A special day

sweet young innocence
yet it’s still freaking me out
how does this happen?

"Today was a special day because I got something no one else got," the wee one told me when I picked him up from school today.

"Oh, yeah?" I answered, thinking it was a sticker for good behavior or something like that.

"I’m going to show you, but it’s a secret for everyone else," he said. He whipped his backpack around and pulled out a piece of paper. "It’s from Natalie." Natalie is a girl at school he talks about a lot – her pretty hair, how fun it is to hit her at recess, etc.

The paper had a drawing on it of a boy and a girl holding hands. On the top, written in wonderful kindergarten handwriting, was a profession of love.

"I wish I could jump into this drawing," the wee one said wistfully. "I would flip dimensions so that I could kiss Natalie and then flip back really fast."

"Oh?" I asked, trying not to sound shocked.

He gazed at the drawing. "It makes me want to cry I like it so much," he said, closing his eyes and smiling.

It kind of makes me want to cry, too, but for many different reasons. I knew he was precocious, but this is (charmingly) unsettling, you know what I mean?

My five-year-old lothario. Good grief.

finally figured it out

a well-rounded boy
enjoys jazz, literature
and showing his butt

For weeks now, the wee one has been humming a song and begging me to play it on the stereo. It has sounded vaguely familiar, but much to his consternation I haven’t been able to figure out what song it is. Until today.

He hummed it for me and suddenly I realized what it was: Blue Rondo a la Turk, from the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1959 album Time Out.

Lest you think my boy is a musical prodigy, I should admit that this is my favorite record of all time. We listened to it a LOT when he was tiny. But lately we’ve been listening to more contemporary stuff. My thing right now is a mix of Spoon’s radio hits and the latest Clash spinoff Carbon/Silicon (worst band name ever). We toss in a heavy sprinkling of Elvis’ Vegas hits and Kanye’s Stronger, just to keep it real.

So I was surprised that Dave Brubeck made such an impression. As soon as the song started, the wee one was flying around the room in a kind of dance frenzy. The dog started barking, the wee-er one squealed and clapped with glee. It was a nice moment.

Note to self: more Brubeck, less crap. It’s like listening to a really strong cup of tea. Smooth, relaxing, and yet somehow invigorating.  I forget how nice it is.

Thankfully, the wee one didn’t.

Things learned on the first day of Kindergarten

my politician
who knows where the genes come from
so cute, so bizarre

We went to pick up the wee one from school yesterday, and the excitement around that place was electric. Even the teachers were flushed and breathless. Though that probably had something to do with the fact that it was 49,000 degrees outside.

I asked the wee one what he learned on his first day of school and here’s what he told me:

1) If you bring a toy, it goes to the mayor’s office where it must stay until a mommy or daddy comes to pick it up

2) It is not fun to have milk spilled on you, especially when other kids laugh

3) School is great, but it feels like you are there for ten hours

4) Everyone wants to be friends

5) If you hold your hand to your face and close your eyes, it’s like your mommy kissing you

6) Teachers like to eat chocolate

I think it was a successful day. His teacher commended him on his politeness (!) and when he got home he was excited about going back. Also, he fell asleep at 4:20. Ha. I had to wake him up to eat dinner.

This morning, though, he bounded out of bed at 6:10, put on his clothes and was ready to go before I could barely crack an eyelid open. We made an attempt to catch the bus today, but after a twenty minute wait I deduced we had either missed it, or it wasn’t coming, so I drove him. He was not happy at all. I don’t know why the school bus is such a draw, but he is bound and determined to ride it and love it. 

I talked to the school’s principal (or "mayor" as the wee one calls him) and I made a call to the bus people so I think we’ll be all set for tomorrow. Though I admit, I kind of like driving him. It’s fun to see all the little shorties and their giant backpacks.

