Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First day of school

School starts early here in the South. We had dangerous heat indexes for the first couple of days. Supposed to feel like 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit! Know what that means? It means no recess. Poor kids. But still they are all so excited to go. Especially Gwen. She mentioned a few times that she was nervous but she never complained or cried or anything. She was all smiles from the minute she woke least I assume so since they all woke up and were dressed before Chris and I.  We were grateful to be given a bunch of extremely well kept handmedown school uniforms for Gwen from a friend who moved out of state. At first she complained that all the polo shirts and kahki and black shorts/pants were "boy clothes" and cried when she saw them. But after showing her there was also some skirts and trying to point out details like polkadot ribbon on the inside trim of the collars she stopped complaining. She even wanted to try them all on the day before school started. Haha... I don't know where she learned it but she would strut and pose a bit in each outfit. Gosh, she's growing up. 

Alec goes to 3rd grade, Charlie enters 1st grade and Gwendolyn starts Kindergarten! 

Freddy looks confused in all this pictures because we had to wake him up. Our morning routine is going pretty smoothly. Chris and I have an alarm that rings at 5:20. At 6:05 we get out of bed and one of us wakes up the kids while the other starts breakfast (we're trying to only have cold cereal 2 times a week) usually mush, oatmeal, eggs and toast, or apple toast, sometimes pancakes or German pancakes. Then at 6:30 we all sit down and eat breakfast together while Chris reads the scriptures out loud.  Sometimes I'll go around with a spray bottle and a brush and do the boys hair while they eat. Lunches, snacks and backpacks are all packed the night before. Then 6:55 potty time, teeth brushed (which actually rarely happens) and family prayers so that Chris and the kids can load into his little car and drive away at 7:00am. 

But the first couple of days, we all go in the van so I can walk any of the kids to their classrooms that want me to. Car pool drop off is CRAZY this first week and we wait for a while and barely get Alec to class ontime, but know that Charlie and Gwen will be late since they're at a different school. For Alec, its his first year at the 3-5th grade school: Henderson Ward Stewart. Drop off was so backed up that I had time to take a picture of Alec infront of his school, walk him to his class, take another picture and walk back out to the car before Chris is even close to leaving the parking lot! I hopped right in. On to Sudduth Elementary

At Sudduth they don't let parents get out of the car in the carpool drop off spot, so we planned to park and all go in, but parking and traffic is so backed up and the kids are already late so Chris dropped us off near the front office and waited in the car with Frederick.  I wondered if Gwen is going to go all shy and clingy and not want me to leave the classroom like she did last year at preschool so we walked Charlie to his classroom first. He was so excited to have his good friend Dash in his class again. He practically ignored me as soon as he walked in his room. He has Ms. Black (1st year teaching) and Ms. Brown as teachers.  Gwen has We walked alllll the way across the school to the Kindergarten hallways (theres over 1000 children at this school with only K-2 grades) Gwen really IS growing up! She did so great and walked right in (albeit at a turtles pace) and found her hook to hang up her backpack, let me take a picture with her teacher. Ms. Walls and then she just stood by the door and smiled for a while. I got a "I love you" out of her before leaving and I stayed just out of sight for a bit wanting to watch her longer. Good thing I still have Frederick waiting for me back in the car to fill my craving for chubby little arms wrapped around my neck. 

I blissfully imagined subdued mornings getting the house clean, while Frederick plays with toys, at least brainstorming dinners if not slightly prepping them, having a tidy little lunch with Freddy and often Chris, then quiet afternoons of preparing church lessons, sewing, organizing while Frederick sleeps. HA! Turns out Freddy isn't so self entertaining as I thought he was. He must really only love playing by himself when it means he's older siblings aren't trying to clobber him or make him do stuff. He must really really be used to chaos because he practically cries at my feet all day long, if I'm not holding him or playing with him. When I do sit down near him while he plays with cars, trying to sort mail or *tons* of school papers, he'll bring his car ramp so it's half on my legs and then position himself with his little bum up and neck turned looking back at me, trying to sit as close as possible to my face. If I'm laying down, his favorite place to sit is on my neck. If I get up to walk across the house to grab my shoes, or go to the bathroom, he'll start crying, run after me, grab some piece of my clothes or my finger if he's lucky and hold on with a vice grip... probably 'cuz he knows from experience I can quickly unlatch myself and try and reach or put away this or that.  And who was I kidding? A tidy little lunch?? Freddy is still the champion messy eater no matter what it is we're having for lunch. Although all my dreams are realized during nap time. With lunch at 11:30ish, and naps until we leave to pick up the kids at 2:15 its a calm, quiet house for at least 2 hours. Big slow breath in and out, now smile. 

At 2:15 I get Frederick up and load him and snacks and books in the car in an attempt to entertain him for the next hour and a half. We picked up Alec first the first little bit of school. I wait in his carpool pick up line from 2:30-3:10ish then once he's in the car, we head over to Sudduth and wait in their carpool line for 20 minutes and then get home around 3:45. WHEW. Now the battle for patience and cool calm parenting begins and goes strong until the last kid is tucked in around 8:00pm. But thats for another time. 


dixie said...

What a life. Sounds like you have got the routine figured out and that things are going smoothly on the whole! Congratulations. And I hope that Freddy gets less clingy and more used to the peace and quiet! Miss you all so much. Sending hugs and love.

Amy said...

I loved reading about your routine!