Thursday, August 27, 2009

The First Day of Second Grade...

The alarm went off early in the morning.

I groaned and buried my head deeper into the pillow to try and stifle out the noise.

It didn't work.

If anything, my alarm became insulted that I was attempting to ignore it and grew louder.

"Okay," I mumbled. "Okay."

I sat up and turned the alarm off. Then I sort of sat there in confusion for a few minutes. What was going on? Why was I up so early again? What in the world is wrong with Heidi Montag? Is it inappropriate that my daughter says, "Sooo Meaty!" since I allow her to watch The Soup on the E! channel?

At least the answer came to me for one of my questions:

Why was I up so early again? Oh right. Tommy. School. First day.

I forced myself out of bed and stumbled to pull out a pair of what I dub 'comfy pants.' Comfy pants are basically the bottoms of those jogging outfits. I have them in a variety of colors: pink, black, brown, purple and when I'm feeling exceptionally bold, white. I always pair that with t-shirt. I try to match but sometimes that just doesn't happen. That morning I made an effort to match because I knew I'd be taking Tommy to the bus stop and I didn't want to embarrass him.

Then I walked over to Tommy's room and threw open the door. He bolted right up from his bed.

"Is it time? Am I going to school today? Second grade! Do you think I'll have homework? Hi Max the Cat, good morning! I'm excited about wearing my brand new shoes. Will they really make me run faster?" He shot off questions, one after the other while I stood there staring blankly at him with my mouth agape. I've never understood how he had so much energy in the morning.

"Happy first day of second grade," I managed to croak out because I don't want my son's memories of me to be that of a half-dead mother who shuffled around the house in a half asleep stupor.

"Thanks!" Tommy said brightly and jumped out of bed. Because he's my kid he nearly went sprawling to the ground but then he regained his balance. Then he went over to his clothes, which I had left folded on top of his toy chest that I know he'll eventually be too old for. It's blue with a teddy bear on it and I know one day he'll say, "Mom. This needs to go. I'm not a baby anymore."

I settled down on Tommy's bed while he got dressed.

"Don't see my underwear!" he sang and I promptly shut my eyes.

A few minutes later he told me I could open them again.

"Mommy?" he said. "I SAID open your eyes!" He came over and pulled my arm.

Oh. Crap. I had nearly fallen asleep.

Then we headed downstairs and I asked what cereal he wanted. He tapped his chin as though this were an important decision.

"Froot Loops," he finally decided.

I poured him a bowl and brought it over to the table. Then I got him a glass of water and sat down.

"Aren't you going to eat?" Tommy asked.

I rubbed my eyes. "Mommy's stomach is still asleep. I'll eat when it wakes up," I replied.

I really really wish that I liked coffee. I think coffee would help the mornings. But I've never gotten a taste for it. I've tried a variety of flavors and none of them have stuck. I usually get my caffeine in the form of diet sodas but I don't allow myself to have one until lunch.

Tommy ate in silence for a few minutes. Then he cocked his head to the side, chewing thoughtfully. "Will I be on the same playground as first grade?" he wondered.

"I think so," I answered. At the Back to School night I had peeked out the window and it looked like it was the same playground as before.

Tommy sighed. "Oh darn," he muttered.

We took pictures before we headed to the bus stop:

(For fun, here are pictures of him on his first day of Kindergarden and first grade respectively..)

After pictures, I walked him to the bus stop which is just across the street. Usually he walks to it himself but I wanted to be there on his first day. He held my hand at first but when we approached the bus shack, he abruptly dropped it. He said hello to a few of his friends and I said hello to the other mother that was standing there. She was actually dressed in jeans and a t-shirt with her hair neatly brushed.

Crap! Did I forget to brush my hair?

I heard the mother say to her daughter, "Did you enjoy your big breakfast?" and the little girl nodded her head. "I love bacon!" she said happily.

I know some parents cook their kids big breakfasts on the first day. I served my kid cereal. From a box. I looked down at Tommy, who was kicking a rock with his shoe.

"Hey Tommy?" I said softly. "You don't mind that I didn't make you eggs, do you?"

He shook his head. "You'd probably burn them," he said kindly. He wasn't being mean, just speaking the truth.

