New Grade, New Class, New School Year

So, how was your first day of school? In this 3rd grade year, I think the first day of school is starting to feel more “ordinary.” I mean, we were in a rush to get to school on time (yea, like most of the year) and in past years, we’ve always left plenty of time to stroll to the new classroom, take photos and wait around until the kids were ushered into the classroom. In past years, I always thought it’d be cute for the girls to get a “first day of school” outfit but this year, they chose to go with new jeans and old shirts they’d already had for a while. The first day jitters were still there, of course. But thankfully, the nervousness did not turn into a morning meltdown (like last year) when they found “bumps” in their new shoes that “did not feel right.”

And at school? Well, we barely arrived in time for one of my twins to walk with the rest of her class into the room. And her twin? Fortunately, her teacher greeted each student individually before each walked into the classroom. Since she was last, I was able to capture a few more images of this first day experience. I would have to wait until pickup time in the afternoon, which I did. And happily, it was a great day for both girls.

First Day of School, 3rd Grade

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

Oh, the Drama of the First Morning of School

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.

It’s All About Accessorizing…

It’s that time of the year again! School is in one week and you know what that means…back to school shopping! But I was smarter this year. I went through the girls’ closets, drawers and laundry and got a good idea of what they really needed and you know what? They grew again! Gosh darn it all. After making them stay in their bedroom to try things on for a half hour, I ended up with two kitchen-size bags full of small, worn out or won’t-wear clothes. heavy sigh  And that doesn’t include the shoes they’ve outgrown. Ugh.

The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” Olympia Dukakis, Steel Magnolias, – the theme to my shopping with Storyteller. The moment we entered any store, Storyteller made a beeline to the accessories stands. Scarves, headbands, necklaces, gloves and bracelets. If left up to her, I swear she’d wear an old pair of jeans, a non-descript t-shirt and all brand new accessories. I literally had to pull her away from the stands of shiny baubles to the racks lined with clothes. Eventually, I did…enticing her with fashion boots and shiny shoes. But of course, nothing fancy. She doesn’t want anything too fancy for school (her words). She said it’s just not like her. Gotta love a 7-year-old that knows she doesn’t want to be a fancy dresser. hahaha Someday, she may just take my fashion lead from high school and live in sweats each day…not sure if that would be a good or bad thing but hey, it saved precious time getting ready for sports practices in the afternoons.

As in the last few years, my husband and I split up our twins and shopped with each separately (admittedly, we don’t split them up often enough). From my accessorizer to my mixer & matcher, it’s always a different experience. Each has a different style and I’m always very curious to see what each picked out. Like last year, Songwriter, the mixer & matcher, chose a new dress and matching jacket for the first day of school. Storyteller, on the other hand, wanted to wear what she was wearing at that particular moment on our shopping trip for the first day of school. You may be thinking, what’s wrong with that? Well, being mom, I knew what she was thinking. She was completely distracted by the accessories just a few feet away and literally, only had eyes for those racks. Worse, I knew that when the first day of school rolled around, she would lament the fact that she didn’t get anything new or different to wear, eyeing her sister’s new outfit with sadness and envy. She would even admit it was her fault that she didn’t pick something out…but still, the regret would be there and I couldn’t stand to watch it.

At the end of our shopping trip, Storyteller told me that it was fun to split up and shop. But just so that I knew, she wanted to tell me that she missed her sister and couldn’t wait to show her everything she got…a comment which always makes me smile.

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.