So, how’d your First Day of School go? Ours was, well, not nearly as smooth as I’d hoped…despite the early preparations. My girls’ First Day jitters began the Friday morning before the first Monday of school in our household. It manifested itself into quite a dramatic first Monday morning. Ugh.
So, the Friday morning before school, my girls had laid out their outfits for the coming Monday. Back to school clothes shopping was done and new clothes were in their closets and drawers. Were they just a tiny bit excited to start school again? Oh yes, I think they were.
Sunday afternoon. Storyteller opens up all her packages of school supplies. She sharpens all the pencils and organizes them into her new pencil box then packs them into her backpack. The only thing missing? Her lunchbox in the morning.
Sunday evening before school. My husband patiently waits for our girls to change into their pajamas and get into bed before he starts reading a book. Storyteller decides to try on the outfit she had laid out just before she hops into bed. I come up to kiss them good night.
“Mommy!” Storyteller commands with a disturbed look on her face. “This doesn’t feel right!” she says.
“What do you mean? You tried it on in the store, you look so cute!” I replied.
“No, Mommy, it doesn’t feel right here…or here…or here. I don’t want to wear this!” she cries. I try to calm her down. I tell her to wear one of the new shorts or skirts I got for her. She hurriedly goes through her drawers and pulls out a skirt.
“What’s this, Mommy?! I didn’t know the skirt was like this! I don’t like it!” she continued.
I could just feel my blood pressure rising. She needed to get into bed. It was past bedtime already. Somehow, my husband intervened and got them both to climb into bed. As I left the room, I could hear Storyteller mutter, “This is going to be the WORST first day ever!” Uh oh.
First Monday morning of school. I wake up the girls. Songwriter pops out of bed, excited to put on her new dress for school. I encourage Storyteller to get out of bed and get dressed.
“This is going to be the WORST first day ever!” Storyteller says as she lays there, refusing to get out of bed.
“Mommy! The buttons don’t button here. What’s wrong with it?!” Songwriter [yes, Songwriter] complains. I tell her that’s the style. The buttons are just for show and don’t actually button up. She throws an instant fit. She starts screaming. “Mommy! You have to fix it! You have to make button holes, Mommy! Now! Mommy! Mommy!…” the screaming chant continues while Storyteller moans about it being the WORST first day ever and how she’s not getting out of bed.
I could feel my blood pressure rise. I leave the room and go to our bedroom. “Honey, could you please get our girls out of bed? I need to make their lunches downstairs,” I said, exasperated and almost empty of patience.
He quickly replies, “Don’t worry, Honey. I got ’em.” That confident, sure tone mellows me out and I head down to the kitchen.
I was determined to not let my angry frustration get the best of me. I decided not to think about how we made the girls try things on in the store before we bought them. I pushed the images aside of me leading Storyteller away from the shelves of accessories to look at the racks of clothes in the stores as we back-to-school shopped. And in the back of my mind, I knew that it was just nerves underlying their emotional outbursts…but I had to get out of that room.
About 15 minutes later, both girls came downstairs, happy as clams. Both wore new outfits – Songwriter in the original dress she chose and Storyteller wearing something different from her original plan but still new. They sat down to breakfast, happy to see their new lunch boxes and ready to eat breakfast.
Yea, my husband worked his Pappa magic. He had our girls sit on his lap as he told stories of how nervous he was for the first days of school when he was a kid. They love their Pappa stories. I knew he could do it…just like I knew I wouldn’t. My mind was already fast-forwarding to making their lunches and getting breakfast ready. And besides, they pull my heartstrings unlike their Pappa. Certain things work with me that don’t work on him…and vice versa. Handing them off to Pappa was definitely the best move. After all, it was the first day of school.
Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.