The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

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We braced ourselves for the start of kinder this year. After all, we knew how pre-school had gone two years prior. She only cried every day for 1.5 years of pre-school.

M likes to stay home. She likes to stay inside and play, color and read books. But with M turning six in late Sept. it really seems it’s time to get moving!

The day before school M, B and I made identical rainbow loom bracelets.

The school counselor gave me this strategy to help M adjust. Whenever she got sad she could look at the bracelet and think of Bea and me wearing them. (Big thanks to our neighbors who taught Maddie how to make them!)

M was in high spirits on the walk over.

Still smiling outside her classroom.

We stepped out quietly after she sat on the rug. I thought about her all day. All the kindergarteners looked shell-shocked at pickup.

I took M to get her toenails painted and for a hotdog.

When we got home there was a huge package awaiting us from Valerie!

Blurry but you get the idea…

Talk about timing.

We all survived the first week.

Day 2 – walking home

Day 3 – walking home

Day 4 – pickup

If you ask her if she likes school the answer is, “No.”

The First Days are the Hardest Days

…don’t you worry anymore.
– Grateful Dead

I listened to that song over & over & over again when I started an ill-fated & short lived boarding school stint. Now with M starting school for the first time, it keeps looping in my head. On a side note, does anyone know what “Uncle John’s Band” is actually about?

My “you could do MORE if you really wanted to be a good mother” voice (inspired by Pinterest) made itself heard the first morning of pre-school. You know what I’m talking about

It seemed simple: Maddie would hold up this adorable sign:

in her perfect outfit, with hair in two neat pigtails & a cheery smile on her face.

[I am unable to find the origins of this pic - seems the blog it came from has been taken down.]


Oh well, Maddie has never been able to go with the flow and that’s what I secretly like about her. But it can make all our lives harder at times. Like yesterday for example.

As we waited outside the classroom for the teacher to let the children in, I had that sick feeling I always had on the first day of school. I tried like hell not to project it but I’m sure I failed.

M seemed to be in relatively good spirits.

Do I look as ill at ease as I felt?

As we walked in the teacher gave each child a name tag (masking tape, actually) to wear on their shirt.

Bea ran right in and took over the play kitchen.

Bea, you are not a student here.

I’ll spare you the details except to say that after staying on a bench for 30 minutes with Bea who was in desperate need of a nap, I finally gave M a hug goodbye. She was really good about it, even gave me a kiss (which she doesn’t do), then thought better of it, grabbed my hand and let out a shriek from the bowels of hell. I felt like I was in Sophie’s Choice as she was wrenched from my arms and I walked out with Bea. I wept in my car for a minute, then headed home.

When I arrived later the teacher told me that she cried “often & LOUDLY” adding, “She’s got some lungs on her!”

Egads. I know. You think I don’t know that?

When M saw me through the window, wouldn’t a normal person come running & try to get out of there as soon as possible? What does M do? She smiles at me and yells, “NO!” and runs back inside to play in the kitchen.

Frog Pillow had a very important seat.

On the way out M showed Bea how to drink from the water fountain.

When we got home M pronounced pre-school fun.

“Do you want to go back tomorrow?”


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