Maybe once my muddled mind clears up a little I’ll write more about our first day adventures. For now, though, I’m going to drink some tea and send psychic brainwaves to the wee-er one, pleading for her to sleep. Mama needs a nap.

conversing

A conversation I just had with the wee one:

"Mommy, where are we going?"

"To Office Depot."

"Why?"

"We have to find you a clipboard for school."

"Do you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby?"

"Yes."

"Can we get a milkshake after we get a clipboard?"

"Maybe."

"I have to go potty!"

meet the teacher!

wheelbarrow is full
supplies in tow, we venture
into the future

This afternoon we take our four bursting Target bags of school supplies up to the wee one’s new school and meet his teacher.

[insert image of me, as Homer, hopping from foot to foot, hands up by my shoulders flopping nervously back and forth, with a concerned grimace on my face]

Something about school brings back memories of being judged. And I loved school! But I still can’t shake the "am I doing it right?" "did I answer that correctly?" "does everybody like me?" decidedly in-the-box-with-a-fear-of-stepping-out-of-it attitude that was instilled in me during my elementary and middle school years.

Feeling this way irritates me, because I’m happy to be uncoventional and strange and all that. I feel better when I’m antagonizing the status quo. And yet, as a kid I was Hermione Granger. I guess I still am to some extent. So just smelling the inside of an elementary school brings back some kind of muscle memory that makes me shrink down to three and half feet tall.

I am intimidated, I think. Which is ridiculous. I am the mommy. I rule the world. And yet I know that for the better part of everyday, another grown woman will rule the wee one’s world. I don’t want to defer my power to her, but I know I’m going to have to trust her. Wielding Grown Up Power over my child is not something I trust to those of a weak constitution or tendency to holler. I plan to scrutinize this teacher, as I’m sure she’s used to from mommies throughout the years. I have a page of questions to ask. I am going to try and not feel bad for being annoying. I’m also working very hard to banish all feelings of intimidation and inferiority before I step foot in that school this afternoon.

I will not be a push over. And on the other side of the spectrum, I will not be a hovering heliparent. I will relax. I will relax. I will relax.

The wee one, by the way, is incredibly, out of this world excited. And I’m excited that he’s excited.

"We get to meet my teacher today!" he squealed upon waking up. "I’m going to wear this!" And he promptly offered up the skeleton hoodie I bought him a couple of days ago. It’s black and has glow-in-the-dark bones painted on it in the shape of ribs and arms. 

"It’s a hundred and seventy nine thousand degrees outside, wee one," I said. "It’s going to be too hot to wear a jacket."

His cheerful grin turned into a glower. He stared at me as if I had just happily offered him a plate of green beans for breakfast.

"Mommy," he said in his ‘don’t be an idiot’ tone that makes my ears twitch. "I’m not going to wear a shirt under it."

Ah, yes. That will make it incredibly cooler.

So think of us at about 3pm today. The wee one will be doing his best Martin-Lawrence- jogging-in-a-sweat-suit-and-slowly-sweating-to-death impersonation and I will be tamping down decades of strange leftover "a test! it’s a test!" feelings. The wee-er one will be standing in her stroller and my husband will be walking behind us pretending he doesn’t know who we are.

Yee haw, three days until It All Starts.

Honky song

lost in translation
must pay better attention
corrupting my kids

I was sitting on the sofa, using my Tide pen to go to town on a mysterious brown splotch that had just appeared on my white shirt, when I heard, "It’s a penguin honky song!" in a high pitched voice.

"Huh?" I thought, as I continued to scribble and scrub away at the spot, not looking up.

"A honk, honk honky song!"

Finally, I looked up. "What are you watching?" I asked the wee one, pretending that it wasn’t actually my job to know these things.

"It’s Diego," he said happily. Then, singing along, "It’s a honk, honk honky song!"

"Honk-ing," I said. "I think it’s a honk-ing song."

But it sure sounded like a penguin honky song.

