Maybe it was kindergarten.
Maybe it was daycare.
Maybe it was preschool.
But the time eventually comes when the youngest (and the older) children are out of the house at the same time.
Tuesday was that day for me.
The day I have coveted since last February arrived: both of my children are attending Mother’s Day Out.
It isn’t all day at this one. It’s only from 9:30 to 1:30.
For four hours twice a week, I am not responsible for my little bundles of chaos.
Top 10 Things A Parent Should Know Before The First Day of (Pre)School
1. Invest in permanent markers: It is the beginning of writing your child’s name on everything, and the markers you had before will magically disappear.
2. Doctor’s offices still live in the dark ages: Need vaccination records? Good luck. Our company doesn’t store them digitally. I recently switched to a different physical location and pediatrician within the same umbrella of offices. The records could only be retrieved from the location they physically resided in. I’m not sure if this applies to all their medical records. It seems like a bad idea to only have one copy of such things, given our entire state’s resemblance to a tinder block and the outbreak of fires we currently have going on.
3. Prepare for Parking Wars: School pick up and drop off is a minivan and SUV rush hour – a fight for a parking space in what could be TLC’s newest show, Parking Wars. Arriving earlier doesn’t help, unless you want to camp out. And if you’re late, you get sent to the office…. I think.
4. Go back-to-school preschool shopping at Goodwill: My son’s class actually had a message informing me to “send your child in old clothes.” His teacher firmly believes in having kids do the messy stuff that parents don’t want to deal with. I love her for this alone, but I found myself with the odd problem of not enough old clothes that fit him.
5. Take a shower before you go: They took a photo of me with Lil Diva for their book. Good thing I was forewarned about this, or it could have been very scary.
6. Beware of The Parent Cryer: As you escort your kids to their classrooms, you will no doubt see one parent completely break down following their moment of separation. DO NOT LOOK. Their tears will somehow stoke your own tear ducts and you’ll sniffle yourself into a cryer too.
7. Four hours isn’t really four hours: By the time you count drop off time , drive time, a trip to Autozone to discover your check engine light has something to do with the catalytic converter (or the sensor itself), hunting for a copy of the vaccination record you know you have, acquiring records for another child, Googling the children’s hospital, looking up your neighbors house number for the emergency form because you typically just walk over there and don’t look at the actual number, learn of more fire break outs, talk with husband between meetings to see if you need to take car to mechanic and finally get him to order a part so you can have a working oven again, there just isn’t much time left for the drive back to school and another Parking Wars. Your huge “To Do” list remains.
8. Get Used to Waiting Your Turn: If you want to know if your child did well or channeled the exorcist you have to wait for your turn, because the parents in front of you want to know too. The younger the child, the longer the line.
9. Your child will eat “dessert” first for lunch: Without you around to strategically hide any possible dessert before the main course, your child will hit the sweetest item first. It could be the breakfast bar (The Tackler), or the grapes (Lil Diva). Either way they will have leftover sandwich.
10. Distance makes your kids actually miss you: How many times have you watched your spouse get the exuberant greeting as they run full tilt and wrap them in hugs, kisses, and smiles while you are ignored because you’re with them all day? Now that greeting is yours to claim. And it’s awesome.
My children loved their first day. Loved.
Let’s see how day two goes on Thursday.
What did you learn from your child’s first day of daycare/preschool/kindergarten? What did you do with your “free” time?