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.


A conversation I just had with the wee one:

"Mommy, where are we going?"

"To Office Depot."


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

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


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


"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.