Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HUMP DAY! (And, Even Better: BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!)

Everyone knows what today is.

Yes, Camel. That too.

One need only look at their Facebook and Instagram feeds to be inundated with adorable pictures of shorties headed off for the first day after Summer ended for them, including mine.

Of note, this is Esten's favorite "thinking rock".

Aww.  Too bad, now get your fannies on that bus.

Most kids are all decked out in their fly new threads.  Mine opted for old holey shorts topped with the ONE new shirt I let them pick out themselves (the other new clothes were my selection, because I am THAT mom).  Esten managed to plop a blob of toothpaste right into the mouth area of that creeper, while Clayton forgot to push his hoodie sleeves up and ended up with wet wrists and elbows.

I know....this "brushing our teeth every morning" thing is going to be super difficult.

I even addressed it, absentmindedly, on the sheet I was tasked with filling out in order for Clayton's teacher to get to know her students more quickly.  Two sides of questions, I grumbled as I settled into bed with a cup of tea once all the littles were tucked in.  I was already drained from the evening's ice cream social/bring your crap supplies to school/meet your teacher event where I, pushing the giant jogging stroller down the crowded hallway, dropped a full 32oz cup of ice water and the lid busted off.  The one emergency diaper I had stashed in the basket almost sopped up the slippery puddle, but another parent came to the rescue with a rag before I single handedly injured anyone before they even had a chance to do so on their own.  Esten's bestie's mom watched and laughed, her armpits already perched on crutches from a knee injury.

I eyeballed the book calling to me from my nightstand to carry on my bedtime reading routine, but I held fast and completed that paper.  At the bottom I included an asterisk:

*Please do not let the principal read this, thanks! ~ H. Lee

I remembered having completed similar forms in the past, but I just was not ready this year for homework the night before school started.  Since Clayton was in a looping class the last two years, I hadn't filled one out for him since first grade.  I reread my response to his teacher asking: "In a million words or less tell me everything I need to know about your child - favorite foods, hobbies, strengths, weaknesses - anything to help get to know your little one":

Clayton Lee - lover of apple juice, follower/fan of big brother Esten. Still hangs onto his lisp a bit more than others. Throws an uncharacteristically perfect spiral football. Claims to be a "non-reader" until pushed harder, loves Mrs. Brockmann [the librarian]. Pushes the extremes between loving inappropriately heavy metal music, instigating unwanted wrestling matches with his older brother, and soaking up his dwindling months as the "little brother". Was adamant about Mrs. Purcell [this teacher] being his first choice, was overcome with glee to see the class list, except when he noted his bff's Jordan and Cole would not be joining him. Loves crafts and painting, recently proclaimed that "when you clean out the purple from our brush it does NOT taste like grape". Never met a corndog he didn't love, he will occasionally take breaks from food long enough to play video games. Enthused over water parks, especially loves Kellogg and Silverwood, gets in a major funk when plans change. Has been resilient and helpful at school and home, is sometimes sad that Grandpa just died in the middle of August, who lived with us for the past 2 of Clayton's short 6 years. Still convinced his cop dad is a superhero and that mommy is magic because I can spread Nutella on a graham cracker. Has spent the summer on the tube behind the boat, telling us to crank up the music, flashing us the two-handed devil horns and insisting that we make the ride "more extreme". Will show anyone who is interested his ninja moves. Remembers like a savant if you tell him a reward or fun day is coming and exactly how old he will be when he is due for shots again. Cannot hear or remember being told to pick up dirty socks. Is excited beyond words for this school year.

Suffice it to say, his lisp is gone (and I secretly miss it), and he has added to this list, but it's still pretty much him in a nutshell.  I suppose it was easier to describe him "in a million words or less" than it was here, with these specific questions staring at me.  Fortunately, he inherited Esten's 3rd grade teacher, and I love her to pieces and she has an awesome sense of humor.  Perhaps this was my downfall in knowing I could phone it in on some of the responses.  I tried to stay purposeful and grownup about all these questions about strengths and weaknesses and optimum learning environment, but when asked, "What are your concerns regarding your child?" all I could muster was:

I am concerned that my "brush your teeth every morning before school" demands will not be met after about the 4th day of school.

To "What kind of teacher would be ideal for your child?" I responded:

Isn't this a trick question at this point?
  1. One with a certificate.
  2. One who isn't homeschooling him.
  3. One whose name rhymes with "Mashley Wreckenpaugh"
Thank the Lord Baby Jesus that he DID end up in Ashley Peckenpaugh's class, because I'm sure the other teacher is a super lovely lady, but it takes a TEAM of good-humored individuals to take on helping me raise these boys, and to be honest, acquainting myself with ONE new teacher a year is enough.  The other one being old hat for our family is so helpful.

This is why my friend pool is a foot across and a hundred feet deep instead of 50 feet across and 3 inches deep.  I just don't have the inclination to invite that many people into my planet, and then try to explain to all the new people why it's so weird on my planet.

So to all those moms (and dads) who captured this morning's send off in whatever manner that happened; ala Pinterest props, with signs, toothpaste blobs on new shirts, pouting glares, tears, toothless smiles...all of it, know that I enjoy every one of them just as much as I like sharing mine with you.  To those who didn't happen to catch them?  No biggie.  Life happens.  We aren't required to document everything to enjoy it.

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