Friday Reads & Recommends
Time to slow down and eat some cake

BOTH of my babies went to school today

My internet was down yesterday and I was FUMING because I had SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT, but now I can't really think of what it WAS that I was dying to say. Boo! Or, from your perspective: relief!

We left the kids with Phillip's parents Saturday night and stayed at a swanky lakefront hotel, just because we found a good deal and we are absolute suckers for swanky hotels. I felt slightly scruffy and common around all these Rich Eastsiders, who probably had their own yachts and Microsoft millions. And then we hung out for a bit in downtown Kirkland, which further confirmed my suspicions that I am too poor and too fat for the East side. 

It's funny, you know, because I also read a handful of articles this weekend about how Seattle and certain other cities have basically survived the recession and it's true, I don't have any personal connections to any particularly downtrodden stories. And we, Team Cheung, have managed quite well, but still, you hang out in some neighborhoods in the Seattle area and realize you are sorely lacking in Jaguars and waterfront property. 

Just some thoughts. 

I tried to stay away from the 9/11 remembrances. No personal connection to that either, just my own "where was I" story and the fact that my brain does not forget horrifying images. I played a rather shoddy rendition of 'New York State Of Mind' on the piano, said a few prayers and tried to leave it at that.

And then there was preschool today, for BOTH kids. I was a wreck. Okay, not really. I just felt a TINY bit overwhelmed by getting them both ready on time (even though I do this Every Day, so I have no idea why this was any different) and fixing snacks and lunches and rereading the parent letter for the forty-third time to make sure I was following all the directions. 

Dropping off Jack is routine now, even though I am consistently lectured by teachers in the parking lot for driving or walking the wrong way, or not using the proper cross walk, whatever. The Molly drop off would be new. I learned my lesson last year: no hanging around, no giving the kid a chance to realize I'm leaving, etc. But it was chaotic. A combination of seventeen children plus anxious sets of parents and a small stairwell and hallway. We hung up her backpack and sweatshirt on the hook next to her name in the hallway, then I led her into the classroom and we both stood there, staring at the Big Four Year Olds who immediately dove into all the toys. (There weren't enough 3 year olds for a class, so we got to decide whether she would join the 2s class or the Pre-K. I picked Pre-K, then wrung my hands about it all summer. SIGH.)

She held my hand and we stood next to another mom of a 3 year old girl holding hands and suddenly this ANGEL, this SAINTED WOMAN in a yellow t-shirt came up to both girls and said, "Let's go play with Play Dough!" That's music to Molly's ears, people, and she skipped off, not even looking back. Which meant I had to disappear. Which I did. RELUCTANTLY. THAT WAS MY BABY IN THERE. 

Pick up (two hours early) was easy, and then all the parents were invited to stay for lunch. I thought the teachers would talk to us, but they only introduced themselves and then implied that all the parents should get to know each other. And this... this is what I think is giving me the preschool stomachaches. For one thing, there are TWO preschools and therefore TWO sets of parents and procedures and teachers and cultures to get to know. It's definitely not that I don't WANT to do those things. I really do want to get to know other parents and hopefully one day make some local playdate friends, but I just feel so swamped by it. I'm not naturally chatty or friendly, even though I think I'm MUCH better at this and not HALF as fearful and insecure as I used to be. (YAY FOR MY THIRTIES!) I CAN be chatty and friendly, but it's a big effort and I truly want to MAKE the effort, but: two places to do this! When I am 4 weeks away from my due date! And just trying to figure out where I'm supposed to PARK! 

I know I am making a huge deal out of this. It will take time, other people have the same intentions. And neither place appears to have cliquey moms (so far) and everyone's been really friendly to ME. Today I chatted with a dad whose family is in the exact same should-we-switch-churches situation, and I talked to a mom who invited me, several times, to the MOPS group at Molly's preschool's church. It's not like I am completely on my own or anything. And I REALLY DO want to be involved. But I also feel like I can only do so much right now and I'm not sure where to PUT my effort and what if I miss out on something or I get labeled Aloof like I always do... BAH!

You know, I don't think anyone would call me Aloof anymore. I just gonna say it. I don't think I am. I think I am beyond that. For one thing, I'm NOT, and for another, the reason I come off that way - being relatively certain that I am not that awesome - is no longer a reason, for I have learned the truth: I AM AWESOME. Although if you once met me at the Blathering and thought I was Aloof and therefore Snobby, I AM SORRY I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF. 

Ahem. 

So I did my chatty bit with the parents, though not with the parents I really wanted to chat with, and finally I had to drag Molly away from the toys and tell her it was time to go. 

AND SHE BACKED AWAY FROM ME. Like, my hands were outstretched and she walked BACKWARDS. 

I said, "Come ON Molly," in my I MEAN IT voice. AND SHE BACKED FARTHER AWAY. 

Now. If we were home I would have done, um, something about that. But we were in front of all these new grown ups and oh God my child was defying me in front of everyone and I felt that I sort of had to laugh it off while also MAKING IT STOP. So when grabbing her hand and dragging her didn't work (BECAUSE SHE SNATCHED HER HAND AWAY, OMG) I picked her up and marched out. And the girl bawled. SOB SOB SOB all the way out of the building. I wanted to die. DIIIIIIIIIIIE. I was all, "MOLLY. We will come BACK!" But this was not helpful. I just strapped her into the car and left. SOB SOB SOB. 

So! That was different! 

I mean, I'm glad she liked it, right?! It's going to be really interesting seeing how she interacts with people when Jack isn't around. I have no predictions. She totally stunned me today. 

Now Molly wants to know "what you writing, Mommy" and, uh, what do I tell her? SORRY FUTURE MOLLY.

Comments

Sarah in Ottawa

I cannot wait to hear what Molly ends up being into. After all, you are living my life but two years in advance. I will need these archives, Maggie. Bless you for documenting it all.

Teddy's first day of preschool was today and though he cried at drop off, he had a great day. It must have been overwhelming, though, because he barely uttered anything for his first 45 minutes afterward. He was in a daze! It was sweet, though, and I got to watch him happily playing before I collected him. MAH BABEE! Growing up. :(

Manda

Well I just read Emily's post and now yours confirms it: These little girls ARE GOING TO KILL US!
So, good luck with that second one you're about to have! HAR HAR HAR!
(no really, if I get pregnant with another girl ... oh man maybe I need to reconsider this whole 3rd child thing)

Christina

I totally have the same anxieties about socializing with other parents. Totally. And I've got 4 kids and have been doing this for years and years and I'm STILL anxious about it. And I'm supposed to be the "extrovert" in my family. Bah.

And don't feel bad about Molly - it's great she likes school so much! LOL. Also, it's happened to probably every parent there (or it will happen, one day soon!). Even better is when your preteen daughter says embarrassing stuff about you in front of your friends at church. Not that it's ever happened to ME. I'm just sayin'.

Very Bloggy Beth

You can't hang around or let them know you're leaving? The teacher at my son's school practically forces us to kiss and hug goodbye and make a big show of leaving. I don't know if I could pull the bait and switch like that!

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