as I read the “About Me” section:

He wants to be a dentist.

His favorite foods are ice-cream, m&ms, chocolate, and plums.

He also decided it was important to note that his mother does NOT have a race car.

I took my minivan driving self over to the Friendly Frogs class, where Shel’s theology stood out among the rest. He had been asked, “What does God want me to be?”

His classmates answered, “Color” and, Β “Big like Carson”.

Shel told his teacher that God wanted him “to walk the dog in the front yard by himself without an adult”.

I asked how Shel was doing and his teacher told me a little story I never want to forget. I will probably tell this at his wedding:

The class sings a song about a roaring bear, and they run-run-run away from it. There are a lot of hand motions involved, and of course, a bit of roaring. Song time was over, but the children didn’t want to stop singing the bear song. The teacher told the children that they could do the bear song by themselves, so she turned on the music and walked away.

Sheldon went over to the teacher’s chair, sat in it, and proceeded to direct the entire class in three rounds of the bear song. To get 19 little three year olds to sing a song together takes leadership sprinkled with a miracle. I may not have been well groomed, but I was proud.

I miss them when they’re gone, but I’m glad they’re giving someone else a chance to hear their stories and explain why they can’t have a lollipop for lunch. Having them gone makes me extra grateful when they are here, and possibly helps me handle the days when no one stops talking…ever.

So far having two little learners and a baby with a head cold is great fun. How was back to school for you?

12 thoughts on “School. Bears. Old People.

  1. Can I just say that I love the barefoot back to school photo? Someone commented on C's on my facebook about not wearing shoes – I feel now some validation that we can't all have pinterest-perfect back to school photos.
    Back to school – 2 days down – wishing I'd signed C up for the THREE day a week class instead of the two. Yesterday I walked him in. We got to his class where his teacher was helping them get started on an activity. C didn't even hug me or say goodbye – dashed right over to his new friends at the art easel. πŸ™‚


  2. Ha! Well-said πŸ™‚ Loved every bit of it, and in my experience I've found that I miss holding babies. . . but not so much any of the other stuff you mentioned πŸ™‚ But hang in there, because all these wonderful memories help out in the teen years! We're having a ball, and I like to think it's because of all the “fun” we had when they were little??? Of course, I could be totally misguided in my thinking πŸ™‚
    Keep drinking the coffee. . .


  3. gosh i love this blog. my son wore the same shirt as your older boy today (i had to google what to call the color of that thing! is it green? no… yellow?? no… best i came up with was “chartreuse yellow” or peridot maybe? i just love the trucks πŸ™‚ as we wandered around costco looking for baby soap! ha! all that to say, i am constantly finding myself identifying with what you write, and feeling validated. so thank you for writing about these moments! my almost-3-year old is so ready for preschool, but i feel bad for also wanting the “break” it would provide (i will have a newborn in 2 weeks)… we don't have any immediate plans, but your perspective of letting others share the experience of them is so awesome and i will keep that in mind πŸ™‚
    p.s. were those stride rite shoes in the post you linked to about preschool last time? joey was also wearing what looked like those exact same ones today, AND has those cars slippers πŸ™‚


  4. LOVED THIS!!! You won't believe this. Mike woke me up the other night. He had a leg cramp. And we're all over in the east coast! Weird, huh? Loved Shell's qestion about the old lady. When my daughter Joy was Shell's age, she went through a stage where she referred to me as “Mrs. Your Majesty.” (Her idea) She would not call me “Mommy.” It was funny at first until I started getting dirty looks in the grocery store: “PLEASE, CAN WE HAVE CANDY, MRS. YOUR MAJESTY?” Shades of Mommy Dearest, I guess. Anyway, your kids are adorable, and you're a great mom.

    Love, a little bit old lady, haha.


  5. Thanks for sharing!
    My back to school was new and different. Dd started her SENIOR year of COLLEGE on Monday, but she still lives at home. Ds started his FRESHMAN year of COLLEGE in ANOTHER CITY! We moved in him yesterday. I'm sure he's fine. The house is VERY quiet. I am remembering those days you're talking about, and agreeing wholeheartedly with this:
    “Having them gone makes me extra grateful when they are here”
    Peace and blessings to you and yours : )


  6. When we meet someday in person, please prep Shel ahead of time that I am, in fact, just a little bit old.

    (Loved this. And pressing a garage door opener on the freeway is simply good practice. Nothing wrong with that.)


  7. Ah, back-to-school… You know that song, “It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? Yeah, a little bit like that. And a little bit like, “It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To”. Love the “little bit old or a lot old” comment. Sure hope baby's head cold has hit the road.


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