Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh the Places You'll Go (Without a Car) - The First Day of Kindergarten Version


What a week. Amy's new job means, for the first time, that she's out of the house around when the rest of us are; and, with her own doctor's appointments and physical therapy for her ankle, home way later than us. And with her taking the car, getting around with the kids becomes part of the fun of doing life in a big city. Here's how yesterday went down:

7:40a - We're out the door a tick early, as I want to drop Aaron off first so I can help Jada get acclimated to her new school. I leave the double stroller at Aaron's school and give Jada a piggyback ride to her school.

8:05a - We enter the cafeteria for breakfast and I try to talk her through this part of her new morning routine. (Just to play it safe, I'll accompany her again this morning, but let her do everything without my prompting.)

8:20a - It's time to go to the courtyard to line up. There are like 200 kids and 100 parents crammed into this space. I give my final instructions but realize they are futile in this sort of setting. For example, how is Jada supposed to interpret "go line up with your class and wait for Ms. Silver to lead you into the building" when she's never met any of her classmates and the place is crawling with kids? I decide to not play helicopter parent and let Jada fend for herself. I kiss her goodbye and leave the courtyard to take my position on the other side of the fence. I watch as she stands, a little overwhelmed, in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, clutching her lunch box and shuffling her feet nervously.

8:30a - Finally, her teacher comes out, organizes them into two lines, and they march into the building, to the applause of the gaggle of parents that are pressed up against the group snapping photos feverishly. I see the school principal, congratulate her on the successful start of yet another school year, and hand her a letter from us officially requesting an evaluation for Jada for speech therapy (per the protocol of the school district).

8:50a - I make my way to my board meeting at The Enterprise Center, sending tweets along the way to share my cherished photos with the rest of the world.

9:50a - I make my way to a quick meeting downtown at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, catching up on last week's Economist on the way.

10:30a - I make a quick detour to Chinatown to buy cookies as a thank-you gift for the staff at Aaron and Jada's old school.

11:00a - Back at the office, I work feverishly on my projects in between two scheduled meetings and countless unscheduled ones.

5:30p - As I try desperately to wrap up in time to get both kids without running late, it starts pouring. I had not anticipated this. I snatch an umbrella from a co-worker's office and head out. For good measure, I get splashed by a car as I'm waiting to cross a major intersection. Mercifully, though I am soaked sideways, the rain from above lightens a tad.

5:40p - Ushering Aaron out of his school is delayed a tad because - wait for it - he went poopie in the potty for the first time! Because I'm in such a hurry and am a little drenched, the celebration is far more anticlimactic than I envisioned. We scurry out of there and head for Jada.

5:50p - Jada awaits us in the after-school program adjacent to her school. But I have no idea what room she is in. I ask around and finally find it. She is happy to see us. Sweater, lunch box, and backpack are intact, not lost along the way. Aaron and Jada pile into the stroller and we roll out.

6:00p - We stop by CVS on the way home to pick up meds and are soon home. Amy arrives not long after to join in on the retelling of all of the events of the day. We have just enough time for dinner and baths before bedtime. Because this is what every weekday is going to be like from now until June, they especially need their sleep. And so do we.
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