We’re at T-minus TWO DAYS until Chickadee goes back to school (Monkey doesn’t start til next week) and already I can see that life is going to be very different this year. In ways that I really hadn’t anticipated.
For starters, Chickadee is going to a new school this year. New school, new layout, new rules, new (ooooh! ahhhhh!) swipe cards to use in the cafeteria! She can make her own selections at lunchtime and have whatever she picks automatically deducted from her pre-funded ID-linked account! Why does our school district think this is a good idea? In her school last year, I had to submit a form every month in triplicate, signed in blood, and notarized, authorizing her to have chocolate milk. Now? She can waltz into the lunch room and get chips or cookies with a flick of her card unless I can figure out how to convince her that the All-Seeing Mama Eyeball will know if she’s buying junk food.
Yeah, I wasn’t really counting on my seven-year-old having a credit card.
So that’s one thing I learned about today, while I was sitting in a 90-degree gymnasium filling out important paperwork. One form had to be signed individually on each of a dozen lines, separate signatures for every possible medical intervention the school might want to perform on a child. Tylenol? Sign here. Motrin? Sign here. Benedryl? Sign here. Calamine lotion? Sign here, because perhaps at some point in time someone tried to sue the school because their religion prohibits the application of useless pink topical lotions.
Another form demanded that parents either grant permission for their child to have internet access or specify that the kid should not be allowed to participate in computer time and be stoned to death on the playground.
The yellow–EXCUSE me, goldenrod–form was for ordering school t-shirts, because if there’s anything I want to do on the same day that I have to open a lunch account, pay PTA dues, and finish back-to-school supply shopping, it’s order a really ugly, overpriced t-shirt for my child whose favorite method of “taking care of” her clothes is kicking them under her dresser.
But really, the forms were a piece of cake. Time consuming and annoying, sure, but easy. The hard part was visiting the new classroom this morning.
Remember how excited we were when we found out that Chickadee will have Mr. Wonderful for a teacher this year? And then this morning it was time! Time to go to Open House! Time to see the classroom, say hello, and meet the other kids! Chickadee was jumping out of her skin, and I was busy just trying to keep her feet on the ground and figure out where we were going. I was COMPLETELY unprepared when we walked into her classroom.
*Cue the music… HOT FOR TEACHER*
Um, Mr. Wonderful? Is pretty easy on the eyes. (… is it warm in here?)
And this gigantic, gorgeous man got right down to Chickadee’s eye level and introduced himself in a jolly and gentle voice, shaking her hand, and asking her name. I do believe my daughter’s eyelids FLUTTERED as she turned aside a bit, suddenly shy and whispering “I’m… Chickadee.” I had barely swallowed a burgeoning giggling when Mr. Wonderful drew himself back up to his full height and offered me his hand and asked for my name.
I forgot what it was for a minute. Either he didn’t notice or he’s just accustomed to the effect he has on unsuspecting mothers. Time stood still while we shook hands, and eventually I snapped out of my trance, wiped the drool from my chin, and introduced myself. Ahem.
This is just a hunch, but I’m guessing that Mr. Wonderful never has any trouble getting moms to fill the volunteer slots in his room. I know that I’m seeing my role in my child’s education in a whole new light. I think I need to participate more. MUCH more.
Apparently Mr. Wonderful has an equally wonderful wife and four wonderful children. Which is–of course–wonderful. But I’m pretty sure it’s still okay to… ummm… appreciate him. Yes.
Don’t even get me started on what’s going to be different with Monkey starting kindergarten. I’m still working on my master plan to freeze him in permanent stasis at age four. I was supposed to be done a year and a half ago, so now I also have to work on a plan to reverse age him, as well. Sheesh! It’s becoming very complicated. But I remain optimistic about it. Maybe Chickadee can make some progress on it in science class this year. Oh! Maybe Mr. Wonderful can help. Hmmmmmm.
I’ll definitely work on gaining a firm grasp of my own name before I ask, though.