"Well, I hope you have a great first day," I said, rubbing his head. He allowed me to do this for a few seconds but then moved away so that my hand was left stroking the air. Tommy gives me subtle signs that he's growing up and I know it's inevitable, but it doesn't make it sting less.

"If anyone is mean to you," I whispered. "You tell an adult."

Most kids are pretty nice to Tommy. But there are some, who I've dubbed Little Shits, who make fun of the way he runs awkwardly and the fact that he wags his fingers when he gets excited.

"I will," Tommy assured me but I knew it was unlikely. Tommy has been known to take the cruel jabs and then burst into tears. Sometimes I've heard him shout, "Stop it! You're being mean!" which only causes the brats to laugh. I once witnessed this in our front yard and it took all my might not to stomp out there and spin the brats around the yard by their ankles roughly or take them by their ears and drag them to their homes and demand to know what kind of parent would allow such behavior.

Then Blake, the World's Most Annoying Kid, bound over to us.

"Hi Tommy's Mom!" he said even though I've asked him more than a hundred times to call me Miss Amber.

"Hi," Tommy and I both said in unison. Blake is actually pretty nice to Tommy which is why I tolerate him. But sometimes the Little Shits try to drag Blake away from Tommy just to be mean.

"Why are you here, Tommy's Mom?" Blake asked.

I shrugged. "Ask God, I guess," I replied.

Blake screwed up his face. "What?" Obviously my lame joke went right over his seven-year-old head.

"It's Tommy's first day. I wanted to be here," I explained.

"Why? That makes no sense," Blake said.

Oh geez. It was too early to get into it with Blake. Conversations with Blake could take hours. The kid just doesn't give up.

"I just wanted to see Tommy off since it's his first day of second grade," I tried again. Then I heard the rumble of the bus approaching and knew I was safe. Thank goodness!

I tried to give Tommy a hug but he quickly pulled away.

"Mom." He shot me a Look as he got in line.

Oh. Right. The growing up thing.

"You have a great first day," I said primly even though what I really wanted to do was burst into tears and pull him against my chest and cry into his blond hair. How did you get so big? How are you seven? Weren't you just a baby yesterday???

I waved as he climbed on the bus and waved some more as the bus pulled off and sputtered down the street. I still waved even when the bus was out of sight and then realized that I better stop, that people might be staring out the window and wondering what the Crazy Lady with the Crazy Hair was doing.

I came back inside where Tom was waiting with Natalie, who seemed a little sad that her playmate was gone.

"Brother at school?" she asked me sadly.

I sighed. "Yes. Brother is at school," I replied as my heart tugged.


  1. what a handsome fellow you have! and honey.. i feel so bad that you don't have a taste for coffee... b/c if i didn't... eeecchh... not sure what would become of me!!

  2. That is a nice way to approach the first day - good for both of you! (even if you didn't brush your hair)

  3. AWW! He's got so much charisma. I hope he has a wonderful first day!

  4. aw...what a sweet pair of kids you're raising!

  5. love the pics & the retrospective. i am not a morning person either it's hard when school starts up. Hope his first day was wonderful & his whole school year goes well.

  6. I don't have to go through this until next year, and I'm already dreading it!

  7. I'm so looking for some "comfy" pants...I walk my kids to school everyday....
    Fruit Loops is the breakfast of CHAMPS didn't they tell you!!! Who likes bacon and eggs anyway?

  8. I hope Tommy had a wonderful first day of second grade! :)

  9. I feel your pain! My daughter is in high school this year, my middle son in junior high, and my youngest is in his last year of elementary school. Our babies grow up way to fast! And by the way, I wear my pajamas to take my kids to school, and I never brush my hair, and I never cook bacon and eggs. In fact, my kids wake me up when it's time to leave, and I crawl out of bed and go just as I am. My kids have turned out okay (I think), so I say, forget all those mom's who do things the other way!

  10. I can honestly say that i have NEVER seen a kid more enthusiastic in his/her first day of school pictures. What a joy to wake up to that enthusiasm every day. I hope he had a wonderful first day. (BTW, Tommy is absolutely adorable!)

