Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day Jitters...

I know most parents are probably counting down the days until school starts, me not so much.

Usually I am the first person to raise my hand at the offer for someone to take my kids off my hands for any period of time, even if it means I can go grocery shopping in peace.  However, when I think about the impending school year I get a little anxious, worried and sad.

I’m not looking forward to leaving the lazy days of summer behind and gearing up for the morning rush that is required to get one kid on the bus and drive another to preschool. Then there is the looming realization that my daughter starts Kindergarten in the fall.  I never really understood why moms got weepy over this milestone in their child’s life.  Even up until a few weeks ago, I was still in denial about how this would affect me.  I remember very vividly the day I went back to work when Maddie was a baby and my friend and co-worker had a daughter starting Kindergarten the same day.  I’m not sure who was more beside herself: me leaving my three-month old at daycare or her putting her five-year old on the bus?  I tried to imagine what she was going through and it just didn’t translate for me.

I remember the angst I felt leaving her each day and would be fine unless I looked through the glass window into the classroom before I left.  At that point, her separation anxiety hadn’t kicked in, so it wasn’t like she was screaming and crying because I left her.  It was more because there she was doing just fine without me.  I know, I know--this is ludicrous especially after the eventual battle I had with her crying so hard she’d throw up each time I left the room from the time she was 15 months until about three-years old.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when fellow mom explained the sight of seeing your child on the first day of Kindergarten on the bus with their little face looking out the window at you as the bus drove away.  That’s when it really hit me; this is going to be like dropping her off at daycare all over again.  I’m not sure what will make me cry more when I see her little face in that bus window--a look of fear and despair or utter joy that she’s a “big kid” on the bus going to Kindergarten without me.

Then the fear of the unknown sets in.  What if the kids pick on her on the bus?  What if she has a hard time fitting in? What if she is too shy to ask to go to the bathroom? What if she doesn’t eat her lunch? What if kids are mean to her?  What if she is mean to other kids?  What if she sasses the teacher back when she tries to help her write her name like she does to me? What if she gets in trouble? What if homework frustrates her? What if she’s bad at math like me?  What if they mispronounce our last name like so many people do and she is too shy to correct them and ends up Madeline Stein for her entire school career!

And when I put it all into perspective, I know she’s going to be just fine.  She is a rule follower and would rather die than be in trouble. She’s also a social butterfly who often seeks out friends at the park and introduces herself, “Hi, my name is Madelyn.  Do you want to be my friend?” I also know that her neighborhood friends, especially her boyfriends who live on either side of us would never in a million years let anything happen to her on the bus.  She is already doing homework in her Kindergarten workbook and loves to learn new things.  I am pretty sure the only person who will get frustrated by homework will be me.  I know her teachers are paid professionals who know how to shape young minds. And as for lunch, she will only go to half-day Kindergarten and will have lunch at home. The teachers in preschool eventually figured out her name, so I’m fairly confident we can nip that in the bud as well.

In the end, I have to remember that my first-born is naturally in-love with the idea of school and will likely excel in every way.  She has already told me that her top three things that she is looking forward to at school are The Library, Art Class and the Lunchroom.  However, talk to me in two years when my son starts Kindergarten. I’ll likely be praying for full-day Kindergarten and hopeful that he won’t be the bully on the bus rather than being bullied.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Got Out Of IT!

Inquiring minds want to know: Did I have to perform a live concert on my front lawn or what?

For those of you who read my previous blog, "How Am I Going To Get Out Of This One?!" you know my daughter had the grand idea to have a concert on our front lawn where she and I would perform.  (See last entry for details).

Since then, I've had a lot of inquiries, especially from the ladies in my mom's office, as to how everything played out.  The day started out relatively hectic.  I had to sub a cycle class and teach my regular Pilates class at the gym first thing in the morning.  The kids went to our neighbors to play while I taught and I gave my neighbor very specific instructions that her job, besides watching my kids, was to convince Maddie that this concert was a bad idea.

After teaching, I was in a rotten mood because due to several technical difficulties my music for my cycle class had been a disaster.  If any of you who take spin or cycle classes, you know that good music is key and mine kept stopping and starting. On top of that, I hadn't notice that the charger for my iPhone wasn't plugged in at the wall when I plugged it in the night before and since I was constantly messing with my phone and sucking what battery I had left, it died halfway through class.  I had to sprint out of the room to find someone with a charger so I could continue to play my music, assuming I could get the applications I use on my iPhone to play my music to cooperate with me.  It occurred to me that I might have to sing to an audience after all, but instead of to my neighbors on the front lawn, it would be to my cycle participants.  Luckily I was able to eek out another half hour of music and got everything to work smoothly for my Pilates class without any major issues.
Colin using broom for his guitar solo!

When I got back to my neigbhors to picked the kids up, my neighbor informed me that some of our other friends from the neighborhood that we hang out with were coming over at 1:00 p.m. for the concert.  As luck would have it, our friend's 8 year old daughter, Marissa, is a Karaoke fanatic and was more than willing to sing with Maddie as long as she could have a solo.  I was ecstatic!  Not only would my daughter love to perform with one of her "swiends," I was off the hook!
Nick showing off his biking skills a la "America's Got Talent."
Marissa performing her solo-Call Me Maybe

At 1:00 we headed outside with our music and waited for the gang to gather.  We put Maddie's sign in the front lawn and Marissa brought some accessories and costumes for the show. The girls began planning for the show and ended up going inside to choreograph their routines and make more signs. Meanwhile the other two moms and I enjoyed some fresh air and a "cold beverage" on the front lawn.  Not something we normally do, but it was a concert and what kind of groupies would we be if we didn't party like rock stars? (and by that I mean having one vodka lemonade!)

The girls were finally finished practicing and came out to perform.  The boys wrapped up their XBox game and came out to participate as well.  The kids decided that the name of Maddie's group was the "Under Pencils Jumping Pencils."  They wrote it on the sidewalk and unfortunately every time I walked by it I thought it said, "Under Penis Jumping Penis." 

Maddie performing Life's A Happy Song
Colin decided to get in on the act and was the opening act.  He and Ethan, the boy next door, lined up several hardhats and used them as drums to perform "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.  From there Maddie and Marissa performed "I Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez, Maddie did a solo to "Life's A Happy Song" from the Muppets and the grand finale was Marissa singing "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.  Then Ethan and Nick (Marissa's brother) rode their bikes and scooters across the "stage" like the bikers on "America's Got Talent" do. The best part was all I had to do was play DJ. 
Maya-who also produced and directed the production!
Duelling helmets! Ethan and Colin
I don't think I've ever seen my daughter smile so big and I was so proud of her for having the creativity and bravery to perform in front of everyone.  I admired her ability to inspire others and do something out of the ordinary for a Wednesday afternoon.  I am also eternally grateful to my neighbor and our other friend for rallying the troops to make all my daughter's rock star dreams come true.  All-in-all a good time was had by all. Maddie's only complaint was that more people didn't show up. I told her that next time I would do a better job of publicizing her event. Jeez, what a DIVA!
Marissa and Maddie performing I Love You Like A Love Song
Grand Finale!