Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Her Permanent Record Starts Today

I do three things when I'm nervous.

Stage One: Coughing. It's a response to the slight tickle in my throat. I walk around sounding as if I were cleaning chalkboard erasers.
Stage Two: Gagging. Largely a result of the coughing. The tickle gets more intense and I start subtly retching every now and again.
Stage Three: Diarrhea. The butterflies in my stomach not only make me nauseous, but they churn whatever happens to be in my G.I. tract into pure liquid angst.

This morning I was at stage three. I sat on the floor in the closet and tried to figure out why Allie's first day at school was causing me to do things like sit on the floor in the closet. I thought about when we sent Allie to daycare for the first time. I didn't react well to that transition either.

It doesn't take me long to adjust. [You can click on the photos for a much larger image.]

Nothing is ever as bad nor is it ever as good as it seems.

I hate thinking like this but somehow these words got into my head and (more times than not) they do seem to be true. In this case, Deb wrote me an email and I immediately began to chill the hell out.

Here's part of what Deb wrote about Allie's morning:

She did fine. She was so happy and talkative when we first got there--we met up with Chris and Rochelle and their girls. She was practically hopping continuously.

We waited what seemed like a long time to make sure all the kids were there and the other lines of kindergarteners went in. Allie started leaning on me. She said she didn't know what she would do first.

I said she should take off her backpack, and that Mrs. Grady would tell her what to do, that she just needed to listen to Mrs. Grady.

As they walked in, she started to get that crumpled face thing going on but I don't think she actually started crying. She's going to be just fine.

Tomorrow should be better. I took some pictures. She's growing up, honey.

Love, Debbie

Wanna see what she had for lunch?

I took part of the afternoon off to meet Allie at her bus stop. I got there more than half an hour early. Part of the time I waited with another parent. She told me she was the chairperson of the group that put on the ice cream social last week. I don't remember if I seemed appreciative. I probably alienated her. But I was focused on other matters. Like the four buses that zoomed around our corner simultaneously.

Fortunately Allie had her face pressed against the window and when her bus stopped I immediately knew it was hers.

We walked to daycare. Allie moaned part of the way and asked me to carry her. She was tired. I refused. I even made her carry her back pack. "I won't be here tomorrow so you need to get used to carrying your things," I told her. I felt like a shitheel. I knew one day wasn't going to toughen her up enough to make a difference. But I thought I should at least clue her in to what she would be in for each day.

She had art class and music. She met a friend and doesn't seem to remember how to pronounce her name (but I'm positive she'll have it down by tomorrow). She didn't get to sleep during nap time and this pissed her off. She had chocolate milk with lunch. She played a game she made up with a girl she knew from tumbling class called, Run Around the Playground Real Fast or something like that.

Tomorrow will be just as much fun as today for Allie. Tomorrow will probably be easier for both Deb and I. Tomorrow might not even merit a mention here. Tomorrow comes way too fast.

By the way, Karina said that Julia never asked for her sister once at daycare.

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