Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First-time mom

For the last couple of years, I'd started feeling more and more like this parenting thing was going pretty well. Don't get me wrong; I know I'm not a perfect parent. But once I'd successfully gotten through so many major milestones with one child (sleeping in her own bed, potty training, weaning, etc.), and then started meeting those milestones with the second kid (often more gracefully on my part!), I began to feel like I knew what I was doing.

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 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!) wonder I was so tired the first few weeks!
Things are getting easier, and I think Chickie is adjusting to the new schedule too (though my sweet girl is not a "morning person" and doesn't love getting up before 6:30!) I'm looking forward to next year, when I'll be one of the seasoned grade-school-mom veterans.

*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.


Eternal Lizdom said...

First, I think you've watched Cars a few too many times. ;)

Second- that is EXACTLY how I've been feeling. When pregnant, I could read books and be part of online groups that helped me feel a little prepared for motherhood. But starting public school? There was nothing that could help!! That was our biggest stress, I think!

Kara said...

Every time I go into Abby's school with some question that I just know is dumb, I start by saying, "I'm a kindergarten parent, so..." They seem to go a little easier on me and my clueless-ness if I put it out there ;-) It is amazing how many little routines and nuances there are that I just don't get yet!

Tia said...

I am totally feeling your pain. There is so much for us moms to learn!

Mellodee said...

Not to scare you, but no matter how much parents learn along the way, by the time little girls hit 11 or 12, they all think their parents are dumb as rocks! They don't get past that for several years! It is a real challenge!

I never got why they call it the "terrible twos"; they should have given that designation to the "terrible teens!!"

Don't despair, though, boys don't seem to be afflicted with the same least not as badly!


Call Me Cate said...

Sounds like Chickie's going to school buy you're doing a fair amount of learning as well!

Vixbil said...

I hear you...I'm a more seasoned mum but having twins means I'm now having to work out 2 sets of everything as well as William and I'm finding it really hard!!!! xcx

Bri said...

I'm right there with you! Every time we change schools, this is what I go through.