Under the bus. The school bus. That’s what I feel like. What a week. Is it over yet?
I’ve had the biggest turnover of my career this week. Three kids leaving, three new kids moving in. It’s been a gradual transition throughout the summer but this was the first official week of the new schedule. It feels good to finally get started. But sad to send my own kids back to school. And really, really weird to not be seeing the three graduates, who I’ve had for years.
When one leaves it’s actually quite a bit of work even though you wouldn’t think it would be. I, of course, am the dope who chooses to give them home-made gifts, so I was up late every night for two weeks putting those together. And we have a graduation ceremony, which requires a certificate, music, and some kind of sweet treat (also homemade).
Do you know how hard it is to make brownies with a bunch of toddlers hanging around?
When a new child starts, it’s even more work. They need a cubby, a coat hook, their mat for circle time, cups (one for milk, one for water), all their paperwork in a folder, new emergency contact lists (three apiece). I have to figure out where they’re going to sleep and in what kind of bed (crib or mat). Make sure they have a new pillow and clean sheets. Dig the feeding chairs out of storage for the little ones. And then just start working with them to learn the routine and rules. And make sure they know I’m an OK person and not someone who just enjoys tearing them away from their parents.
All this is on top of the fact that I now have two 8-month-old babies. The mom of my 3-year-old twins said, “HA! Now YOU have twins!” I think she really enjoyed that moment.
And then, adjusting to the new day care schedule with the big kids finally back at school is quite challenging, even moreso than I expected it to be. I know what I’m doing – I’ve been doing it for 10 years. But everything changes, and every little detail counts. Down to making sure you have two spoons and you’ve already opened the jars of baby food BEFORE going into the snack room to feed the babies. You have to be on time for school bells and pick ups, and if someone has a blowout diaper at 2:45, I’m screwed.
And then…sending my own boys off to school. They don’t like it in any way, so the whole concept in and of itself is traumatic. But there are always the worries: who’ll be in my class, will the teacher be good, the BUS. It’s silly because we live in a small town and of course they’ll know the entire class and we already know the teachers. But the stress is there anyway. And we all know once they get into the routine, they’re not going to like it any better, but at least it will be comfortable.
In the meantime, somebody get a big spatula and scrape me up off the pavement, please.