We just got back from dropping Ryan off at his first day of public school!!!
Let me back up for a second and say that Ryan spent the whole day home yesterday and I nearly banished him for life to the storage room downstairs, okay. So, this morning when we got up and the first thing he said was a drowsy, "I get to go to school today," I was so happy for him. HOWEVER, I wasn't happy for Sam who had barely slept at all because he was so WORRIED about Ryan. Telling someone who worries that it's not going to help anyone, least of all Ryan himself, is just futile and a bit insulting. I realize no one has a worry switch they can just turn off, cuz I worry a little bit too from time to time. But, it's when he involves RYAN in that worrying that I gotta put my mama gloves on.
We're sitting at breakfast and I'm giving Ryan the run down:
"So, look, we're gonna drop you off at 8:20. I'm gonna be there at 11:20 to get you for lunch. Then, either Papa or I will drop you off after lunch and I will pick you back up at 4:20. You got all that?"
"Yep," he says through a mouthful of brioche smothered with Nutella.
"Okay. Now, here's some pointers: They DON'T speak English, so speak French when you can and if you don't know a word, just point and ask. There is NO RUNNING in the classroom. The teacher's prolly gonna want you to sit in your seat a lot of the time and even though I know that may be boring, it's all a part of public school and you're just going to have to get used to it."
"What else? Um..."
Sam sits down, clearly on the verge of tears and says, "Listen, Ryan, today is the first day of school for lots of other kids, so you're not going to be the only one who is scared."
I glare over at him and nearly throw my toast. "WHY WOULD HE BE SCARED? HE'S NOT SCARED! SCHOOL IS AWESOME AND EXCITING!!"
Okay, look, I understand that Sam is worried, but Ryan is NOT. He's excited and ready and clueless. And Sam doesn't need to go spreading his paranoia and neuroses around to the kid.
By now, Sam is full-fledged tears, threatening to stream down his cheeks.
I say, "Papa, didn't you need to eat your breakfast in the kitchen?"
He got up and went to the kitchen. And then, he got distracted with getting Lily up and dressed, thank goodness.
We packed up and walked the five or six blocks (about a 10 min walk) pushing the double stroller with the girls in it. Ryan ran ahead, skipping and brimming over with excitement. At one point, he stopped dead in his tracks, crinkles his nose and looks up at me.
"What's that SMELL?"
It's dog poop. "Run ahead, Ryan. Run ahead."
But he stops every time he smells a hint of dog poop. And there's a lot of it because everyone's home from vacation now (did I mention they all go on vacay at the same damn time?) and they're all back to walking their dogs and letting them shit on the sidewalk. *eye roll* Ever driven a double stroller through the obstacle course that is the poopy sidewalks of France? Hmmm?
One time, he was running along but not watching where he was going almost bumped into a worker guy.
"Desole," he says. Sorry! And then, "Bonjour!" and runs away again, stopping at the corners to wait for me so we can cross the street.
Once we get to the school, there's a line a MILE long. Teachers are peeking out open windows and smiling down at the nearly TANGIBLE excitement of the little primary schoolers!!! Ryan is crazy at this point and he's not the only one. The sad part is, the door to the elevator is reserved for handicapped access, so I can't take the stroller in. Which means that I have to wait out on the sidewalk while Sam takes Ryan to his class.
Now, I'm nervous. I don't want them to get up there only to have Sam start the waterworks again.
While I'm waiting, there's a little kid who runs up to near where I am and says to his dad, "Papa, je vais a l'ecooooooooole!!!!" Papa, I'm going to schoooooool! And jumps up and down. He is a full-body dynamo of excitement. His mom looks up at me as I beam and she rolls her eyes and shakes her head as if she knows she should be embarrassed but instead, she's just as excited as he is.
"Il est fou!" He's crazy! She says.
"Non, mon fils est pareil! Ca me fait pleurer" My son is the same way. It makes me cry. I fan my eyes because now I really am starting to tear up. Not because I'm worried about him but because I just LOVE the spirit of a 4 year old. SO in love with life. SO optimistic and ready to explore and communicate and PLAY. Granted, I don't want him cooped up in the appartment with me while I do my boring ass work, but I do appreciate his energy.
Sam calls down to tell me I shouldn't wait, it's going to be awhile because they are being greeted by the teacher, one-by-one, as they enter the classroom. I say I'll wait.
The mom of the ball of excitement boy comes down and wishes me a bonne journee. Another mom comes down and says, "Maintenant, les vacances commencent pour nous." Now, OUR vacation starts. She gives me a wink as she's putting her baby back in her stroller and wishes me a bonne journee.
The girls start to get antsy. I pull out a hidden Fibre One bar from my purse. Not organic, sure, but I brought a stash of 'em and they have to be eaten. Plus, it's a great diversion. Before I know it, Sam is there.
He's crying. No surprise.
I say, "Awwwww, Papa!" and I go to hug him, but he gives me the stiff. You know, the weird catatonic hug. Like hugging the Tin Man or something. It hurts my feelings. Because though I didn't want him to cry BEFORE school, I totally understand cryin afterward. The release of adrenaline. The come down. The deep breath. I understand all that. And I wanted to comfort him and it hurt me to be essentially pushed away.
"Have a good day," I say and start to walk away. I know it's immature, but now I'M about to cry.
"Wait!" He says. "So, how are we gonna manage?"
"Don't worry. We'll manage. I'll come back with my AWESOME BUCKLE TAI FROM TWOMOMMASDESIGNS.COM and with Lily in the umbrella stroller. I'll be fine."
I walk home, plotting out my day. On the one hand, I'm glad that Ryan is going to be entertained and occupied during the day. On the other hand, I'm going to have to go to his school at least twice a day (sometimes four times) and I'm only ever going to have two hours at a time at home. That's going to suck. It was 9 when I got home. By the time I got Lolo her bottle and both poopy dipes changed, put Lolo down for her morning nap, checked my emails and had a snack, it was 10. See? I'm just coming to the end of my blog for today and it's already 10:40. If I'm going to be there at 11:20 to pick him up, I have to leave here at 11. That's in twenty minutes.
That means that mornings, I'm going to have to make lunch before I go get him. So, y'all don't be suprised if my blogs are even fewer and further between. *eye roll* I had scheduled to do some writing this morning, but look... the morning's gone.
The ironic part is that he won't have school on Wednesdays (most don't), so he'll be here all day. But can I work while he's here? I guess I'm gonna hafta learn how.
And now, Lolo's awake... Good. Just in time to get ready to go. *shrug*