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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"School Days, School Days..."

The first day of yet another school year.

Jack, only in first grade, refused to be walked to his class. My instructions were to drop him off in front of school in the usual place. I was noticeably the only parent doing so on this first day, when all other kids were walked inside by loving, affirming parents. Is Jack already too cool to need to be chaperoned the first day? A sixteen-year-old in a seven-year-old body.

I spent the gray, rainy day doing laundry, and sweating off a mystery-virus. Took Evan to the doc to rule out the ear-infection that would have caused Monday’s 101 degree temp. The questionable ear was sufficiently pink to warrant an “as-needed” prescription, but the rest of the day he was his normal, chipper self. My fingers remain crossed - we may have dodged another antibiotic-bullet yet.

Spent a couple hours this afternoon in bed, first reading, then sharing space with the girls, then actually snoozing. At 2:30pm sharp both Evan and I were wide awake, as were Sabrina and Ellie, who were downstairs playing computer games.

At the end of his day, Jack was nonchalant about school. First grade is a combined class with a whopping 46 kids between two saintly teachers. He cited 18 kids from Mrs. Kruse’s previous-year kindergarten class, 19 kids from Mrs. Davidson’s previous-year kindergarten class, and 9 new kids. He proudly informed me that all kids ended the day with “greens,” meaning none had serious behavior issues. A good start to the year.

While preparing dinner, the kids ran amok screaming, as if they were being simultaneously tortured and tickled. On his way home, Bruce cell-phoned me and wondered about the sounds in the background. “What the hell’s going on there?” he asked in alarm. I explained it was the sound of excited, happy, masochistic children enjoying being reunited after seven hours of separation.

We had homemade pizza for dinner and Neapolitan ice-cream for dessert (per Jack’s request – his first day, his choice for dinner). Tomorrow is Ellie’s first day of school, so it is her choice. She informed us she wants “Winnie the Pooh” and “a dragon cake.” Okaaaaay. I’ll have to call Darlene and see if she has any extra bear-meat in her freezer.

Bruce chastised me for being “negative” towards the kids during dinner. Apparently, when Jack rolls his eyes for having to hold Sabrina’s hand during prayer, I am supposed to say, “Gee, Jack, I sure love it when you hold your sister’s hand.” What was actually said was something along the lines of, “Gee, Jack, try to act like you’re actually glad to see us.”

I explained to Bruce I am naturally inclined towards negativity. He and the rest of them can just “deal.” Trying to be positive at dinner time is a definite drain on the limited reserves of “good-lovin’” - a reserve that I know Bruce will want to tap at adult bed-time. He can’t have it both ways.

It has been raining torrentially all evening. While Jack retreated to his “other home” for the evening(Charlie and Hayden Conner’s, two doors down – on the aerial satellite photos of our neighborhood, it is bright-yellow, the only interestingly painted house to be seen), my younger three played on the water-logged deck, swinging brooms, umbrellas, and iron hammers through the air in rain-drenched jubilation. I, meanwhile, numbed from two strong margarita’s, leaned contentedly against the doorjamb watching the babes, serene and unconcerned about the bunches of water that would soon be tracked into the house.

Such a stark contrast from yesterday, Labor Day, in which I bitched and screamed at the kids all day. (A definite “blue” day for all of us, according to Jack's school-behavior spectrum.) Granted, the kids were particularly annoying, but I also had a case of raging PMS (I’m pretty sure the girls are on the same “cycle” as I am, which would explain A LOT). Meanwhile, the “red mist” was lurking about from the moment Ellie awoke me with screaming until I finally got a feverish Evan settled to bed.

In contrast, today we all managed to end up the day with a “green.”

Thank God for the public school system.


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