Wednesday, September 09, 2009

school drools

It rained this summer.
Stella, above, at her father's first ultimate frisbee game in years. If you can't bring Muhammed to Brooklyn Ultimate, bring Brooklyn Ultimate to Muhammed.
I try so very hard to keep it in perspective, this whole, my son's starting kindergarten thing. I'm still waiting for his teacher to sit me down and look lovingly into my eyes as she takes my hand and promises me that she sees something spectacular in my kid, tells me I'm an excellent parent and then laughs at all my jokes, shaking her head like, Wow, I've never met a family like you before. Dynamic, talented and cute! A real triple threat. You know, kind of like how it was last year with his pre-K teacher. In private school.

We've gone public now though, and by some urban standards, Hamish's new school looks private, but I don't know. I could barely get him there on time this morning, and it was his first official day, so I felt like a schmuck. Yesterday was just an orientation. A run-through, the day I found out that my kid doesn't even take the bus because he's a walker. Missed that memo. Not that we'll ever be walking the walk anyway since I'll be schlepping Stella next week to her school which is a ten minute drive and of course they start at the same time, but I know, thousands have gone before me, blah blah.

I just want to broadcast that I'm really stressing already about being THAT mom, you know, the one the teachers see coming and then gossip about before turning to me and pretending with a forced smile that I'm not psycho. Because this morning, when Hamish was gripping my wrist and knotting his terrified little brows up at me and mewing like a dying kitten, the sun-kissed pastel-clad twelve year-old (they're all twelve, I swear) teacher's aide beamed at him saying, Golly! We're just going to have so much FUN at school today!! Come sit next to me!!! And I was like, Cut the crap Carmen and just peel him off me, I gotta get to an appointment.

It wasn't pretty. And he was late. All the kids were sitting there like good little Stepford children at their formica tables with their hands folded and the teacher already lecturing them about shoe-tying or snack etiquette or line-leading while me and my kid stood there trembling in the doorway. Then back to my car, double-parked illegally of course, and you know I didn't make it to my yoga class, you know, my appointment, because everything was running just late enough, and then I drove over the curb in my posthaste which I seem to do regularly when I'm OD-ing on anxiety, and that makes me feel CRAZY.

I am left feeling like I am not cut out for this mothering gig. It's normal, right? Bryan says I should ease up on myself and get the kid to school earlier. Really? Thank you honey.

Below, Hamish's garbage collection. Along with his drain phobia, my son now hoards crap. Literally. One day he even kept the toilet paper he used to wipe his bottom after a rule-breaker. That's what we call a doody at casa Miller since we're not supposed to talk about poop at the table. So it's a rule breaker. Yeah. So now, used toilet paper, balled up boogers, fingernail clippings and the variegated wonder you see below are all collected by my...what did they call Howard Hughes? Eccentric. Yes, my eccentric little boy, and placed meticulously atop his bookshelf throughout the day and night. Maybe this is why I secretly think he'd do so much better in private school, where they'd appreciate his quirks and wouldn't try to standardize his ass. If only we could afford it because you know I told my shrink that I'm a rich girl trapped in a poor woman's wallet.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought that picture of Stella was a childhood pic of you. And then compared it to your blog profile photo. Very similar!
Anyway, my kid and I don't shake and cry in the door anymore (we stopped that in 3rd grade), but he has announced that his dream in life is to be a goat farmer (and discusses it in detail throughout the day). I feel your pain.

Amelia Plum said...

that first pic of stella looks so much like you, aside from the mud, it's eerie. sending you much love and happy, relaxing vibes. that first week or month of kindergarten can be rough but it will get better. love the howard hughes hoarding bit. if owen finds strands of my hair lying around he tries to eat them. i guess that's my way of saying i think the mom-craziness you're going through is normal or, if it's not, at least we both can be nuts and kvetch together. your family is so the triple threat!

kristi said...

i read this last night and then was going to sleep on it, hoping i would have some great insight to share with us both. but, alas, that didn't happen.

i really struggle with the mom insecurities related to our kids' school. it's public, but it also feels private because it's a magnet (school choice) school and it's very small. i feel insecurities related to how nice everyone else's car is, how skinny (and fake-looking, but somehow in my sick head i think it's great) everyone else is, how rich everyone else seems to be.

last year i actually had panic attacks anytime we had to go to the school for any event. my husband would have to gently reprimand me because i would try to come up with excuses to stay home from the school fair. i refused to work in the classroom (everyone else is so psycho and they all hover around anyway, and that totally creeps me out to have a bazillion other parents hovering over my child, but i didn't want to make it worse).

this year, something has changed in me. maybe it's just having a year under my (non-anorexic) belt. but i feel much more comfortable in my own skin, at least at the school. i wish this would somehow translate to other areas of my life, but for now, i have to celebrate the small victories, right?

so i think it will get better. it just takes time.

and i think my kids are very quirky too, and i worry that no one else but their parents will celebrate that about them. but you know, i think that makes us good parents. it is a great sign that we really do love them, despite my daily loss of patience with their every little move.

i would like to know, who is really cut out for the mothering gig? anyone who says she is, in my opinion, isn't being truthful. it's all about pulling together and supporting each other through it.