trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “kindergarten”

My pseudo long, lost daughter

This past Tuesday I was given the honor of chaperoning the annual PLD Kindergarten Class Trip 2013. Please…hold your applause (for now at least). It really wasn’t that big a deal. Pretty much everyone asked to  chaperone picked but still, for me it’s the little things in life (LOL).

So at 8:50am me and some hot mama chaperones (Mrs. Mayor and Hot T-ball Mom) boarded the big, yellow school bus for our destination Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Pt. Pleasant, NJ (Yay Jersey Shore!!).

Oh, I jumped ahead of myself, before boarding the bus, we were each assigned a list of “monkeys” (the kids we would be chaperoning). Mrs. Mayor and HTM were each given 4 kids while I hit the jack pot with just my kid J (the quiet twin) and his friend L.

YES!! Only 2 kids how great is that??!!  I thought. You see, I was just a tad bit nervous about this whole chaperone thing….because….well….I am not really good with kids.

Yes, I know, I have 4 but they are mine. I carried them for 9 months and gained 80lb, 50lb and 50lb respectively. They belong to me and I am obligated to love and care for them – JUST KIDDING – I love my kids but they are MINE.

And being mine they “get me” and know what they can/can not get away with. My boys know all my “looks” and that when I call their name using a certain tone that they are in BIG TROUBLE.

I shared my concerns about chaperoning with the husband and he said not to worry and  stay close to HTM (she’s a teacher in real life) and everything would be fine.

Finally the 2 school buses were loaded with 73 kindergarten kids and off we went.

Have you even been on a school bus with 40-something 5-6 year olds on a class trip??? If you have not been lucky enough to experience it, I really don’t know how to accurately describe the noise level.

I guess it was equivalent to when Mrs. Jeter and I had floor seats to Bon Jovi back in 2001 and could barely hear ourselves for the 2 plus hours we were there.

Holy crap can those kids yell!!! OMG it never stopped. Between that, the annoying dad chaperone who thought it was “fun” to do knock-knock jokes the ENTIRE ride and L and S who could not stop hitting/kicking/touching it was a long ride and this mama was missing her coffee.

Finally we arrived at the aquarium and the teacher Mrs. P told us we had to break up into groups of 17 (wtf??). I had just started gathering my stuff to get off the bus when I heard Mrs. P call my name. Uh oh…

Mrs. L?? One of our mommies did NOT show up to chaperone so I am giving you 2 kids from the am class in addition to the 2 you have. That’s ok right? Oh, by the way, they are 2 girls – Sam and Karis.


Mrs. Mayor and HTM laughed (a lot) as we tried to get our 17 kids to stand in a line. It was like herding cats getting these kids to not only stand but form a line. Here are some highlights:

L stand on the white line, no the white line in front of you…it’s right there. No, S you can not sit on the ground, you need to stand up, stop crab-walking. J get back in line, no the white line. S stop touching L. Boys and girls can we all stand in a straight line??? Please??? and finally Hey! whoever does not stand on the white line has to go back on the bus!

Mrs. P then told us that we had some time to kill and that we could either take our groups on the beach or walk the board walk. We unanimously picked beach.

O-M-G was I really on the beach???? Us moms were trying to take it all in. The beach, the salt air and the sun while also looking around for any visible damage leftover from Hurricane Sandy.

Just as I was trying to take a picture of myself with the ocean in the background (to post on FB of course) Mrs. P walked Sam and Karis over to me. Girls, this is Mrs. L you make sure you stay with her today ok? Yes they chanted in unison.

When I looked down at them to say hi, I was drawn to Karis. She was THE cutest little thing!! Long, brown hair with the sides pinned up wearing cute pants. Her smile was huge and she had big brown eyes and was always smiling. You could just tell she was a sweet girl and would be a pleasure to chaperone – unlike L who was throwing sand.

I was commenting to Mrs. Mayor how cute she was when Mrs. Mayor said ha, she could be like the daughter you never had.

