At least not today. Kindergarten may prove to be too stressful for me.
I have fretted and worried and paced all morning thinking of everything that could possibly be going wrong today. I made sure we talked about not throwing away all of the food in our lunchbox after lunch to save something for snack. We discussed how being in a new school always means making new friends and that most children in the class would be a stranger to everyone else. I thought carefully about who I would list as our emergency contacts and who would have permission to pick Addison up in the event her daddy nor I could be there.
I was prepared for the emotions of today.
Or so I thought.
I have been guilt-ridden all day feeling as if I have thrown my first born child to the wolves of elementary school. I left my nervous child in the hands of strangers. A very large building full of strangers. What kind of parent does that? My brain tells me she is safe. My head tells me she will be happy...eventually...and probably was super-fine within 30 seconds of my departure, but my heart is telling me something very different.
I am feeling guilty for bringing her to a place where she is an outsider. My job as a mother is to protect my children, and while she is at school I cannot do that. I have to rely on strangers. I do not like that at all. Not one bit.
As I approach the spot to pick up my child, I see my small child walking hand in hand with a teacher. She looks so small. Her body language conveys that she feels small as well. My heart sinks a little. When she sees my car, her smile lights her entire face. For a moment the world is good. A split second later I see and hear the car door open and hit my angel right above the eye. She is shocked and begins to cry. The counselor placing her in the car says, "she must be tired." I want to jump out of the car and slug her. But just for a second. I am sure she didn't notice my child was in pain because of her.
After we are home for a while I hear crying coming from the top of the stairs. I look up to see my first born holding her hands tightly clasped together. I can see the red stains on her fingers from the bottom of the stairwell. She has cut her thumb on the tape dispenser. What next, Lord?
As we are preparing for bed tonight I offer to paint her toe nails because we ran out of time the previous night. I thought it would be a treat after such a long, stressful day. She begins to cry again and says, "mommy, it won't do any good. Remember the teacher said I have to wear tennis shoes." I am wounded once again. I sent my angel to school in sandals. Sandals that are in compliance with the school's and system-wide's dress codes. Rest assured I can tell you with authority that I checked. More than once. More than half a dozen times. "Flip flops are discouraged" it says. Do not send your shoes in unsafe shoes, it says. Never once does it say "your child must wear tennis shoes." My kindergartener thinks it does. Her feelings were hurt today because I apparently misunderstood what "unsafe shoes" means. I don't do well with someone hurting my child's feelings. Let's all hope for the sake of all parties involved that my child misunderstood the teacher's intentions.
One more day like today and I may look into homeschooling my child. Not seriously, but at least I'll feel as though I have some kind of options.
Today has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. I think I want to move to Australia.