Family · Motherhood

Kindergarten Daze

Will you hold my hand? Please? Because I don’t think I can do this without you. I am very scared and kinda nervous. It’s a big change. Huge. And I’m not sure I’m gonna like it very much. Will you still be there waiting for me when it’s over? Will you hold my hand at the bus stop? Will everything be okay? Promise me it will. Promise! Pinky-swear!

Okay.  I’m ready.

I think.

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My daughter had her kindergarten screening yesterday. I watched as they snapped her picture, her big hazel eyes watering, her mouth quivering as she was trying to stand up straight and be a big girl. A teacher draped a star-shaped name tag around her neck and guided her off to a room for testing.

Without me.

I sat in my little chair in the hallway with a couple of other parents. All of us thinking the same thing.  I can’t believe it’s time. I’m not ready…I’m not ready…I’m not ready for this!

One of my earliest memories was my own kindergarten screening. It was 1975 and my father brought me. I remember starting to cry and having to take off my glasses the second the teacher asked me to hop across the room. What if I fell down? What if I couldn’t do it?  There were bright lights and big adults with clipboards asking me all kinds of questions, the room was noisy and echoed too much. When I had to walk the balance beam, I think I almost passed out. It was a lot of pressure for a little kid. My dad was great though, he kept smiling at me, giving me little hugs to let me know it would be all right, this big transition into school.

Now I sat at my own daughter’s screening and I wondered if my dad had felt that same terrible tug at his heart as I did now.

As my daughter was led away, I was interviewed by another teacher. She asked me if I was familiar with the school. I told her I had an older son who was in third grade. She put her hand on her heart and smiled at me, “Oh, so this must be your last one?” I could only nod. “Oh! It’s so hard! You will cry, trust me. The moment she gets on that bus, you will cry. I know I bawled when my last one left for school. Now he’s in college, left home and his room is empty.” I sighed, fighting back a tear. This wasn’t helping me any.

After an hour and a half I caught a glimpse of my sweet baby girl, down the hall, sitting stoically next to another boy, twirling her little name tag necklace. I kept willing her to turn around and look at me, so I could wave or smile to let her know I was there.  Look, Julia! Look at mommy! Mommy’s right here! I thought, as I tried to get her attention, waving at her like an idiot, just another sappy parent on the brink of losing it. She turned slightly and saw me, gave me a quick wave then turned back toward the teacher.

And I was left sitting there alone in the hall, trying to sit up straight, not cry and be a big girl.

My first day of kindergarten. My brother is right behind me, trying to look cool and also like he doesn’t know me.
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Humor · Motherhood

Mom for Hire

OBJECTIVE            To prove that when you notice the huge 10 year gap on my résumé, snicker and ask, “What were you doing all that time?!” I wasn’t merely sitting around twiddling my thumbs and eating bon bons.  (Although some days I did take a few breaks and did just that.)

WORK EXPERIENCE          

2000-2002              Fertility Specialist

  • Managed  and supervised an in-depth  and labor-intensive fertility project overseeing one disgruntled employee.
  • Daily progress was tracked with temperature readings, charts, graphs and my husband whining, “Do we have to do this AGAIN?!”
  • Goal was achieved after attending several meetings with various nurses, OB-GYNs and finally one prayer-filled seminar with The Big Guy in the Sky.
  • Assisted in creating an entire human being using only my body.
  •  Increased members of family by one healthy baby boy, increased household grocery consumption by 50%, decreased maternal brain cells by 30%.

2002-2003                Newborn Coordinator

  • Directed various sleep studies involving the length of time it takes for a subject to start hallucinating giant gummy bears dancing in the kitchen in relation to the few minutes of choppy haze-induced slumber one has per night.
  • Involved in product evaluations. Determined diaper wipe warmers are about as useful as another a hole in the head.  Also, breast pumps are not more effective if you crank the setting up to maximum and grit your teeth to get through the searing pain.
  • Managed one colicky baby every night for three months and implemented several tactics such as, walking baby around in circles while shushing, driving baby around neighborhood at 2 am and sobbing hysterically along with baby.

2003-2006                   Developmental Therapist/Lead Teacher

  • Lead instructor for a toddler child with sensory issues and more energy than an Energizer Bunny on speed fighting with the Tazmanian Devi in the midst of a hurricane..
  • Taught child how to count, how to recite the alphabet. Instructed child on proper hygiene, sleep habits, eating habits, social decorum. Lessons included: Hot Wheels are not for the toilet. Crayons are not edible. The cat is not a giant fuzzy doll that hisses. Addressed behavioral issues. For example, how not to hit, bite, kick another human being.
  • Subjects included: Respect, Kindness, Love, Curiosity, Imagination
  • Daily therapy provided:  giggling hysterically, dancing like everyone was watching, and running around the outdoors with wild abandon. Seeing the simple beauty, magic and joy in everyday things.
  • Goals achieved: 1) Raised one loving, caring, sweet, happy boy  2) Increased heart capacity by 1000%.

2006 to present             Mom Extraordinaire

  • Aided and assisted in creating and maintaining another human being using only my body.
  • Supervised two active, clever, bordering on maniacal children on a daily basis.
  • Provided safe, loving, nurturing home.
  • Taught subjects such as: sharing, caring, taking turns, being respectful of others, loving oneself
  • Goals Achieved: 1) Raised one sweet, loving, caring, happy girl. 2) Increased heart capacity by infinity.
  • Other Duties as Assigned: Chef, referee, maid, chauffeur, coach, dish washer, singer, dancer, party planner, counselor, public relations, nurse, doctor, teacher, professional hugger, boo-boo kisser, hand-holder, tear-wiper, confidence-builder and self-esteem engineer

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

    • Time Management  Able to flip pancakes, clean ketchup off ceiling, figure out an algebraic equation, unclog toilet filled with Polly Pockets, do 10 loads of laundry, drive kids to various practices, classes and play dates simultaneously.
    • Debating  Successfully presented and defended stance that Halloween candy consumed in large quantities for breakfast is a bad idea; flinging a Barbie at your brother’s head is a bad idea; jumping off the roof of the house into a snowbank wearing only underwear is a bad idea.
    • Patience  Able to withstand endless hours of ‘Why?’ questions, followed by listening to relentless whining, Spongebob episodes and sibling games of “But I’m Not Really Touching You!”  and “Stinky Feet”.
    • Love  Provided endless quantities on an as-needed basis until my heart hurt.

References Available Upon Maturity of Children.
Ask them how I did in 15 years. My guess is not too shabby.