In the minds of a public school kindergartener, only three things will remain. How deeply you loved them. How often you told them about it. And how frequently you proved it by going to lunch with them.
I wrote an uncensored post about my outright disdain for the parents who somehow make it to lunch with their children every single week which I have submitted to Scary Mommy and if it’s picked up for run I will hear back about it on Wednesday (fingers crossed for me please friends). Even if they pass, it felt great to write specifically because I love the cathartic process of filtering all of my FEELINGS through the medium an rage-filled gnashing of keys on the keyboard until it doesn’t unsettle me quite-so-much. I know, you, my fellow bloggers feel me on that…
Anyway, I wrote that impassioned post prior to today’s meltdown of events known as WHAT THE ACTUAL YOU-KNOW-WHAT. And then today happened. A day that I had already planned to go to lunch with me kids (and did for the record, bringing pizza) and I survived what predated that thirty minutes of my life with my dignity (mostly) intact.
Here is what happened:
Little Sister (henceforth known as she-who-only-mildly-tolerates-going-to-school-even-during-book-fair-week if you get my drift) was sick last Monday and stayed home from school. She then went Tue, Wed and Thursday as school was closed for Good Friday. (Also, let the record reflect Big Sister enjoys going to school. Immensely. Even on her birthday. Naturally she attended Mon-Thur last week). Somewhere in between organized Easter Egg Hunts and then a visit from the bunny himself over the weekend it dawned on she-who-only-mildly-tolerates-going-to-school-even-during-book-fair-week that she would in fact, be returning to school on Monday. While she controlled her apprehension during the carried to school apparently at the sight of her teacher being out from school today and being placed in “Split-class” a process where, if a teacher doesn’t have substitute coverage the class is split among the other classrooms, she-who-only-mildly-tolerates-going-to-school-even-during-book-fair-week lost hope. I received a call from the schools clinic explaining that she was with the nurse after crying in the classroom for the first hour plus of her morning.
When I arrived at school I was met with those hiccup choke sobs and what I can only describe as a cautionary tale against letting a six year old have free rein over her own massive candy stockpile. She wanted me to take her home immediately, if not sooner and promptly reschedule our lunchtime visitation for tomorrow – when she was feeling more up to accepting that kind of charity. Sigh. I calmly explained that I would take her home if that is what we needed to do but I would first need to go home and make lunch for Big Sister, then drop it off for her with an explanation for my absence and that if we went this route I would not be rescheduling our lunch date. Now, I understand some people will be repulsed that I didn’t take the cues of my child and simply usher her back home to bed, thrilled that she could assert herself and her feelings and desires about school attendance today. To that I can only say, whatevs (not a word and yet I am using it here).
I gave her a separate option as she was clearly over tired and I was in no mind to go to lunch twice over the remaining thirty days of school. I would go with her and splash water on her face and take deep breaths with her until she calmed down. She would then participate fully in the remainder of instruction time before lunch and I would bring pizza and then take her and her sister home early (close to two hours off of the school day). She agreed. But not before trying to renegotiate, which I outright rejected.
In the end, when I saw Big Sister she looked overly tired and green under the gills (weird how ten bajillion pieces of miniature candies and too little sleep will produce those effects in children…) which made me that much more confident in my decision to take them both home a little early. As I sat with them at lunch, they took their time carefully chewing and enjoying our time together and I went from feeling like a total filure to feeling like I would be able to laugh at this all one day. As we were getting up from the table Little Sister pointed out a pal sitting with an adult at another table – telling me this was Name and Name’s family member who never misses a Monday at lunch with Name. Normally, I would sink down at that but confident in my own best-possible-effort, I smiled and thought Whatevs.