Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Going to the drop-off

OK, so clearly I still have Disney on the brain, because that's a Finding Nemo reference... when you're a fish you go to the drop-off on your first day of school. Yesterday was the first day of school for the vast majority of people (including Liam) but since Mallory is an A day student, today was her first day. And let it be known - she was PUMPED. Here she is, carefully packing her lunch the night before. She was so excited about school that she promised to eat all the produce we packed for her, and she made good on that promise. We should have started her in school three years ago.
Last night she slept terribly - maybe on account of nerves or excitement, or maybe on account of something else entirely. She was up multiple times and each time she got up, she left her bedroom door open and Captain got in - he has a real affinity for her room - and while she loves that cat more than almost anything by day, he terrifies her when he gets into her room at night. So every time I was just getting back to sleep, she'd be up and wailing again about the purring or rustling coming from the corner of her room.
We did manage to drag ourselves out of bed this morning and make it to school by bell time. Mallory was in no mood for pictures (despite me getting these few) - I'm not convinced I would have gotten that many more even if the weather had cooperated. It was pouring rain, which put the kibosh on a lot of first day of school pictures that I wanted to take and also changed the usual classroom routine up. I didn't have the opportunity to shoot the class lining up along the fence as they normally do, because today the kids and all the families all crowded into the coat room to get out of the wet. It was crowded, it was getting hot, and it was quite chaotic.
In the midst of all the chaos, I didn't have a chance to give Mallory a proper good-bye. Mallory is usually hell-bent on getting a kiss and a hug from me in the morning, and it doesn't matter if Chad is hollering at her to get in the car - she still wants it and is willing to endure his wrath to get it. This morning, Mrs. Garrow was telling the parents to wave and leave before I knew it, and there she was on her spot on the bench way across the room from me with twenty parents separating us. I gave her my wave and lost it. I didn't expect to get so emotional; certainly not for the little girl who has been challenging me constantly these last few months, fighting every morsel of food I ask her to eat, bath I ask her to take and polite words I ask her to say... suddenly she seemed very small and helpless over on the other side of the room. I expected her day to be wonderful but the tears came just the same. We left work early today, to pick the kids up directly without having them go to the after-school program. And just as I'd expected, Mallory had a wonderful day. In fact, she told me school is the best place in the world. "More wonderful than Disney World?" I asked, and she said yes. She chattered the whole way home and then some, telling us first and most reverently about the opportunity she will have one day soon to take a show-and-tell item into the classroom and already decreeing that it will be her souvenir charm bracelet from Disney. She also told us about lunch, what she did at recess, how she made the puppet she brought home with her today, what songs they sang in music, who sits at her table with her, and otherwise giving us more information about school than we gleaned from Liam through his whole first kindergarten term.
As for Liam, he seems to be doing pretty well, too. He has a good mix of kids in his class, some from last year and some he remembers from the year before that. He likes his new teacher. He saw Mallory in the hallway today. And most importantly, he thinks he is the coolest kid ever with his new Buzz Lightyear backpack that he can not only carry as a backpack, but also roll like a piece of luggage. A last-minute purchase that is already well worth the money. (Publishing this today using Blogger's new interface, which totally sucks. Pardon the mess - I have not yet figured the formatting out.)