Tuesday, September 07, 2010

the first day

Liv started school today....."real" school. Grade three at the school that I attended as a young whipper-snapper.

Last night, she excitedly chose her outfit for the day. We planned how the morning would go and what time we'd get to the school.

She woke at 6 am and wanted to get up. I coaxed her back to sleep for a few minutes before she was chattering away and again attempting to vault from the bed. I was thrilled. She was excited. She was enthusiastic and positive......And then I asked her to let the chickens out.

Generally, it was downhill from there. She didn't want to do it. I want to stick to the rhythm that had worked for us and feel that we are all contibuting members of our family and as such have roles to fulfill to keep the house running smoothly and harmoniously.

Harmonious, my ass.

Needless to say, by the end of the first hour of climbing from the cozy nest of the bed that the three of us had spent our night together in various states of sleepy entanglement, I was pissed off and ready to start frothing at the mouth like some rabies infested mad-dog. She was screaming at me that she shouldn't have to "do it all" as she is "just a kid" and it is my job to "do this kind of stuff". Briar was hollering plaintively as the puppy had hold of his shirt and was hindering his journey up the hallway to his breakfast. After I chased the puppy away from Briar's backside, he managed to sneak off to a corner in the living room to shit on my computer's electrical cord.

Liv had taken to hiding in a corner in her bedroom muttering mostly quietly to herself while occasionally loudly spewing a variety of age old adages, such as: "I hate you!" "I don't want to go to school!" "You love Briar more!" "I wish I had a different mom!"

I storm through the house throwing needed items into my purse while giving a verbal dialogue of my thoughts using a variety of non-G-rated wordage (Is that a word? Wordage.) and taking a nervous child's behaviour far too personally. Anyhow......

If you had witnessed this scene, you probably would think that....well, I don't know what you'd think. I just know that you would most likely think this home was a chaotic, crazy place and would try to get out a fast as humanly possible....

Then, after a few minutes of travel, at school, imagine a calm, serene mother and child. The little girl is nervously clutching her mama's hand and trying to remain inconspicuous by hiding behind one of her mother's abundant thighs. The little girl is big eyed and sweet. Quiet and shy but pleasant to talk to. The mother probably seems gentle and confident. Not the rabid creature she was only minutes before.

After getting the sweet, subdued little girl to her class, speaking to the teacher, and lingering in the hall outside the class long after all the other mothers have gone, the angry/gentle mama drives away without her little girl.....crying. Wishing her daughter's first day had been different than this. Wishing her husband had been there to share the joy....and the chaos. Wishing that she didn't feel so awful leaving her little one for others to educate and explore with. Feeling a hypocrite for sending her to public school but knowing that she must do it if she is going to keep food on the table and clothes on her little one's backs.


Crash Course Widow said...

Oh, Jackie, I'm sorry it was such a mixed mess of a morning and day. And I wish it was different for you too--that Jeff was still here, that you felt better about your decision, that it had gone as smoothly and fantastical as you'd wished. But food on the table, and a sane mama who gets breaks, are good things too. You're not a bad mom--you're an AWESOME mom who's doing the work of two parents, while being more limited than you were before Jeff died.

Hang in there. I'm thinking of you and sending you virtual hugs from several hundred miles south....Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Jackie - I'm right there with you. I was a 'monster mama' for much of the day as my stress level about Eibhlin going to kindergarten was top notch.

A friend commented this evening how calm I looked and was surprised when I told her how the hard it was for me. Yes, we can 'pull it together' when we need to sometimes, can't we?

I think if I saw your house, it wouldn't look much different than mine (only slightly older kids), and I would smile a great big smile. Not because I'm happy for your troubles, but just as it would make me feel a little more 'normal'.

I, too, wish I could educate my kids at home for a little longer. I wish Jeff could be there with you tonight and Elias here with me recapping our days events.

Sending love and hugs,

Poppy and Mei said...

Love your "Harmonious Arse"...XXxx.

Cadi said...

I had a good laugh. Will that make you send some rabies-spew my way?! ;-) I laughed because it's so nice to know that this exact same thing happens in other places, too. I often go from, "the worst Mom who has ruined everything" to "the best Mom in the whole universe & I just love you so much" in a matter of minutes. And then we step out into the world from this screaming madhouse & we all pull it together & people think we're perfect - or at least close to it. If only they knew! ;-)

And how dare these men have left us behind having to pick up shit - literally. ;-) (I've been wondering when I'll change the first diaper after a decade...)

