Wednesday, August 31, 2005
My oldest baby girl, my Princess Juliana, started kindergarten yesterday. Kindergarten. You can imagine the craziness of the rush to make sure that she had everything she needed over the past weekend. Socks, underwear, hair stuff. Hmmmm where was that backpack? Oh yeah, this year she needs a snack.
She did so well! She was a little nervous about getting on the bus but she put on her brave smile and she DID it! She found her classroom by herself and she found the school library. Thankfully she remembered the orientation we had Monday night when we practiced finding her room and memorizing her teacher's name and classroom number. She remembered landmarks. She met with friends from her preschool and just did wonderfully. She almost went on the wrong bus to come home but she made it. It was a very stressful and long day for her, so she didn't want to talk about it a lot which was awful because of COURSE that's all I wanted to talk about.
She refused dinner until she was simply too hungry not to eat, but she was very cranky up until then. Gracie convinced her that there were monsters in the house in her pseudo-serious toddler way "Juli-na-na... dere's munsters in diss house!" So Juliana was convinced that when she couldn't find Daddy (he was in the bathroom) that a monster must have eaten him. Oh the drama LOL. She just needed to detox, then woke around 11 pm last night to chat and have a cup of milk, and went back to sleep perfectly happy.
She got up this morning chipper and excited about going to K again. She made me reassure her that I'd be home all day in case she had to call home. When she got on the bus this morning, it was raining so we waited on the front steps under the awning. When the bus came we walked to the sidewalk, and when the bus doors opened she RAN up those stairs full of excitement. "Honey, goodbye and have a good day!" Without looking back and without a kiss or a hug, she yelled back to me "Bye bye Mommy! See you later!"
She's doing great and I'm so proud of her.
I, however, have been having panic attacks since Saturday. Just because I have to really put my trust in someone else to take good care of her. Yes I got to meet the teachers but this time, it's not like preschool. With preschool, she was gone 3 days of the week for just a couple hours in the morning. Now she's gone EVERY afternoon for 4 hours. I got to drop her off and pick her up every day right at her classroom door in preschool and I was able to talk to her teachers every day too, if I needed to. I got to meet all the other parents since we all had to drop off and pick up at the same times. There weren't any buses around. And I was the one driving her.
Since her birth, Manny and I are the ONLY ONES who have ever driven her anywhere. Well, maybe my best friend once when I was in the car with them. So to let her go on that bus... OMG it broke my heart. No seat belts, and a bus driver who doesn't love her to pieces. She gets out of school at 3:15 but the bus didn't drop her off until 4:00. That was an agonizing wait. I had half convinced myself that she had missed the bus. It was the longest wait ever at the end of the driveway. I actually weeded LOL.
She's going to be 5 yrs old 9/17. I just can't really believe that she's in K already. I can't believe how independant she is. She's sweet, smart, precocious, funny, dramatic, friendly, generous and just amazing. I absolutely adore and I want the whole world to adore her too... but the control of having her all to myself and sharing her in little pieces is gone. Kindergarten is just one step closer to the day she's not going to need me, one step closer to graduating high school and then college. One step closer to getting a job and getting married. One step closer to having her own life apart from me.
I take joy that when she got home, the first thing she did was hug Anneliese and baby talk to her. Anneliese just was so excited, she had been looking for Juliana all afternoon and didn't understand where her big sister was. When Anneliese saw Juliana I could barely keep her on my lap, and she smiled so big and giggled like she never has for me. Anneliese grabbed Juliana's hair and pulled her for a hug and baby kisses. Then Juliana grabbed Anneliese out of my arms and sat with her for a while, kissing her and telling her about her day. Then she went to wake Grace from a nap with a loud "HEY FROU FROU! I'm HOME now! Wake UP! Didn't you miss me?"
Today is a little better, mainly because yesterday went so well. I still get to play with my 2 little princesses... who miss her too. But for a little while each day Grace gets to pretend to be the Oldest Girl. She even pooped in the potty yesterday and today for the 1st time! Hmmmm, I wonder about the timing. Juliana getting so much attention for going to Big Kid Kindergarten, and Anneliese getting attention just for being a baby. Grace gets lots of attention too but not in the same ways. I think she needed an accomplishment too, and wow is it a great one!
Now, of course I took pictures. And every single one makes me cry with pride and joy and sadness and yes, a little emptiness. I made that happen... I made this little person who has stolen my heart, who has grown enough to leave her mommy for a few hours every day. So, proud and sad. Happy and miserable. Relieved yet also a little bit stressed. But that's what being a mother entails and I embrace it all.