I should have known it was too good to be true. Yesterday, Charlotte’s first day of school, went so smoothly. She didn’t cry when I dropped her off in the morning or after lunch; she walked home for lunch at a normal speed instead of at a snail’s pace and easily ate up her entire meal before we had to leave to go back for the afternoon. Penelope was happy and interactive all morning, as I tried to keep her entertained so that she would nap in the afternoon. She fell asleep in the stroller on the way home from the lunch drop-off, and stayed that way even as I took her out of the stroller, changed her diaper, and put her down in the crib. She slept until we had to leave to pick Charlotte up again. Charlotte seemed to have had a good day at school, and her teacher even told me about what a good listener she was in class. The day couldn’t have gone any better. I tried to smother any feelings of self-congratulation about it, sensing that not every day would go as well. And of course, I was right.
When Penelope woke up crying at 5:30am and I was treated to the pleasure of crawling out of bed in the dark, with a throbbing sinus headache as an added bonus, I knew that I was in for a different kind of day today. I walked into Penelope’s room and was greeted with an early-morning poopy diaper (the first of many- we are now at five poopy diapers, and it’s only early afternoon). Charlotte soon wandered upstairs, asking, “Why are you up so early, Mommy? I’m still tired.” Yeah, me too, kid.
I managed to get everyone dressed, packed, and ready to go. When we arrived at the school yard, it was utter chaos. Since they are staggering the start days for all the kindergartners, there were twice as many kids there today as there was yesterday- and it showed. Still, though, there was no crying as I left her for the morning, and Penelope and I went for a nice walk. When we got home, I walked into the kitchen to get Penelope’s formula ready, only to find the kitchen floor covered in garbage. Barkley had somehow opened the cupboard door where the garbage is, and tore up the bag, strewing vegetable peelings and tissues all over the place. So Penelope’s feed was delayed while I cleaned up that mess.
I finally got her formula ready and got her set up in her high chair. I went downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, and came back upstairs to this:
NOOOOO!!! She is not supposed to sleep in the morning!! She is pretty much down to one nap a day, and seeing this made me worry that it would be her only nap of the day. As I’m writing this, I have put her down and am ignoring her whimpering cries of protest.
So she dozed in her high chair until shortly before we left to pick up her sister for lunch. Charlotte came running out of the school, gave me a big hug, and we started to head home. We had taken about two steps before she starting sobbing because she left her hat in her classroom. I weighed my options- do I try to make my way to the classroom with a crying Charlotte and a cranky Penelope to track down her hat or do I continue to head home and hope the storm will pass? I debated for about a millisecond before choosing the latter. We are pressed for time as it is to walk home, eat lunch, and walk back before the afternoon session starts, so we had to forge on. I basically had to drag Charlotte the entire way home, tears streaming down her face and sobs hiccuping out of her. We got home and she flung herself onto the couch, too distraught for food.
I wound up having to bribe her with a bowl of ice cream (yes, I know, bad mama) to get her to calm down and eat her lunch. I tried asking her about her morning, and got NO response- she just stared at me blankly as if she didn’t understand what I was saying. I am undecided as to whether or not this was an improvement over my attempt yesterday to find out how her day was going. After she had eaten about half her sandwich, the blank look disappeared from her eyes, and she told me this story: “Do you know what happened at school today, Mommy? Someone pooped all over the school! The floor and the desks and the walls and the children were covered in poop and the teacher had to clean it up!” Ummmm, ok. No idea what to make of that.
The afternoon drop off was fine, except for a somewhat cranky Penelope and the crowded chaos that is the kindergarten playground. I wonder what awaits me for the rest of the day. Will Penelope nap? Will Charlotte remember her hat this afternoon? And will something please, please work to make this sinus headache go away?!