My oldest child had his first day of school this past week. Evan. Oh yes, Evan.
I couldn't believe that this day had come; but let me note that I really don't consider this school yet. I tell myself that real school doesn't start until kindergarten. It gets me through and I have yet to cry about him starting school.
So back to the first day. I thought I'd be more organized and prepared. I find myself too often thinking I'm going to be better organized and prepared, but the truth is, I won't be. I sure like to pretend though. I thought I'd have his clothes laid out the night before and his backpack packed with his extra change of clothes etc. Nope, I was the mom the next morning running around trying to feed both boys, remember his vaccination records, throw his new slippers into the backpack that he has to wear in the classroom, get myself dressed and presentable looking (I didn't even bother with make-up) and make sure that Evan was feeling comfortable emotionally with what we were about to go do. Never mind the fact that I had to get "first day of school" pictures. One with Evan and daddy; one with Evan and Oliver; one with Evan and myself; one with Evan by himself etc. I tried to cover all basis.
Finally, I had all the pictures taken and Evan ready to go. The thing was, I didn't want to be too early and be like the over-anxious mom, but I didn't want to be on the latter end of arrival time giving the perception that I'm an absent-minded mother...who am I kidding, they'll find the truth out eventually.
We love Evan's school and his teachers are as sweet as can be, My only worry was the big field (yes, another field) that awaited us as we exited the vehicle to go into the building. The school is on somewhat of a farm. Lots of outside activity, which is another reason we picked it. Evan loves the outside.
Anyway, Evan was too excited about school to even notice the field. Thankfully. He ran ahead of me with his little Percy the train backpack, stopped for a moment to acknowledge another child entering the building to say, "Hello, my name is Evan. I'm going to school. See ya later." Then ran ahead.
I, meanwhile, am frantically trying to follow him, holding Oliver, my camera, the papers and the tuition check. I ran through the door, having to corral Evan from running down the opposite hallway. I finally decided to put Oliver down to fend for himself so that I could get Evan situated. Oliver waddled away to check out everyone around him.
I got Evan to focus hanging up his backpack, then had to get him into wash his hands and attempted to try and get him to go potty. I knew if I didn't, there was a chance for a first day of school accident and we couldn't have that happening. First impression you know.
I couldn't get him to go and I didn't want to make a scene forcing him to go, so I left it at that. Big mistake, but we'll get to that later.
I ran after Evan as he ran out of the bathroom and attempted to get into his classroom.
"Slippers!" I called after him. He ran back to me.
I grabbed his slippers out of his backpack only to realize I never cut the tags off of them. So amidst the chaos that ensues on the first day, I'm asking the director for a pair of scissors surrounded by a bunch of excited 3-5 year-olds, while my one-year-old is amongst the crowd somewhere.
I quickly did what I had to do and got Evan's feet in the slippers, gave him a big hug (I had to ask him to come back and give it to me) and found Oliver making his way out of the girls bathroom...who knows? I collected Oliver and we left for a fun-filled morning at home together.
My stomach was in knots all morning wondering how Evan was doing. Oliver and I made banana bread and he enjoyed the luxury of having the Thomas train table all to himself. Finally, it was time to make our way back.
I joined the other parents who had already arrived and we waited outside since the kids were playing in the field, although we couldn't see them yet.
Then, there he was. On that cool, misty, grey morning, the class came trudging up the hill holding onto the rope that keeps them all together. I noticed Evan was in the front of the line next to the teacher. Oh, boy.
As they got closer, I noticed he was wearing different clothes. Oh, boy.
Then they got closer and he spotted me. He made a break for it. Oh, boy.
This caused a domino effect and the other kids also ran toward their awaiting parents while the teachers tried to call them back.
"Mommy!" Evan screamed. He was covered in freshly mowed, wet grass from head to toe. Yes, that included his brand new awesome looking dinosaur sneakers that his nana and papa had bought him.
"Did you have fun?" I asked.
He burst into tears and threw himself on the ground in the most dramatic fashion I had witnessed from him. I looked around quickly at the other kids. No other crying or drama.
"What's wrong, Evan?"
"Oh, mommy! Mumble, mumble, mumble. I don't want to go home!"
I quickly was relieved by this answer I managed to get out of him and decipher. He had a good time. Then I remembered he was in new clothes.
"Did you have an accident?"
"Yes, I got all wet."
"Well, we all have accidents. That's OK." I made a mental note that we would avoid this the next time. I just had to figure out how to get him to go potty before class.
We collected his belongings, including his wet clothes in the plastic bag, and as I went to talk to his teacher to see how he did, Evan burst through the door back out into the field. I took myself and Oliver and all of our stuff and ran after him. The director came out and offered to help, but quickly saw that he was distracting Evan even more. It was really nice of him, though.
No one else's child decided to run away. Just mine. Something about the big open spaces of green.
Eventually we made our way back inside to say good-bye and thank you and into the car.
"I had a fun day, Mommy," Evan told me as he got into his car seat. Then he started singing a song they sang in circle time. I smiled.
I think once the excitement settles down, Evan is going to do great in school.
The next morning, I made a little "song" up (really just a chant of words to a beat) that went like this: "Go into school (clap, clap), hang up our backpack (clap, clap), go potty (clap, clap), wash our hands (clap, clap), put on our slippers (clap, clap)."
We "sang" it the whole way to school until he finally said, "Mom, I dont' want to sing that anymore."
It worked though. We got into school the second day and he did everything in order, much to my relief. And when I picked him up later, he was still in the same clothes. No accidents, but he still gave an Oscar-worthy performance when I picked him up again because he didn't want to leave.
This time to get him out of the field back inside (yes, he ran away again), we had a "race" to see who could get there the fastest. I don't know if it will work this week. I'm running out of ideas and that field isn't going anywhere anytime soon.