Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Slightly Adulterated

The first day of school around here was an unadulterated success...at least for the children.

It was Em's last first day of elementary school. (Where did you go, time? WHERE?) She got the teacher she wanted, though she would have been happy with either of them, really, because she's easy that way, and because the sixth-grade teachers at our school are both great. She's more or less with all the kids she'd hoped to be with, with a couple of exceptions, and not with all the kids she'd hoped not to be with, with a couple of exceptions. Those exceptions aren't flustering her much, however, because she's easy that way, too. And besides. She's a sixth grader. She RULES THE SCHOOL, MOM. Nothing can bring her down.

It was pretty cute, though, how she was nervous all last night, and into this morning, unable to eat any breakfast. As soon as we stepped on campus, however, it disappeared. We pushed through the crowds around the class-assignment boards (nothing like waiting until the LAST SECOND to give us any information), she saw where she was placed, and she barely broke stride as she ran away from us, calling, "I know where I'm going, you guys don't have to come with me" over her shoulder.

Of course, after we dropped N off in his classroom (more on that in a sec), Baroy and I tracked down her classroom and stood outside it peering in with the rest of the helicopter parents. Baroy even snapped a couple of pictures of her through the classroom window, prompting her to stare fixedly ahead, pretending she'd never met us before in her life. (Embarrass preteen on first day of school...CHECK!)

As for Mr. N...He was not looking forward to this day. In fact, his "worst" during our dinnertime "best and worst" sessions has not varied since the last day of school in June: "My worst is that I have to go to second grade on September second." This past week or so, he's taken to adding, at various times of the day or night, things like "I wish the school would blow up," and "If I had fairy godparents, I would wish for them to blow up the school."


And so we addressed the fears of second grade, and talked about the ways in which it would be just like first grade, and the things he would get to do this year, and he ignored us completely. "But if I had fairy godparents..."

So we were unsurprised when, after helping him into his second-grade classroom with the requested supplies (which included a ream of copy paper that weighed more than he does), he began to cry when the teacher asked all the parents to leave the room. Baroy and I left with heavy hearts, both of us a little teary eyed ourselves.

Well, to be more accurate, Baroy was a little teary eyed. I was a little teary eyed and a lot homicidal, thanks to a little girl who exclaimed loudly to her mother not just once but twice as we walked up to the classroom, "Oh, no! Please don't tell me *N* is in my class again!"

[It would have been inappropriate for me to get right up in her face and snarl, "Well, he wouldn't be in your class if you hadn't been held back in first grade and had to repeat it last year, would he, you little brat," right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Dang.]

And for the record, no, I have no idea where that came from. There has never been a single instance of my kid bothering or arguing with or basically even speaking to any other child in his class, so that little girl can just kiss my easily offended ass.

Still, Baroy didn't hear her, and neither--apparently--did N, so it didn't upset either of them. And that's really what's important; I can take it (in theory...) as long as N doesn't have to.

In any case, the tears and the sadness were apparently short-lived, because when we arrived to pick N up, he came running toward us, yelling, "Mrs. S is the best teacher in the whole wide universe, and I LOVE second grade!" And he then spent the next 20 minutes, while we waited for Em's dismissal bell, regaling us with stories of the games he played with his friend J (who sadly isn't in his class this year, much to my and J's mother's chagrin) at recess, and the pictures he drew, and all the kids from last year who are in his class again, and all the kids from kindergarten who are in his class again, and so on and so on...grinning the whole time. And tonight, his "best" was having the best teacher ever and getting to go to second grade. Not a single mention of hoping the school would blow up.

Adulterated, unadulterated...I call that success.


Anonymous said...

Hooray! I love these start of school success stories. Seriously, elementary school is like the jungle. And it ain't easy, is it? But it sounds like Em and N are off to a great start.

I hope you and Baroy managed to have a good day as well, what with all the worry and anticipation...

Meg said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better and that the first day of school went so well. Clearly that mean little girl had no impact on N. At this age, little girls tend not to like little boys.

Any political commentary?

po said...

If that's all the adulteration the first day of school had to bear, I'd call it a rousing success! :) So glad it went so well, and I hope they both have a great year!

Green said...

Maybe that bitchy little left-back girl doesn't like N because he gets a lot of smiles and positive feedback from school staff and she doesn't.

What a little shit. I hope she trips and falls in front of everyone.