If you're interested in our just-before-school camping trip, here are the photos. Facebook, I'm afraid, makes it a zillion times easier to upload photos and add captions. So here it is.
Facebook Album - Camping-Canoeing August 2011
OK, now, on to the first day of school.
Today was the first day of school!!! I just sent my youngest child to kindergarten!
I've asked parents many times what's worse: your first child's or your last child's first day of kindergarten. No doubt: first. Last isn't easy either, but though I felt bad about it, I wasn't even there to pick her up. I wished I could be, but the calculus said that just couldn't happen. I'd missed too much work taking them camping, which on balance was worth it.
Of course I had to get my photos in first. Katrina is still doing the toddler-tantrum thing of refusing to cooperate and making it all take too much extra time. But it makes for a funny picture!
I drove them all to school, we dropped off Katrina's knapsack and school supplies, then she walked with me and the boys to their classrooms. Which are VERRRRRY far apart this year!
Julian in front of his 2nd-grade classroom. He had as little to say about his first day.
Gabriel in front of his completely unadorned classroom. No welcoming banners or bright colorfulful decorations here. 4th-grade or male teacher? He's in one of the new portable buildings, allll the way across the campus from the permanent buildings, where Julian is. That too I'm sure was deliberate. Our principal made sure to do the easy things to reduce our sons' visitorship of his office.
(I commented to another 2nd-grade parent that I liked our new principal better than the previous one, and she laughed and said, "well, DUH!")
I peeked into the window and saw Gabriel's teacher busily putting together welcome envelopes. I can't explain why I'm so glad his teacher is a guy, but I really am. Gabriel later said that his new teacher is "AWESOME!" with rare enthusiasm.
I wasn't too enthusiastic to hear from Gabriel that 33 kids are registered for his class though. 30 was enough!
After giving the boys a big kiss and a sendoff, I took Katrina into her kindergarten classroom. Finally, she started to act excited about the whole idea, and even cooperated with a picture.
When the kinder classroom opened, it was filled with parents, so I said a happy hello to her teacher (who I already know), showed Katrina where her cubby was, then her table, and then did what the teacher -- and Katrina -- needed the most: I left.
I thought about them all, all day long, but I had to go to work. I looked forward to picking them up and hearing about the first day of school.
Katrina was happy and cheerful when I picked her up, and said she loved her teacher. But she fell apart later at home, throwing massive tantrums for the minorest reasons. For the first time in her life, she lost dessert for disobeying -- usually that's her brothers' pervue!!!
But my patience is short, and I must now treat her exactly like the other school-age kids in the house, and anyone who makes me come back outside to lecture and insist they take the first step of simply getting out of the car will instantly lose dessert. School's in session now -- no tolerance.
Gabriel was overall cooperative, and Julian was too, including going to Kung Fu -- but only after a crisis when Julian broke a new gift that Gabriel had received from his teacher, a cheap mini-Rubik's cube on a keychain. I was furious with Julian for breaking the rule of not touching anyone else's things, let alone breaking a new gift from a new teacher. And hello, don't touch something attached to someone else's knapsack. Thank heavens I discovered the problem before Gabriel did, or I'd be typing to you from the Emergency room.
Lights were off at 8:15 and incredibly, no one objected.