Last week Gigi’s midterm report came home informing me she recognized no letters or letter sounds, and she was unable to write her name. Which is weird because she definitely knew all those things going into her second year of preschool. A preschool that apparently bases it’s curriculum on The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
It’s cool. This is all normal. We don’t even need the alphabet anymore, we have autofill on our iPhones, so as long as we start to type the word noises into the keypad, words happen like magic.
Thankfully, false alarm. Gigi is an ABC smitten genius, and just randomly decided to pretend she didn’t know, like a secret. Similar to when I break the television, and Andy stands in the living room holding the remote going, what did you do? And I am like, I have no idea. Same thing.
But, the point is, for the 24 hours Gigi was an educational mute, we were wringing our hands, breathing into paper bags. Being in charge of humans is sometimes impossibly hard, especially when you think you’re failing.
There are loads of articles online about all the crap they don’t tell you before you have kids, and most of it is like, dude having babies? Hard and crazy gross. But nobody ever warns you about the elementary sized kid stuff. Namely… you worry about them all the time, you hate everyone that is mean to them, and school sucks really, really bad.
Which is weird because when I was younger, I thought for sure being a parent and sending my kids to school was going to be awesome, just like I assumed it was awesome for my parents.
Let’s consult the list.
1. No school. That’s a no brainer, as we’ve already established, school is the worst.
2. Eat Happy Meals. Obviously.
3. Watch Watcher In The Woods whenever I want. In hindsight, I should have listened to my parents on this one. HASHTAG NERAK HASHTAG NEVERSLEEPAGAIN.
4. Drive a limo. Hey little Brittany, you’re confused about how limos work.
Not even the Happy Meal part panned out, by choice, because those fry containers are doll sized. The reality of the situation is that sometimes… school feels like punishment.
Wake up time. Oh my God, the only reason this is literally happening right now is because the kids have to go to school. They obviously don’t want to, but it’s my job to make them, even though I am like, I know y’all, this totally sucks for me, too. The goal is to get them to school on time, the reality is that I have to drag my ass out of bed at least 5 minutes before them to look like I’m in charge.
Homework. Okay, let me tell you how this works. Hey guess what?! *confetti, confetti, confetti* You have homework, again! You think it’s easy explaining to a child how to trace letters across the page and do subtraction? It’s not, it’s easy to explain those things to an adult who maybe forget for a second because they are drunk or speak a different language. Some people are born with the ability to calmly articulate instructions to small children; I am not one of those people.
School delays and closings. You actually never stop wanting these to happen. Now, instead of camping out in front of the television, watching the schools crawl across the bottom of the screen, about 3 minutes before your alarm goes off – TEXT EMAIL BEEP PHONE RING BLAMMO. You just won the sleep lottery, and it’s amazing. Unless you live in Ohio and it’s a blizzard and your children are home for so long your body almost starts lactating, again.
Pick-up. You wait in a long single file line, idling in Park until the first kid pushes their way through the glass doors. There are no rules of politeness. There are no traffic laws. It’s Hunger Games until three small bundled packages slam into my backseat, shoving glue stick’ed construction paper and tales of their day into my face.
It’s non-stop talking and car singing and laughter, and it’s easily the absolutely best part of my day, so much so, that I drive around the block two extra times just to finish the Frozen soundtrack and hear about who they’re playing in the school musical or what they ate for lunch.
And suddenly I am painfully aware of all the small moments of their day I no longer have with them.
They don’t tell you that part, either.