Since the First Day of School has now been deemed a national holiday (thanks Facebook and Pinterest, because us parents really needed some more pressure and guilt), let’s take a sneak peak behind the scenes.
The Night Before:
The principal sent home a letter telling us how important it is for students to get a good night’s sleep and to eat a nutritious breakfast so they can be at their best for the new school year.
That doesn’t seem unreasonable Principal Johnson, I’ll totally do my part.
Uhhhhh…..so I need the sun to do it’s part though. If we’re going to start school in August I’m gonna need the sun to start setting before 8pm. When the kids ask why they should go to bed when it’s still light out, I have no good answer except to tell them Principal Johnson said so.
Oh! Ummm…that actually worked better than I would have expected. Sorry Principal Johnson. Looks like you get to play the Heavy this year.
Picking Out First Day of School Clothes:
So you know how all of y’all have certain parent things that aren’t really that big of deal, but kinda are a big deal to you? Well, I may have the following apparel rules: 1. No graphic tees. 2. No light up shoes. 3. Only tasteful amounts of glitter (is there a tasteful amount of glitter?). 4. Clothing will match.
Yep yep, feel free to judge away.
Makes me love my kids even more when they look cute. (Kidding, not kidding.) Also, makes my photos on Instagram look more on fleek. (Kidding, not kidding.) However, I am not so cruel as to mandate what they will wear on the first day of school because I know, I know it’s an important form of self expression. Of course they pick graphic tees and sparkles.
Taking the First Day of School Photo:
Disclosure: It’s not actually the 1st day of school in the photos. It’s “Meet the Teacher Day” at 9am the day before the first day of school. There’s no way I’m going to get a photo on the “real” first day at 7:15am. That’s two hours too early for me.
My sign sucks. We went outside to take the photo because then no one can see the breakfast mess and all the rejected clothes (whoever started tradition of first day of school pictures in front of a closed front door is genius).
I thought, “Damn the kids’ future partners are going to have all these adorable first day pictures at their wedding slideshow and 30 years from now I’m going to look like a slacker with no calligraphy-ed chalkboard or Pinterest printable sign.” So we went back inside, I made a sign.
I still look like a slacker.
Is everyone else using Photoshop? EVERY photo there is a weird face or someone crying or nothing but blurriness. Obviously they don’t appreciate that I need this photo to look GOOD for reasons listed above. “Hello child! It’s your wedding we’re talking about! HOLD STILL!”
Who are y’all that have working and inked up printers to print the darn Pinterest printables? I think I own a printer. I think I remember spending about 33 hours trying to get it to work before shoving the paper feeder tray too hard one night around midnight while trying to print the family photos requested by the teacher that were intended to make Evans and his classmates feel at home in their classroom. Fail.
I’ve blocked out any memories of where the printer is or how it works. Come to think of it, Pearlie was squishing some playdoh into something black recently.
So I love taking pictures. That’s my mom thing. Artsy craftsy stuff isn’t my thing. Cooking healthy meals isn’t my thing. Being super organized and color coded and having everything in its place isn’t my thing. Taking pictures of my kids though, that’s my thing.
These pictures suck. I’m blaming the graphic tees—the camera was overloaded with all those colors and crazy action shots of Pikachu on the shirt and couldn’t figure out where to focus.
Getting In the Car:
I’m trying to be calm. Because you know that great parenting analogy, “Be the flight attendent–your kids will panic if you panic.” So I’m totally calm and cool and oozing positive vibes of setting them up for success for a wonderful enriching school year. Everyone is going to be fed and clothed and rested and energized and ready to learn.
“WE’RE GONNA BE LATE. LET’S GO. LET’S GO. WHAT? YOU WANT TO BE LATE ON THE FIRST DAY? ARE YOU CRAZY? NOOOOO YOU CAN’T TAKE 550 POKEMON CARDS TO SCHOOL. YES, I REMEMBERED YOUR LUNCH AND YOUR WATER AND YOUR BACKPACK. NO, YOU CAN’T WATCH ONE MORE MINUTE. WE’RE LAAAAAATE. LET’S GO. I’M GETTING IN THE CAR AND LEAVING NOW. I WILL LEAVE YOU HERE.”
It’s like herding cats who speak Swedish to get them into the car. Damn. The actual cat is in the car. Irony irony. I deserved that. Even so, the cat may have made an airborne exit out the car window.
Little sister in preschool thinks mornings that start before 9:00 am should be illegal. (Amen Sister, amen). So, she decided to take a stand against it by not letting her feet touch the floor all morning. If they did, she went into a boneless, heaving, crying puddle.
On the plus side, I got a Crossfit workout carrying her around and wrestling her into clothes and wrestling her into the carseat. Good sweat to start the day.
Breakfast involved eating cookies in the car. They were “Breakfast Cookies,” but have you noticed they are in the cookie aisle at the grocery store, not the granola bar aisle. Ummm…wish I hadn’t noticed that.
I had chocolate with my room temperature coffee in the car for breakfast. Cause I’m a grownup and I can.
I had a really great motivational speech all set and ready to go. All I mustered was a heartfelt and slightly teary, “Love you Buddy. Love you Sister. Hope you have a good day!” before they were gone.
I hope they know that I love them fiercely and that I know school can be hard and can be cruel sometimes (but it can also be awesome). I hope that they know that I have complete faith in them and that they know I expect them to watch out for each other and to watch out for others. And I hope that they know I’d do anything for them, even let them wear graphic tees and glitter.
Katie Roach Dudley is a first generation Southerner and a mediocre aficionado of beer, bbq, cornhole, bad parenting, yoga and greenish living. She dreams of starting a commune with interiors by Darryl Carter, activities planned by Club Med and food by Momofuku. Until then, she’ll be doing public relations for the school she loves, reading self help books, and competitively eating chocolate chip cookies while squeezing her two beloved kids in a giant bear hug.
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