That Diego. He’s a troublemaker.

the early bird catches…. an empty wallet?

back-to-school shopping
all we need is wheelbarrow
and lottery win

Y’all. Holy shit. We just got back from buying the wee one’s school supplies for Kindergarten. School starts 8/27 so we’re a little early, but I ordinarily love school supply shopping and we were itching to get all the stuff.

I seriously think we just bought supplies for half the class. Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s the list, straight from the school’s website:

Kindergarten

(all supplies preferably NOT
Roseart brand)
1 – plastic supply box
1 – clipboard (letter size)
3 – composition books (No spirals)
2 – packages #2 pencils (sharpened)
4 – boxes 16 count crayons (basic colors only-NO Roseart)
4 – 8 oz. bottles Elmer’s white school glue (NOT COLORED)
1 – backpack (large enough to hold a 1" binder)
1 – box 200 count tissue
1 – pkg. pink erasers (no pencil toppers)
1 – pair child Fisker
brand scissors (no plastic scissors)
2 – boxes Crayola basic color markers
1 – package 6 count dry erase EXPO markers (medium point)
3 – containers of liquid soap
2 – packages seasonal/fun
stickers
2 – red pocket folders (no brads)
1 – Kindergarten rest mat and towel
1 – yellow highlighter

Girls only:

1 –
package plain paper plates
1 – box Ziploc
plastic bags (gallon or jumbo size)
Boys
only:

1 – box Ziploc bags (quart or
snack size)
1 – package plain paper lunch bags
(white, if possible)
1 – box wipes

That is a LOT of stuff. Especially when you’re at Target and you grab a different school’s list to see what those kids need, and those kids have 1/4 of the stuff to bring. Not only that, but this list seems designed to inflict irritation.

Clipboard? That’s going to take a special trip to an office supply store, because Target doesn’t have them.

A set of 6 dry erase markers? There are only sets of 4. Or 10. Or 12.

16 count crayons? $2.49. 24 count crayons? .20.

8oz glue? $1.57. 4oz glue? .15.

1 box of 200ct Kleenexes? I could only find boxes of 120ct or 180ct.

JEEZ. It was very vexing trying to buy these supplies, because nothing matched the list. And the things that did match the list were a lot more expensive than the things that were close, but not exactly right. Sigh.

So I’m going to be that mom. The one who supplies her kid with the right amount of stuff, but in various and sundry quantities.

I understand that teachers have specific reasons they ask for the supplies they do. And probably much of those reasons hinge on knowing that the school can’t afford to provide a lot of the things we take for granted – like crayons. I know a lot of times teachers end up spending a lot of their own money on things they shouldn’t have to. And that’s probably why we’re being asked to provide so. much. stuff.

And yet, I wish the things on the list weren’t such a pain in the ass. White lunch bags? The hell? I know they make better puppets, but no one sells them. Or if they do, they’re like 1,000 times more expensive.

Ah well. I grouse and complain and admit to being a little prickly about my kid having to bring four times more shit to school than most of the other kids in the district, but it was still fun to go get everything. I still remember the fat Snoopy pencils I had rattling around in my backpack on my very first day of school. And so we’ll pile all of this crap into a wheelbarrow for the first day and the wee one will show up grinning and scared and excited in shiny new clothes, with a sparkling new backpack, emanating that smell of newly sharpened pencils.

I can’t believe he’s starting school in just less than a month.

That should give me just enough time to track down the ever elusive clipboard.

The big 0-5

has it been five years?
sweet baby now my sweet boy
except for his feet

The wee one is 5 today! Technically, he’s not 5 until just after 7pm, but I’ll spot him the few extra hours. I know it’s cliche, but MAN I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I remember when he was born, looking down at him and thinking, "you’ll be in kindergarten before I know it, won’t you?" and sure enough, here we are.

But first we have a summer of Aqua Raiders Legos and Playmobil pirate ships and swimming in the community pool and time outs for not listening and so much more.

How did he get so big?

Happy birthday, wee one!

Weeone5