  11. This is making me cry. My oldest is going to kindergarten and soon and very soon I will be putting him on a bus. My baby on a bus to school....

    can no longer type tears.... so many tears

  12. Aw... I am probably a thousand miles away and I could feel Natalie's mournfulness in "Brother at school?"

    I hope Tommy had a great first day of school - and I hope you write and write and write well after Tommy has completed school altogether. Your blog is always a great read - sweet or sour.

  13. first of all, why would you put jeans on unless you had to go somewhere for real, like an appointment or something. sweatpants, youga pants, whatev, everyday. second of all, i am actually a chef and my kids are lucky if they get a poptart in the morning, let alone cereal. eggs and bacon, never. third of all, i think that's it, except that i hope tommy has a wonderful first day of school. he's so cute!

  14. He looks so excited for school! I hope he had a great day! And comfy pants? OF COURSE COMFY PANTS!

  15. I love the pictures! (Especially the second one. Did you *tell* him to pose? It's perfect.) Ahhh, the Little Shits. There's always one of them.

    Hope Tommy (and you!) had a great first day!

  16. Awwww. You choked me up. Tommy's gonna rule the school!!

  17. Wow, major flashback for me-- mine are all grown up now. We always took their pictures on the first day of school in the hall in front of the door. It was sort of a de facto measurement, and you could see how much they'd grown each year without making a federal case out of it! Tommy's SO appealing and adorable. I hope he LOVES every minute of second grade!

  18. what a good mom you are. the minute my kids were both dropped off, i ran off with a group of mom's to celebrate the first day of school! woo hoo free time!! I'm terrible, no tears, just big big smiles!

  19. Ok, I just caughty a glimpse out of a window of the future. I don't even want to think about that firsty day off to school :(

  20. I read this at work today and have been waiting all day to get home so that I could comment and tell you how much I liked it.

    My wife went through much the same thing as her son grew up. He's now a marvellous boy and we can see the adult he's going to be before long. It's a privilege to experience. :)

  21. It's early Friday morning here in the UK. I am ready for the journey to the office but had a few minutes to spare. I'll check Google Reader, I thought, and the first one to read was your blog. I'm latish now 'cause I just had to read the whole post. I loved the pictures of Tommy but my heart went out to you as I remembered how I felt the first day my son left for big school.

  22. awwww bittersweet, huh? i feel the same...and bacon?? who's she trying to impress? i hope he's having a blast in second grade!!

  23. That's meaty!

    He looks as happy and excited as you made him sound! It's so great when they love school.

  24. Yeah. . . the growing up thing. . .

    It stinks!

  25. Tommy is cute and I can't wait to hear about his first day at 2nd grade

  26. *sigh* Just wait until third grade. It only gets worse from here. They just get stinkier, and more independent! And you love them more!

  27. Tommy is adorable but SERIOUSLY what IS wrong with Heidi Montag?!?!

  28. tommy is oh so cute!
    love the pics ;)

    little shits...ha, love it!
    hope he had a great first day!

  29. I wish I could get to his level of excitement to come to work everyday. I really do.

  30. Awww Tommy looked so handsome for his first day!!!

  31. Tommy looked ready for school just jumping with energy. I noticed there's no picture of Mommy. LOL! It's tough when kids start to pull away from us - it's a sign of growing up, but it doesn't hurt any less.

  32. He is such a cutie! I love the poses =)

  33. I liked your crazy hair lady comment. I worry about getting a ticket with how crazy that I look sometimes with my baggy hubby sweats, unbrushed hair, and flip flops. I can not even imagine my mug shot if the cops took one.

  34. I was cracking up that your stomach is still sleep.That is so me.Cereal,poptarts or toast it is for my daughter! lol Something fast b/c i'm so not a morning person! lol They say they need the sugar anyhow for their brain to get a get-up in the morning,so there you go!! lol I take my daughter to school every morning and I usually brush my hair or I will look like the Lion King,ummm,brush my teeth noooo!! lol I wear flip-flops all year long! lol So your not alone w/ all this and I cryed like a baby on her first day.Even though it was a break for me,I don't get it! lol Anyhoo,cute pics.

  35. Tommy looks ecstatic in those pictures! I'm with you on the morning breakfast thing, by the way. I'm not only not a morning person, but I can't stand most breakfast foods either. My kids get cereal, or muffins, or fruit. I think they are still turning out just fine, despite the fact that I do not make them home-made pancakes or freshly scrambled eggs.


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