‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

school bus vs. helicopter

Okay, all you parents in real life, I need some help here. Because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I'M DOING. My children got a fake parent, with no actual parenting skills.

Do I have this right? I'm supposed to walk my daughter down the street at an ungodly hour of the morning. A bus will arrive. I put my daughter, and a little piece of my soul, on the bus. I do not know where she's going (okay, I know where the building is). I don't know who she will be spending the day with. I don't know what she's supposed to take with her. I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

Where are the people who are supposed to be holding my hand? I want an orientation day! No, not for Sugarplum, she's fine. It's for me. I want to know what her desk looks like. Does her room have windows? Does her teacher smile? Where on earth is the bathroom? Sweet LORD how do people do this?

The only thing I can think of to do is to cut some holes in a black trash bag, glue some leaves on it and wear it to her school. No one will notice me.

While I am gluing leaves, I'm open to other ideas. Camera in her headband? Oh! Maybe we can hack the school surveillance system! But what I'm asking you is, what do NORMAL people do on the first day of school?

Now lest you think I'm a helicopter mom, I....

Well I guess I might be.

Forget the parenting advice, can you suggest a hobby? Or you could suggest a hobby AND tell me this is all normal protocol. I'll be the one in the corner, eying the sedatives.


MsPicketToYou said...

Dear Trout Towers,

This too will pass.

I say this as I pack the youngest off to school -- in five days. When my first went, five years ago: where do I park? where do I walk in? how do I act?

Dude: that insecurity clings to you, mostly because you throw it off for your kids. "We're great!" "Isn't this fun?"

Tonight I have to write the PTO HEY HO letter. Can I quote you? Fuck, I'm gonna.

Carolyn...Online said...

Wait. They don't let you have an orientation? Or a "visit the school" day? I don't mean for her I mean for you. As for the bus... I could never do the morning bus. For some reason I wanted to watch them walk in. Somehow that made me feel better.

I say, walk into that school anytime you want. Wave at your kid. Use the bathroom. Find the library. Spend time there. You'll feel better.

Fred said...

Take Sugarplum to the bus, go home, wait until a slightly more reasonable hour (anytime after 9), get in your car, swing by Chez Valet and drink mimosas on the deck all day.

Celia said...

When I was a nanny, I packed notes in J's lunchbox saying stuff like " You can do it! and Brownies after school!" He really loved it and it made us both feel like I was reminding him we loved him in the middle of the day.

Bella said...

i dropped V off so i could make sure, even though she was fine and i DID have an orientation. (she was kind of bummed about not being able to ride the bus but i made sure she knew that she would ride it home)
then i went to a yoga class. that helped. and dropping her off helped. confirmed she didn't need me. the second day will be a cinch!

just making my way said...

You will be okay! And so will Sugarplum. I'm with Carolyn though, you go right ahead and get in there! I'd touch base with the teacher first - but it does seem weird that you had no formal introduction to the school, teacher, bathroom locations, etc.

Susan said...

After Sugarplum goes on the bus, I drive Studley to his new school - where I think they're having a kegger in the parking lot.

I like the idea of a yoga class. There's a studio nearby!

Janine said...

This is only the first time you will be sure that your child cannot possibly do anything without you. Yes, you'll get used to the fact that you can't go everywhere, but you won't change your mind about your children being completely and utterly helpless without you. Even when they are adults.

It's just impossible for them to do it without you, after all. Let's face it. But somehow and God knows how, really, they do.

Janine said...

Oh, and you could volunteer for all the field trips/etc., but wouldn't you rather spend your time completely un-nagged and un-whined at in a book or craft store? Think about it.

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Follow that bus! =) (We must discuss this over the weekend... I can give you some info. I've been through the same ropes in your general neck of the woods.)

Guwi said...

You're not a helicopter mom, you're the mother of young children.

If you write this just as they head off to grad school, you might be a heli-mom then. yes, I believe you would be classified as such.

Everything will be fine. Speaking from experience, you will also be fine. Eventually. I won't lie you you--it's really hard to put your child on the bus for the first time. They'll do great, you'll do great, and they come home with the best stories.

Good luck!

(ps--have you ever read The Kissing Hand? Great book for both of you. I get choked up every time but if you can make it through, it's worth it.)

Susan said...

We met the teacher! She's lovely. We know where the bathroom is, where to put our lunches, where we will be sitting.... oh wait, it's just Sugarplum that's going. Forgot.

Rose Brier Studio said...

Get yourself to that school and volunteer for something. I volunteered 2 hours a week in the library when my son started. And once I brought his little sister to class for show & tell!

I hesitate to tell you what came next -- chairman of craft fair, of science fair, of elves workshop, vice president, president, parliamentarian, 6th grade promotion committee ... my daughter hates PTA ... but I always knew their friends, the teachers and what was going on at school.

So either start and stay small, or go whole hog and have fun with it. I did!

ps For the longest time I kept thinking I was the babysitter. Really! I felt like I couldn't possibly be the mom!