OMG that was it….Karis was the epitome of what I always thought my little Ava/Hanna/Grace/Abby/Bryn would look like and grow up to be. I was smitten ❤

Throughout the field trip I watched all my “kids” but always kept my eye on J (because he was mine) and Karis (because she was supposed to be mine). I watched her interact with the other kids, touch the starfish and squeal with delight when Lucy the Seal came out to say “Hi.”

During lunch I had to help her open her water and she was telling me all about her new little brother and her little sister and how her aunts and cousins and grandparents are staying with her in her house – but they don’t live there all the time. SOOOOO freakin’ cute.

It was such a change from the Lego, Ninjago, poop and Skylander talk me and my men have.  I love my boys and would never trade them n in but I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have had just 1 girl.

Someone to dress up in pink and take for manicures and to the mall. Someone who would never “leave” me the way all boys eventually do when they get married and start their own lives.

I am often asked if I will ever “try for the girl” and my answer is NO! that shop is closed tight!! God has a plan for me and it did not involve girls – although I did give it my all (lol).

73 kids waiting patiently in line

73 kids waiting patiently in line

My Quiet Twin

My Quiet Twin

Summer is almost here!

Summer is almost here!

Derek & the Rainbow Sock Monkey

Derek the Bear

For those of you who don’t know,  I have twin boys who started kindergarten this past September. It was a big step for all of us and I am happy to report that me we have adapted rather well.

I am lucky that the twins don’t come home with a lot of homework – that was a HUGE concern/dread of mine. I just could not fathom coming home from work, making dinner and then dealing with homework (I know….I will have to deal at some point).

So imagine my surprise when M brought home Derek (the Yankee baseball bear) a couple of weeks ago for the weekend. M ran off the bus yelling Mommy, Mommy I FINALLY got to take Derek home!!

He was SO excited as he pulled Derek from his backpack (Derek’s not M’s) and shoved him in my face in the middle of the driveway. MOM, hug Derek! Don’t you love him?

Ummm, yeah sure, Derek is great I said trying to steer M and J toward the van. Mom, Mom, Mommy, I can’t wait to let Derek meet Bear and I am gonna bring him all over and …..

M was cut off by the arrival of J’s school bus, L screaming he wanted to watch George (Curious George) and J telling me he was thirsty.

When we got home, M threw Derek’s backpack at me and ran upstairs with his brothers to formally introduce Derek to Bear. Oh, they are SO cute, I thought to myself as I started reading through the papers Derek came home with.

Derek came with a welcome letter and a journal. Oh, teachers today are so creative I said out loud to myself. I started flipping through the journal and then I realized what the journal was for.

Holy crap!! WE (i.e. me) have to write about Derek’s adventures with us in the freakin’ journal!

As I flipped through the journal I was overwhelmed by the many photos (actual printed photos) of M’s classmates holding Derek at baseball games, the mall, dance class etc and the written summary of Derek’s stay with each kid.

Oh dear God, can this woman be serious? We have to summarize Derek’s weekend with us?!! Isnt that just super!!

I text Mrs. Jeter to vent. She laughed and told me to have fun with Derek and let her know how the weekend went. Ugh.

M was bored with Derek by dinnertime on Friday so needless to say, Derek didn’t go too many places other than the kids’ bedroom and the living room. Whatever, it’s a stuffed bear, I am sure he won’t mind I thought.

Sunday night was a blur of food shopping, fighting and baths and before I realized it, M was sleeping and Derek’s journal was empty. Crap!!

Monday morning I sat down with M and patiently reminded him that we needed to write in Derek’s journal so it could go back to school that afternoon. Oh, ok but I am watching Power Rangers now was the response I got.

Ok, well after Power Rangers we HAVE to write in the journal I sternly said to M as I poured myself another cup of coffee.

Well Power Rangers turned into some other dumb show and before long it was 11am and still no journal entry. M-J-L (that’s me screaming M’s first, middle and last name) get in here NOW and write about Derek!

