Monday, September 19, 2005
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Well...all things considered, we'll call this one a (heartrending) success.
Prepared their breakfast to eat in the truck on the way. Warmed their milk for when they woke up. Packed extra clothes, blanket, and emergency stuffed animals for their cubbies at school.
Oh, come on, you know the routine by now. It's 6-O-O, what do you think happened?
Finished our milk, made our potty runs, started dressing.
After a second run to the potty, turns out we get to watch TWO videos and still try to get out of the house on time. Great.
Jackets and shoes on. Goodbye to Mema. Lollygagging down the stairs (ooh, look at the spider), down the sidewalk (Mama, can I touch the moon?), into the truck (Where's my dinosaur?). Four hours later...
Finally made it to school. Filmed a little of the kids talking about their first day in the parking lot. Snapped a couple of photos outside. Prayed I could get out of there in under 2 hours and not have to run to Walgreens for valium.
They were both uncharacteristically shy the second we stepped into the classroom, though. Luckily, Chago was too preoccupied with all the new things around him to be too upset when I said goodbye. But Saia, my little mini-me, our true blue drama queen, pulled out all the stops. Oh, yes, she did. Grabbing on to my pant leg, pleading with me to stay, begging me to just take her home, telling me she loved me, that she wanted one more kiss, just one more kiss, one more hug, now one more kiss. It was absolutely unbearable. I could barely bring myself to leave. I was there for 45 minutes trying to say goodbye when I finally just had to turn and walk away.
There is nothing -- NOTHING -- that makes you feel more like a terrible mother than making your child feel as though you've abandoned them. Sat in the parking lot and cried. I was crushed -- and virtually useless for the rest of the day.
Called to check in on them. Apparently, Chago had a minor meltdown right before snack, but was since doing fine. Saia had a minor accident in her pants, which had me so tied up in knots because it's so completely unlike her and just tells me that she hasn't yet made friends with her teacher.
Of course, I sneek over there to take a peek at them on the playground. So sad that I missed Saia by just a couple of minutes, but saw Chago interact well enough to placate me for at least the next hour or two. Spoke with the Director, who assured me that Saia stopped crying shortly after I left and had been fine since, but it was a small consolation. She was going to hate me forever. I was sure of it.
Had a lunch appointment. Didn't hear a word anyone said. What were they doing right now? Were they eating all their food? Would they tell them if they wanted something to drink? Would they get to see each other?
They should be napping now. No way to know. Well, of course, there was one way, but it took everything I had not to drive over there AGAIN. Found out later that it took them a while to go to sleep because Chago, who could now see his sister on her nap mat on the other side of the room, kept calling her name.
They should be up from nap now, and are most likely groggy and grumpy and remembering that their mother deserted them. Called to check and was informed that neither of them had cried again since this morning. Yes, but were they happy? Were they having fun? Did they have their snack? Were they making friends? Were they going to the potty by themselves? Did they think I was never coming back?
Can't take much more of this!
Ran out of here at 10 til 5, prepared to beg for their forgiveness til the end of time. Arrived in time to find Chago playing quietly on the floor with the other children and their teacher. When he saw me, he yelled "MAMA!" and ran into my arms. I was a bawling mess. The very next thing out of his mouth was, "I want to surprise Saia." [awww]
When she saw me, only her eyes lit up and just for a second, but she never smiled. She gave me the 'you hurt my feelings' look and then started to cry as she ran into my arms sighing, "Mama, Mama, Mama." I was heartbroken. The very next thing out of her mouth was, "I want to go home." Me, too, baby. Me, too.
They talked about school all the way home, and replayed their day for both Mema and Mommy. We worked on preparing them for tomorrow, but really there's just no way to prepare for this. I'm dreading that first half hour more than anything in my entire life -- and I was pregnant for 10 months, labored all day, and gave birth to twins, for crissakes.
But this was just their first day, and soon they'll be begging me to stay -- I'm sure of it. Until then, I guess I should just keep my mascara in the truck and turn my keys over to my boss the second I arrive at work.