Today we’ll meet with the boy’s pre-K3 teacher. The school has instituted a home visit requirement between teachers and each family. The idea is that back to school night is usually so busy, so crammed with information that it’s impossible for each family to have time alone with the teacher to talk about their child. The minute I received the notification I looked around at the house. There were scattered shoes, dirty socks, clean socks in a pile of unfolded clothes, random Caprisun boxes that made it just shy of the trash can (seriously? Nobody sees this?). Fortunately for us, “home visit” is equivalent to library, the mall food court, or any other general place. So, good, I don’t have to pretend to clean. That Caprisun is probably still there.
Yes, I have a list of questions. Yes, I intend on asking every one. Yes, I will probably seem like this is my first child, first teacher meeting, first time he’s left home. I’m trying to understand why this is.
When the girls started school this week, yes, I lay awake (wait, lie awake? No, it’s lay. Lay is the past tense of lie and GRAMMAR, WHY CAN’T I QUIT YOU) the night before nervous with anticipation. I was excited for them. I wasn’t afraid for them or worried or concerned. I am nervous, afraid, worried, and concerned for the boy. In fact, I feel borderline dread. But why? I don’t know, friends in my computer! I don’t know.
I know you want to tell me that he is the baby and it’s always different with the baby. This is different. I know he’s ready. The feelings I have, I think, can be chalked up to my not having much time at home with him before he had to start daycare and I had to return to work. Now here he is off to school. With daycare, I could decide not to send him one day because eh, it’s daycare; what’s he gonna miss? But in preschool he might miss the whole lesson on the letter P and he already sometimes thinks it’s a 9, so when I decide to spend a random day together it’ll inevitably turn into him being incapable of telling the difference between P’s and 9′s until he’s in fifth grade and all the kids will laugh at him, nicknaming him P-9er AND LOOK HOW BAD I’VE RUINED HIS ELEMENTARY YEARS.
So, yes. I have a list of questions. I hope his teacher is patient with me. I can’t explain why I feel this way, why I’m so nervous. I don’t think I’ll cry when I leave him tomorrow for his first day, but I will be sad. I will be sad that I cannot be there at 3:15 to pick him up. I will be sad that I have to go to a place where I sit and stare all day, surf the interwebs, and talk to all of you (hey, y’all!). I will be sad that by the time I get home there is only time for dinner, homework, a few minutes to talk, then hit the showers, get in bed, get ready to do it all over again. I will be sad that he is having fun. Without me. I am not the primary resource for his entertainment. (I should be used to that; he’s been relying on the girls to play with him and daddy to wrestle with him more than he needs me to ply him with cookies. And, ok, yes, frosting).
Wait, is that what this is? I feel like he’s replacing me?
That seems scarily plausible. He won’t need me as much, won’t think of me as much, won’t be pining away for me as I do for him (all of them!) each day as I sit at this desk thinking of all the colors we could be using to make Spongebob anything but yellow. There will be someone else to help him use the bathroom, make sure Buzz Lightyear isn’t giving him a wedgie. There will be someone else continuing to show him how to properly hold a pencil, how to click and drag with the mouse instead of repeatedly clicking, clicking, clicking, getting angry that the bird won’t go into the tree but you have to DRAG, DAMMIT, YOU HAVE TO CLICK AND DRAG! There will be someone else to give him hugs if he falls, is sad, or is hit in the head with a wooden block by the one kid everyone thinks is too big for pre-K anyway. Maybe she will snuggle him, fold him into her lap, let him lie (lay? STOP IT, GRAMMAR!) in her lap. I’ve never felt like I could provide a proper breasty pillow consolation. You know, because I’m neither breasty nor pillowy.
I am sighing. Also, if she has welcoming boobs for snuggles, I am totally kicking her in the shins.
Please be flat chested, pre-K3 teacher. Please?