In the afternoon we met up with some friends at the library to play, borrow some books, and snack on some Dunkin Donuts. The whole time I kept thinking how this was it. The next day would be our new life and this was the last day of this one. My friend asked Little Miss what she was doing the next day and she said she was, “going to Panera for lunch with Daddy.” She was clearly in denial.
That night we got everything ready to go, Little Miss talked on the phone with my parents, my aunt and my husband’s aunt. I gave the kids a bath and we took a selfie of Little Miss’s first school night. I couldn’t believe I was at that point in our lives and I was dreading all the crying I was bound to do the next day.
The next morning we woke up early and had to get Little Miss out of bed, a flip-flop of our normal routine. She was nervous and kept saying she was going to miss us. I gave her one of my bracelets to wear so she could look at it if she missed me. She promised to take good care of it until we picked her up.
When we got to the school, after taking a ton of pictures in front of our house, the classroom was chaotic. There were parents everywhere. Some kids seemed to already know each other (maybe they had been in the three-year-old class?) but there were others who were red-faced and hanging on to their parents like our Little Miss.
Thankfully the class aide noticed that Little Miss looked nervous and asked her if she would like to do a puzzle. Surprisingly, the kid who hated puzzles until just recently, was excited to see what they had. Another little girl, who looked like she had been crying, sat down with her on the carpet and together they started to put together a picture of Anna and Elsa. She was engaged and barely acknowledged us when we said goodbye. The best you could hope for.
And you know what? The amazing thing was that I didn’t cry! I was so determined to make Little Miss comfortable that I was emotionally stable. I did feel a little panicky knowing that she was in the care of people we didn’t really know, and I was a little upset when Mr. Man kept asking for her, but I kept it together and didn’t shed a tear.
When we went to pick her up a short two and a half hours later, she was sitting with her class, smiling and listening to a book. We hit a little hiccup when she tried to run to us without her name being called, but it was all forgotten when we took her to Panera (for “the best grilled cheese in the world”).
She told us a few things about school, but didn’t have a ton to say. My husband went to work after lunch and our day continued on as it normally would have, but it felt different. It’s kind of like when you go to work in the afternoon and you feel all out of sorts. She seemed older and I was very aware that we had spent hours apart and she had done things without me that I didn’t know about.
After dinner we went to Little Miss’s favorite ice cream place and met up with my parents. They, of course, came baring toys for both kids and were thrilled to talk about her first day. While she was mostly interested in her new Shopkins and her red, white and blue Italian Ice, she did tell my mom that they read a book called “Don’t Eat the Teacher.”
She was very cool, but had obviously had a trying day. She usually loves to ride in my mom’s car, and even though Mr. Man was already strapped in, Little Miss started to cry because she was going to miss me... on the five-minute ride back to our house. So I put her in my car, but then she cried while we drove because she missed her brother.
When we got back the kids ran in circles, talked a ton and Skyped with my sister, which was absolutely adorable. Then my parents went home and I was left to do our bedtime routine.
The day was long, but exciting and I think that we handled it the right way. It was scary for her, and while we acknowledged that, we made it celebratory and a day that I will never forget. I doubt she will remember, but I think she was happy more often than not. If she forgets, she’ll just have to look at the millions of pictures her family/paparazzi took.