It’s the most cryingest day of the year

The first day of school. So many conflicting emotions. On one hand, I’m beside myself with glee that the school year has begun and the structure of life continues. Kids with stuff to do, learning to accomplish, and my hair to be out of. On the other hand, it was Steven’s 1st day of kindergarten and I am the Queen of Emotional Wreckage. I was totally crying before I even left the building. Steven had it all under control, though. We dropped Maggie off in her room – with a kiss and a picture – and then took him down to his room. So funny how kids are different – Maggie always posed happily for my 1st day of school pictures – one in front of the classroom door, one with the teacher, one at the desk, etc. Steven, however, has no time for such inanities. I asked him to pose in front of the door and he just said, “Why?” I got off one shot before the lure of the room and the delights within won out. Then he was all about business.

He took his folder with his visual schedule I’d prepared and put it in his cubby. He took his lunch and put it by his name in the lunch caddy. He got his name lanyard and put it on. Then he took off to the Legos & was completely incommunicative from then on. I took 2 picture of him playing, asked for a kiss (getting only the top of his head) and was dismissed. I started down the hall and began to cry. “But they don’t understand him,” I thought. “What if they don’t know how to work through his issues?” “What if he melts down and they just start dishing out punishments??” Letting go is terribly difficult for me. By the time we reached the parking lot, the tears were flowing freely and I snatched Henry away from Steve and clung to him like a big clinging thing. “Just 6 more weeks & it’ll be his turn,” Steve remarked. “Oh no it won’t.” I replied threateningly. “They’ll have to pry him from my cold, dead hands.” Thankfully, the day turned out well for both children. Nobody lost any sticks/stars, nobody went to the principal’s office. Both of them were very happy when I picked them up. Glad they were, cuz I sure wasn’t.

You see, Henry’s had some gastrointestinal issues the past couple of days. In fact, last night my dinner preparations were interrupted by my husband bellowing from the bedroom for me to get in there. I come running to find Steve & Henry newly awakened in our bed, covered in poo. Apparently, Henry had a bit of an explosion which burst from his diaper, covering Steve’s arm, the bedclothes (blanket, sheet and pillow) and some freshly laundered clothes. I raced Henry to the changing table before realizing that this was a bathtub job, so I enlisted Maggie to keep Poo Boy from falling and ran the bath. Got him cleaned up, then enlisted Maggie to watch him while I stripped the bed & got that all washed up. Stinky, stinky, stink stink. Cut to today as we’re parked in the school parking lot waiting for pick-up time. I’m pulling out my grey hair when I catch a glimpse of Henry in the rear-view mirror. With a brown leg. I whip around to see the boy covered in poo. Right leg coated, right hand coated, and I can see it oozing from under his bottom (sorry). I PANICKED. Let’s see…..do I try to do a hit-or-miss clean up in the car or do I wait till we get home, hoping he doesn’t get it in his mouth, hair, eyes and ears before then? I realized, thanks to Works For Me Wednesday, I have my Van Emergency Kit all packed & ready to go in the back, so I leap out and grab wet wipes, a new diaper and a plastic bag. So I’m standing outside, in the RAIN, using 9846589648736876564807 wipes to clean off all his exposed skin and get his romper off without getting poo on every surface in the vehicle. Romper off – on plastic bag. Diaper off – on romper. Wipes, wipes, wipes, wipes, wipes, wipes, wipes. Put all the garbage in the Target bag and go back to the kit for a change of clothes. Take out the fresh clothes & put the foul romper in the Ziploc casket. Wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe. Got a new diaper on him, new onesie & pants and even got the solid poo out of the car seat. Everything packed up, garbaged up, cleaned up. I’m drenched, the car smells like a goat died 2 months ago in a field of manure and then got covered in old blue cheese. And I smell. Elapsed time?? 13 minutes. How amusing it must have been for all the other cars in line – watching me run back & forth from the back of the van to the side, pulling exponential numbers of wipes, wiping my hands as & go back & forth. The stink. Dear Heavenly God, the stink. I don’t know what that boy’s eating when I’m not looking – because I know what I’m feeding him, and it doesn’t involve rotten ham, really stinky cheese or foot odor. Or rotting meat. Just KAK.

So the kids are picked up & they ask for ice cream, which is kind of a 1st day of school tradition for us. So, off we go. And Oberweis has pumpkin ice cream now, so I clapped my hands like a 4 year old. Hand over my Paypal card and…….rejected. I’m sorry, WHAT?? Again, rejected. Good heavens. Come on, I DESERVE ice cream after all that poo, y’all. But, nope. Stupid charges going through when I wasn’t paying attention. I apologize profusely to the guy at the counter and to the children. Who both proceed to burst into tears and Steven screams that he needs ice cream & I’m a liar. Which……what?? They both are tantruming like I’ve killed their puppy with a gleeful giggle as I dance merrily in its entrails and when I point this out (using different phrasing, of course) and tell them they’re overreacting & there’s nothing I can do, Maggie screams that I’m being so OMGMEAN!!! Again with the……WHAT??? Off to home where there is now no longer video-watching on school nights – just homework, chores and reading or playing. Maggie is mad as a wet hen and is flumphing around being all put-upon and “I’m so BOOOOOOORED!!” Okay – do your homework & then the dishwasher needs attention. Scream. ‘I hate you!!” Slam door. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. She doesn’t want the dinner I’m making (Chicken Yakatori…..really, really bad name, y’all) because she HATES chicken and I know she hates chicken so I must be picking on her by making her eat chicken and I’m so mean and not fair and AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, I say. This is what’s for dinner & this is your choice. So she walks over to the fridge and opens it, starting to pull things out. “Fine” she says. “I’ll make my own dinner.” Oh, no she d’int. “No, you won’t. You will eat what I make or you will not eat. Now get out of my kitchen if you have to make that horrible wailing noise because I’m going to pull off my own arm & beat myself to death with it.” Remember the part above about mean & not fair & I hate you? Repeat. With more slamming doors. And kicking the walls so I could enjoy it on the other side of the wall in the kitchen where I am. Yay.

Dinner is done. She ate it. And it was good. As I’m putting her to bed, I’m plugging in her fan and see an piece of paper in her drawer where she’s written that “Mommy is a big, fat, stupid, mean, RETARDED, freaky woman.” While stifling my laughter, (except for the retarded part, which totally made me mad), I pulled it out and said very quietly, ‘This really hurts my feelings.” And walked out of her room. She began to sob – like really, really sob – that I’d seen it & she couldn’t believe I saw it. And how she needed her kiss goodnight. I gave it a good 2 minutes, then went back in. I repeated that she really hurt my feelings and that the part about being retarded really upset me because she knows how I feel about that word. She said, “I was just getting my feelings out”. Which is totally cool. I said, “It’s okay to be angry, but this? Is not okay.” Then 10 minutes later she came down to my room with a new note. Saying that I’m cool because I’m her mom. Yay Maggie. Oh and by the way, she got cast in Narnia. She’s an animal – we’re not sure what kind yet, but Steve & I are pushing for “naked mole rat”. The costume would ROCK.

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