Until kindergarten started.
It's amazing; suddenly I once again feel like a first-time mom, navigating a whole new world! Some examples...
- As I walked Chickie to school the first day, I came to a sudden realization--I didn't know proper crossing guard protocol. For instance, I didn't realize that when there's a median in the middle of the street, kids are supposed to wait there until the crossing guard goes ahead of them to the "second half" of the crosswalk. As I wondered how I'd reached my mid-30s without knowing how to follow a crossing guard, I realized that as a kid, I never lived close enough to walk to school. I'm proud to say that this old dog can learn new tricks; I'm now successfully following crossing guards with almost as much confidence as the grade-schoolers around me!
- If you have kids, remember that tiredness that comes when they're babies, and you feel like you never get a full night's rest? For the first few weeks of school, I again felt that exhaustion. I've realized I've been spoiled! On mornings that I didn't need to get up early, I used to often let the kids watch some TV in the living room while I dozed in the adjacent bedroom. When I have to leave before 7:15 to walk my daughter to school, I don't have the luxury of sleeping in! I fully admit that I am extra-whiny when I don't get my sleep. Thankfully last weekend I took good naps on Saturday and Sunday, and this week I'm feeling more like my old self!
- Then there are all the new procedures I am having to learn...how to check in at the office to visit Chickie for lunch or to pick her up early; how daily folders and Wednesday folders work; how the car pick-up line* works; how the discipline system works; and how to effectively communicate with the teacher (hooray for email!) Whew...no wonder I was so tired the first few weeks!
*And am I the only one who hears "car pick-up line" and thinks it should have something to do with a Ford winking at a Chevrolet and asking if he can look under her hood? That's just me? Well, okay.