Boo said...

It doesn't matter how chaotic it got because she knew that she was safe with you when she got to school, and how much you love her.

But I know what you mean, sometimes I just wish that I could do things in a cool fashion like everyone else (who still have husbands) appears to do ... and I wish he were there to share stuff all the time.

I bet you cannot wait to pick her up!

Love boo xx

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a rough morning. I think the tantrums and fight picking is a pretty common way for kids to react to stress and separation anxiety. But you were there for her when she needed you to hold her hand. You're doing a great job.

Pamela said...

Sounds a lot like my house. Short story... Last night my 15 year old was taking out the trash and for whatever reason, my husband called him a tool. When he came back in, I referred to him as Hammer, which he didn't like. He has a whiteboard in his room. I woke up 5 minutes early to draw a hammer on this board and wrote "What up Hammer" on it (he already left for school). Cannot wait to get the text when he gets home... This is how shit like this would play out in our house. It's constant. UGH!

Anonymous said...

My son started 3rd grade this year too. And he hates it. And he wishes school didnt exist. I feel bad I cant homeschool him but I have to work 3 days a week so he has to deal with it.
You were able to homeschool for a long time. It will all be ok :)
I dont remember my Mom or Dad worrying if I liked school or not lol
I try to think about it like he's not going to enjoy everything he ever does, its not the worst thing in the world for him to not be having a great time all the time.
Sorry ya'll had such a rough morning though.
I am sure her first memory of school is not going to be that but that you were there for here at school.

Dan, in real time. said...

Well Jackie, my boys started their new schools yesterday as well. Our morning wasn't anything like yours. It was calm, orderly, with a wonderful enthusiasm among both boys. Now for the afternoon portion of my our reality...my older son and I were arguing about really stupid shit. We were both screaming not so G rated words. Even after calming the hell down, and getting in the car to go pick up some dinner we started up again. My poor younger son was trying to tell me about his first day, and all I could say is "please don't talk to me right now because I am so angry"

It was truly a nightmare. And as soon as I end this comment I will be going to get my own rabies shot!

Suddenwidow said...

You are an amazing mom who always reassures me that my life is normal. Just when I think I'm the only household who seems to function on organized chaos in the morning, no matter how early I get up, you have me breathing a sigh of relief. Thank you. And don't worry about Liv. I happen to know a lot of wonderful public school teachers and a lot of wonderful people who graduate better for the experience. Liv will be one of them, I'm sure!

Love and hugs to you.

Mama_Bear_Sarah said...

3rd grade at our house too. but i "suck the fun out of life" and the other nite he didn't want to come down for dinner or "ever see her again" meaning me as he as he was spewing hateful words to my mom about awful mother (me). so yeah, pretty much the same stuff here. i'm all they've got so i told him to get over it and realize i'm being his parent and it's my job to make sure he eats and sleeps and poops and whatnot and yada, yada, yada. coincidentally it really burned me when my mom use to use the old line "it's my job as your parent." but somehow when i use it, it's okay.

so i'm telling you "it's okay." because it is. and we'll all be okay too someday, somewhere down the road.

Anonymous said...

Aw, the first day is hard. Emotions are high for everyone, and it inevitably leads to conflict. I'm sure that many similar scenes played out in other houses yesterday.

It sounds to me like you are doing the best you can for your family. I see no hypocrisy in that. Right now, this is the way it is. Maybe it will be different next year, maybe not. That's all.

Hawkfeather said...

on a good note- I thought at first briar had taken a dump on your computer cord.... at least that isn't your reality.

unless it was.

You have the pictures of a happy calm little girl in her pretty outfit- she will probably look at those and form a memory of how the day went anyway- and chances are- if she is like my daughter- so much will happen at school that the morning will be an after thought *for her*..

I hope she has a great day- and i hope you do to momma.. It is hard to send your kids to school- I am not a fan of the process.. I want to run in and give up pretending I am not a complete lunatic and grab my kid from the teacher and just scream *MINE* at her and well.. run away with my baby and hide..


motherhood- I sorta figure if the feelings that are stirred do not touch upon psychotic - you are probably doing it wrong.

Mel said...

Just when I thought I was the only one who had a totally cool kid that could turn into a raving lunatic at the mere mention of a simple task like getting is pajamas on...

... thanks, Jackie Supermom!

Victoria said...

That sounds just like my house!