M responded with the following tirade:

I dont wanna write in the stupid journal…I wanna play with my Legos! I don’t have a pencil Mom! You never took a picture with me and Derek Mommy now what? This is dumb, I don’t want to do this. J leave me alone, Mooooom tell J and L to get out of the kitchen and leave me alone – Mommy? Mommy!

OMG why is your father NEVER around for any of this stuff I said under my breath as I dug through the cabinet for a pencil (that was sharpened) and pushed the other kids out of the kitchen. Be Calm I told myself and it will be fine.

I have blocked out the majority of the journal writing exercise, it was just better for my sanity. However, I will try to piece together some of M and my exchange for you

me: Come on M, what do you want to write about Derek’s weekend?

M: I dont know…can I have a drink?

me: You can have a drink when we are done. Come on, we have to get this done. What did you and Derek do this weekend?

M: Ummmm he slept in my bunk bed with me?

me: Good, that’s good let’s write it.

M: Ok, how do you spell Derek?

me: D-e-r-e….M what are you doing? M, pay attention.

M: I don’t know how to make a “d”.

me: Yes you do, now come on, write out D-e-r-e-k and then leave a space and write s-l-e-p-t

M: what do you mean leave a space? What’s a space? I’m hungry, can I have a snack??

And that my friends was how the remainder of the morning went. Somehow by the grace of God, M completed his journal entry, drew 2 pictures of him and Derek and managed to get Derek safely back to his classroom.

Phew!!! THANK GOD that’s over! I told Mrs. Jeter in a text. Oh, you just wait she responded. It gets SOOOO much better!

Mrs. Jeter does not lie. In the weeks since Derek’s visit we have had to decorate Family Fun Turkeys and make some other crafty-type thing (I HATE crafts).

Thinking turkeys and fall crafts were behind us, I mentally prepared for the long holiday weekend last Wednesday afternoon as I waited for the twins’ bus.

The bus pulled up, I waved to the driver with the yellow glove and the twins came running at me.

Mommy! Mommy! Mommy look! J yelled. What, what is it? I asked

MOMMY look… I got to bring home Rainbow Sock Monkey for the long weekend!!

Sure enough there was J holding a little Rainbow Sock Monkey and a red bag which contained Sock Monkey’s journal. O-M-G it was gonna be a loooooong weekend!

Back to School night

Last night was the 2nd of my 3 Back to School Nights and honestly, I was a little disappointed. I am new to the “school-aged kids” thing (the twins just started kindergarten) and I assumed (I know, never assume) that last night would be an informative, structured evening about the kids’ daily routine.  I knew it would be somewhat chaotic, as most school events are, but I had no idea it would be almost circus-like.

For fear of looking like a loser,  I asked begged a friend of mine, Mrs. Mayor, to let me tag along with her and her husband. I have known Mrs. Mayor (Ms. M) for a couple of years now, we met when the twins and her son where in the same pre-k class. She was nice AND sarcastic and I latched right on (tight).

Back to School night started at 7pm and when we pulled up at 6:50 the parking lot full and there was a line of parents out the front door. Was this Back to School or was Bon Jovi in town? I said while Mr. Mayor commented that he thought he saw police manning the door. WTF????

One of the twins and Ms. M’s son are in the same kindergarten class so we were strategizing in the van about how we could become “Co-room Moms”. Ms. M heard it was REALLY important to get to the “clipboard” first and we (Mr. M included) had a plan to grab that clipboard the minute we got into the room. However, first, we had to endure the principal’s introduction.

Let me set the scene for you. Tons of parents (from all walks of life – oops did I say that out loud?) parading into the gym, carrying their free bag of instant mashed potatoes (courtesy of the PTO), frantically searching for an empty  folding chair.

While all this is happening, Mr. Principal decides to start his welcome speech. I understand he had to keep up a schedule but would it have killed him to wait until 7:05?  Mr. Principal is talking away, apparently in a microphone, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. I thought it was just me but Ms. M also couldn’t understand him either. It was like sitting on a subway trying to make out what stop was next.

