The kindergarten struggle continues.
Monday marked the first day of care rider line drop off. If you’ve never been in an OC car rider line let me assure you that it’s serious business. But I will get to that.
We’d prepped all weekend-my girl and I. “Mama will drop you off. You’ll go inside. Do you remember where to go?” No matter how many times I asked she answered no. So 86 times I repeated, “turn right at the pretty tree-show me your right. Good girl. Once you turn right look for the big K and turn right again. Then you will see a big W. That’s your class! You can do this.” After the 83rd time my assurances probably started to ring false. I wasn’t feeling so hopeful.
Monday morning I made a sign that read: I belong to Ms. Wayne in kindergarten. I showed it to my little bug and explained that she could hand it to any adult she saw if she couldn’t remember her way. We tucked it in the side pocket of her boot-bad.
As luck and poor planning would have it we were 3 minutes late leaving the house. 3 minutes=49 cars. 48 of them pissy and irritable about being in the car rider line at 7:23 am.
We inched along-me quizzing little bug about her route. I showed her the policemen directing everyone into the looooooonnnnngggggg line. I pointed out all the people in front of us and behind us. I explained we had to hurry so we didn’t make people mad. To ease her woes I let her unbuckle and hug me from the back seat. Inch by inch we made our way to the front. Inch by inch she repeated “I no dude ‘dis mama. I no no where ta go.” Inch my inch my heart sank. Inch by inch my sweat glands cranked up.
5 cars. 4 cars. I look back. She’s holding her sign and looking doubtful and terrified. 3 cars. SHIT. Forgive the language but it’s all I could think. “I no dude ‘dis mama.” My voice went into falsetto as I assured her she could do it and she would do it. 2 cars. Big girl is in the front seat already irritating me because she insists on keeping her 58 pound bookbag ON while sitting in the seat. When starts whining,”she’s not going to do it mom. She’s not. And everyone is going to freak out and I’ll be late to school.”
“SHE WILL DO IT. She has to do it,” 2 cars. “Aren’t you baby?”
1 car. I am almost hyperventilating. Big girl is working herself up to a tizzy and little girl is clutching her sign like its a life raft and she’s adrift at sea.
It’s go time! “Here we go baby!!! You got this!” Molly McSunshine-that’s what I sounded like. Either that are a freaked-out-crazed-car-rider-mom. Both are deranged and slightly scary.
That’s it. No. “You can do this. Be brave. Come in Sadie-girl. We have to do this.”
“MOM! People are waiting and getting mad!!!!” Hormonal girl in the front is not helping. I shot daggers her way and turn to give my full attention to the little one in the back. I plaster s grin on my face. No telling now terrifying that looked. “Baby…I know it’s scary but you can do this. You can. Teachers are there to help you. Remember-tree-K and W. C’mon.”
“You are NOT helping,” I scream-oh yeah-like that’s helping anyone-me screaming. I slam the car in park ignoring the evil stares and glares I am getting and hustle around to the passenger rear door. Like Hercules I fling open the door.
Tiny-tot is sitting there clutching her to sign to her chest. Her eyes are huge. I imagine mine are too. “Baby we have to do this.”
“No. I no’d can do ‘dis,”
“Your school doesn’t start for 25 minutes. STOP!” I shriek. I back it down 10 decibels and say to little one,”Yes. You. Can. Do. This.”
I reach in to help the stubborn one out. She goes limp. Big girl wails from the front. Back seat girl is like a limp dishrag…I can’t get a grip. Literally or figuratively. I am not strong enough to lift her. I am not getting death threat stares from the over-caffeineted people behind me. I give one more heave and…out pops girl, booster seat, booster seat liner, McDonald’s toys, old French fries and a shoe.
Picture this. I am standing in the curb I a stupid outfit (a whole ‘nother blog) a puddle of a girl still holding a sign, a booster seat and car trash at my feet. Cars are zooming by like we are at pit road of a nascar race. I am tempted to do a single fingered wave to a few of them but I am humiliated enough.
Oh wait. The humiliation isn’t over. The diva is freaking out like she’s late to her own wedding. Kindergarten girl is stubbornly sitting on the curb and I am totally losing my mind. “SHUT UP,” I scream to diva. “C’mon,” I urge and try and lift up the sloth. She’s all wrapped up in her booster seat and we almost tumble to the ground trying to dislodge her.
The mom-embarrassment-adrenaline kicks in. I pick up two-ton kick that booster into the backseat and threaten the panicked princess all in one swoop. From the corner of my eye I see a duo of teachers talking just inside the front door of the school. Help has arrived. Finally.
“You ARE doing this. We have to,” I help her uncrease her sign that got rumpled in the tussle, dust the asphalt off her bum and give her a gentle push toward the door where there are teachers—talking teachers-but at least they are adults. I make eye contact and mouth HELP to one of them. She nods. She doesn’t quit talking and come our way but she does nod. I take that as my que.
The gentle push propels her forward. I seize the space between is to get to my side of the car. I practically slide across the hood like Bo Duke.
My tires practically squeal as I drive away.
I thought her squished little face with the alligator tears would be the worse thing I had to deal with this school year.
Seeing my little one standing there, forlorn, on the curb, holding a sign reading, I belong to Ms Wayne in kindergarten, totally trumps the pitiful face.
This kindergarten stuff is hard.