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     Today was Taylor's first day of school ever! For her first day, the teacher wanted the parents to come and sit in with the kids all day to help them adjust. Afterall, it is a big deal to go from being at home all day to 5 hours of school, rules, and new foods! So, I took the day off of work to meet with Cameron's teacher and to be with Taylor in her classroom... (since I really can't picture my large, Italian husband perched on the edge of a kiddy chair for 5 hours without something catastrophic happening.) It was seriously one of the best days I've had with the kids since they've been in our home. I was still extremely tired, but the only thing I had to do in that moment was to be present for them.... no work, no cleaning, no papers to fill out, just straight attentiveness to the kids.
     The other benefit that I found was socializing with other parents. Did you know that ALL kids are crazy? It's not just mine! In fact, today Taylor, who is usually lazy as a sloth, was the best cleaner-upper in the class AND she asked to take a nap! There must be magic in the water at school (or benefits of having her mom home and attentive to her all day) because this is a brand new child! Riverside Head Start will be getting a hefty donation if they can also get her to stop picking her nose.... 'cause that habits a-gotta-go!
     One of the activities they had the kids do with their Mommy's was to make kissing hands (Cameron's teacher did this with the kids last week, but I hadn't read the book, so I had no idea what it was for!). The teacher read a story about a nervous raccoon that had to go to school and was terrified of missing his mom while gone. So she kissed the palm of her baby's hand and told him that her love will never wash off, and that if he gets scared at school, he can place the kiss on his cheek or his heart and he will know his mother loves and misses him. (Awww, right?) So, us mommies and kiddies traced our hands on construction paper, cut them out, drew a heart on each one, and then kissed the paper hands. Taylor keeps my big hand at school, and I keep her little hand with me at work. This way she can pull it out if she misses me.
     Now, my kid has attachment issues and I figured there's no way in this world that she's ever gonna give one more thought to my hand. So, about a half hour later, my on-call phone rang and I had to slip out of the classroom to answer it. Taylor was busy with another little girl and I figured I wouldn't be all that long on the phone, so I left without telling her where I was. However, when I returned to the classroom just minutes later, I was greeted by the teacher and my little girl, face stained with tears, holding my kissing hand to her cheek and choking on her sobs. This is the first time my heart broke and rejoiced at the same time. I never want her to feel sad.... but I sooo desperately want to feel love from this baby of mine. I picked her up and hugged her tightly and I thanked her for missing me.
     But have no fear, she repaid my classroom absence by embarrassing me thoroughly at McDonald's after school. But let me back up. This morning, we were on our way to school. She was nervous, I was nervous, and we both have nervous tummies. We were almost to her building and I knew I needed to let out some "steam" before going inside for the next 5 hours. However, as I did, Taylor looked out the car window and yelled, "ARE THERE FIREWORKS AT MY SCHOOL?!?!?!?" I couldn't play it cool, I couldn't hold it in. I laughed out loud in embarrassment. I explained that no, her school is totally awesome, but it doesn't have fireworks. That was just Mommy passing some gas. (Fast forward to McDonald's for an after-school sundae.) We just got our ice cream (great idea for a set of nervous tummies, eh?) and we were walking past a table of old men when Taylor chuckled and said (yelled), "Hey Mommy, remember when you farted and it sounded like fireworks in the car?" Maybe Head Start can work with her on this, too.....