After a  couple of minutes I gave up listening and played with my phone.  When Mr. Principal’s speech was over (I assume this only because everyone was clapping), the entire room stood up and charged  to the back of the gym. It was like Black Friday at Wal-Mart.

Me and Mrs. M were in the front of the pack (Mr. M did not fare as well) determined to get to that clipboard first. We found Mrs. P’s classroom, located the infamous clipboard (only it’s a piece of paper that says “PM Volunteers”) and were the first 2 names on the list (yay us!!) before trying to find our kid’s names on the tables in the room.

I found J’s spot and crammed myself into his little red chair all excited to hear what Mrs. P had to say. Only, it was hard to hear Mrs. P because the majority of the other parents had brought their kids along to Back to School night. You would have thought these kids had never been in a classroom before, let alone in that same room maybe 4 hours earlier. They were yelling and pulling out puzzles and asking Mrs. P where Chrysanthemum (some mouse in a book who was bullied) was.

God Bless Mrs. P, that saintly woman stayed clam, and smiled, the ENTIRE time. One or 2 times she very nicely asked the kids to use their “inside voices” but her smile never faded. It was then that I realized this is why I do NOT teach little children.

The entire time I was sitting in the red chair, I kept thinking Where the f are these kids’ parents and WHY are they not telling their kids to behave? I can understand if you don’t have childcare, then you have to bring your kid. But if you AND your husband came together, couldnt one of you have stayed home with the kids? 

Anyway, Mrs. P was finishing when we heard the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal over the PA system (it sounded like the teacher from Peanuts). Session 1 was over and Session 2 was starting immediately.

Quickly, I ran to find M’s classroom (I separated the twins) and find Ms. G’s  “clipboard”  when I looked up and saw a line of parents waiting to ask this poor teacher specific questions about their kids.  Johnny’s mom wanted to know if Johnny ate his snack, Sasha’s dad HAD to ask what time to drop off her birthday treats and Jimmy’s mom wanted to go over his behavior since day 1.

People it is Back to School night, NOT individual conferences. If you want to know how your kid writes, just send the teacher an email!

It seemed like Ms. G had just started talking about Social Studies and how the kids were going to “grow butterflies”  when the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal was back telling us that Back to School night was officially over.

I found Mr. and Mrs. Mayor in the hall and we quietly walked back to their van. I feel like I need a drink she said and I couldn’t have agreed more!

I will survive – right?

You Can Do It Lake Huron Beach Oscoda Trip 9-2...

You Can Do It Lake Huron Beach Oscoda Trip 9-25-09 16 (Photo credit: stevendepolo)

Here it is after 9pm, on a school night (literally) and I am sitting here with my stomach in knots. There are a million other things I could, or should, be doing but instead I am staring at the computer and picking at my cuticles (and singing Gloria Gaynor to myself).

Why have I made myself a mental case you may ask? Promise not to laugh? Well tomorrow is a big day here. The twins start kindergarten AND take the bus to school. J starts 4yo pre-k in a new ASD classroom with a new teacher AND L has a “playground get together” AND a “classroom open house” for his pre-k class (which also means I have to meet a bunch of new moms too).

Ugh!!! It’s just too much!!

Ok, ok I know the kids will all be fine. I know it will take a little adjustment and before long this new routine will seem like old hat but, for now, it’s making me a wreck.

I decided to separate the twins for kindergarten and this is the first time in their entire lives that they will not have each other to lean on all day (technically it’s 2.5 hours but still). They will have to rely on themselves to make friends and find their way and this scares the crap out of me!!

What if I didn’t teach them all the right things? What if they get picked on? What will happen if J gets hurt or can’t find his way back to the bus? What will happen if M tries to talk to someone and they ignore him? Suppose one of their “bus buddies” is mean?

These are the things that are going through my mind and this is just with the twins. Don’t even get me started on J and L.

