Friday, August 29, 2014

First Days

School started yesterday and we're all adjusting to the new schedule.  Only the cats seem perfectly adjusted--and totally exhausted from summer days full of running up and down stairs in the opposite direction of the kiddos.  They are curled up together as I type, tired and a bit chilly from the overnight high of 60F.

Yesterday started early, with the kids awaking quite cheerfully to their alarms.  They were dressed and ready to go by 7:15. Sis immediately inquired about our traditional school "cornucopia," the Schultute. This year, instead of school supplies, candy, or little toys, we made coupons--extra 30 minutes of computer time, staying up late, their choice for dinner, movie night.  It's the tradition more than anything else, but I think they liked the coupons.

Then they helped pack their lunches, ate breakfast, and heading outside to our bus stop-cum-driveway.  Soon we were joined by a couple of other kiddos, a first grader whose grandparents speak to us in Mandarin on their daily walks (we say "ni hao" and do a lot of smiling) and a fourth grader in Sis and Bud's class who transferred schools to be in the gifted program. They all chatted happily until the bus arrived--with our same driver from last year!!

They got home similarly cheerful about eight hours later.  They liked seeing their friends and liked their new teachers--they have three of them in this program--for math, science, and writing--and even change classrooms.  I think they get their lockers today.

They had some forms for me and a get-to-know-you questionnaire for one teacher.  One of the questions was to name five wishes.  Bud said, "I wish my sister would be nice to me."

"Not gonna happen," she said.

Funny, but not always what a mom wants to hear.

They were sound asleep by 9 p.m.

The were similarly excited this morning. But my enthusiasm soon dampened a little.  The other 4th grader, a girl, at the bus stop was pushing and grabbing Bud, especially his favorite jacket, even when he said no.  I had to intervene. (Her mom had already left.)  It didn't help that Sis thought this was fun and was pushing him too.

And then, as the bus arrived, that girl called Bud a name.

I told her that was unacceptable.  It took a minute for me to realize how mean she'd been to Bud and, by then, both of them were on the bus.  I spent the morning wondering what I should have done, what I should do.  But I think the teachable moment has passed.  (I admit to emailing the teacher a heads up, since they're in the same class and I want to shut the name-calling down.)

However, if that girl says anything again . . . .

Not how I wanted school to start.

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