August 20, 2007

Things you have to do but just don't want to...

... send your baby off to school.

I've survived the older two, they started third grade and first grade today. They are old pros now, skating in like they own the place. Poor Mac, struggling to get to sleep last night, so frustrated, said, "But, Mom! I've known Mrs. Payne (her teacher this year, who was her brother's pre-k teacher a couple of years ago) for years!! I'm not *nervous*!" Michael had his own issues yesterday evening, dealing with the anxiety and excitement that permeates the night before the first day of school. He finally settled down, quite well, I might add, and managed a pretty good night's sleep and an even more spectacular day today.

But, Nat. My baby. I have to let her go. Poor thing. We've built this and built this all summer... her going to school with the 'kids' in August. We found out a few days ago that she wouldn't exactly start at the same time. She had to go this morning to schedule her "Pre-K Assessment"... so, we explained this to her. That she would be taking a test on Monday, then hanging out with Steve for the rest of the day and Tuesday, and will make her big start on Wednesday. Much to our surprise, she wasn't really too disappointed. And when, last night, she woke up just inconsolable, crying in her sleep, only to be comforted in the knowledge that Steve wouldn't leave her side all day today. She told me she was scared. Of taking her test. She's only *four*!!!

So, as I'm running through the list with Steve last night (he *is* a guy, after all)... make sure Michael's hair is brushed... do you know where the bands are for Nat's hair?... teeth cleaned... what's for breakfast? He smiled and commented that he likes it when I go into my 'panicky mother' mode (really... he ain't seen nuttin'!!). Then, he explains to me that he has earned this with Nat. He has put in the hard time and by gosh, this is his!

And he's right, you know. She was eighteen months old when he came into our lives. The older two had their adjustment periods, but, generally, have been fine. Nat, on the other hand, really wasn't even talking when he appeared. Thank goodness! Because I can only imagine the vile that would have spewed from her little mouth. Let's just say that there was a lot of grunting, moaning and growling coming from her in his general direction. And now? Well, they are inseparable.

For the last (almost) nine years, I've had a baby at home, or at least someone who needed full-time care. Wednesday, that comes to an end. And that school will never be the same...

Go get 'em girl! Make us proud!!!!