J’s school has decided that he is “ready” for a more structured classroom setting complete with more kids, a new room AND a new teacher. Seriously?

When I mentioned how this will be a big adjustment for him, since he has only known 1 classroom for the past 15 months, the staff told me “change is good for J” and “he can’t be too set in a routine” and “after all, he will LOVE this”

Really?! How do we know? It’s not like we can just ask him Hey J, do you want to be in a class with 10 kids and sit in rows and do lessons? Would you love that? 

He is 4 and a boy and has autism. Enough said.

L’s situation tomorrow really won’t be that bad. It’s more me I am worried about. I HATE meeting new moms on the playground. It makes me feel like I am 15, standing in the cafeteria looking for a seat (although I had the same seat at the same table in high school all 4 years).

The Playground Moms will all be younger, prettier and definitely thinner than me. Their kids will be well-behaved and greet the teacher with a hardy Good Morning upon entering the playground.

I, however, will be praying that L does NOT hit anyone or throw a tantrum while simultaneously thinking I should have worn another pair of pants because I look fat. 

I tried to share my feeling with the husband and my mom today. Neither made me feel any better. Mom asked me when I would have “time to socialize” with the other moms and the husband couldn’t remember what kids were actually starting school, let alone what time the buses would come.

I know, I know, I am being totally dramatic (aren’t I supposed to cut out the drama in my life??) and making tomorrow into a bigger deal than it is.

The twins are going to be fine. Just like they were fine at orientation and summer camp and pre-k. J will adjust to school just like he did last year and L, well… let’s just keep our fingers crossed that L is in a good mood tomorrow.

As for me, I have no idea if I will ever be “fine.” For now I can just hope for the best and believe that 1) I will survive the meeting of the moms – heck, maybe I will even make a “mom-friend” and 2) I will survive the twins getting on the bus (without me) and leaving to start a their new adventure in kindergarten (without me).

All I can really do is just have faith in what I have tried to teach them these past 6 years and hope that they were able to retain at least a little bit.

Tomorrow will be stressful, nerve-wracking and exciting. I will do my best to get through it with a smile (at least in front of the kids) and take lots of pictures.

Wish me luck!

Pomp and Circumstance

Today is the day my twin “babies” graduate from Pre-K and WOW is all I can say.

Looking at the 2 of them now, it seems hard to beleive (well sort of) that 3 years ago these were the same 2 little boys who hid behind the door at their 1 day/week class at the Y for 6 weeks straight or who cried and ran away from the van when I said it was time to leave for their first day of school at CPNS.

I remember the first day of pre-K and how J ran into the room crying – right into the arms of Mrs. M – oh how my heart broke!

Here we are 2 years later and they have grown SO much. The 2 little, shy boys, I thought would NEVER be ready for “big boy school,” are now 2 handsome “big” boys excited to ride the bus and go to kindergarten!

I am a nervous wreck about kindergarten. Will they make friends? Will they get teased? Will they be ok on the bus? But I guess that is just to be expected since I am their mommy and they are my first borns (at least I have until September to worry).

I am a little sad that my babies are growing up but I am also happy and excited for them to start this next chapter. Hopefully I will not be sobbing during the “End of Year” celebration today – then again it is my job to embarrass them in front of their friends.

Congratulations M&J Mommy is SOOOOOO proud!!

Where did the time go?

Today is kindergarten registration for the twins. Where did that time go???! It can’t be time for them to start “big boy school”. It feels like yesterday (well sort of) that I was crying, begging the nurse not to discharge me from the hospital with 2 babies! I feel like I was just in Babies R Us attempting to solve the great bottle mystery or asking all my friends which solid food to start them with (greens or fruits?). 

When I was filling out the many forms (2x) last night all I could think about (besides where did we put their birth certificates?  and don’t forget a utility bill) was M taking his first steps, J trying to crawl or their first wagon ride around our complex.

Luckily we still have some time before we have to wait for the bus to come (and I cry when it pulls away). My men are growing up but they will always be my babies 🙂

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