Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The First Day of School

Today Facebook is inundated with cute little status updates describing the First Day of School... complete with pictures of toothless children, kids whose backpacks are bigger than they are, school busses pulling out their flashing red stop signs. Comments about mothers tearing up as they watched their little one climbing those big bus steps. Updates about how lonely and sad and bored mommy is now that junior is off at school for the entire day! Yeah, not so much mine. Getting both girls to school was a treat for me. It wasn't always. I mean, there was a time when I got choked up thinking how fast they were growing, how I wish I could just hold them in my lap forever. But then they learned how to do this thing called Sibling Rivalry, and now I just want them seperated as far as possible in the hopes for some well-deserved peace and quiet.

Jelly Bean regularly works herself up in a tither (mostly because she doesn't want to listen) and then completely freaks out. Like, completely. From a mature adult point of view I can easily see that if she just paused for two minutes... 120 lousy seconds.... she would have the information she needed and we could all move gracefully throughout our day. But her immature teen reaction tends to release my immature I'm In Charge Here attitude and we're ultimately left with me fuming while forced to listen to her slamming bedroom door as she spouts out some ingenious insult like, "Oh, yeah - well - you have CHEST HAIR!"

Needless to say, this morning could not come soon enough.

The Bean's bus was scheduled to arrive at 6:50am. Big V took on the task of actually waking her up once her alarm clock and the alarm on her cell phone failed to do so. He showered while she dressed. Then fifteen minutes later I hopped in the shower while Dotter woke and dressed, and Bean monopolized the bathroom mirror. (Yes, four people getting ready at the same time with only one bathroom. It is possible. It's not fun... but it is possible.)

As I'm trying to enjoy my shower, Dotter is attempting to wiggle through to the sink to brush her teeth, the Bean is insisting her hair has to be completely redone because V mentioned the back looked totally cool (which in Teen Speak means "Your hair looks different. This is bad. Very, very bad! And everyone, yes, everyone you see will be laughing at you. Yes, you.") and V is singing out random song lyrics, because, honestly, God would put the three grumpiest non-morning people in a home with the most cheeriest morning person on the planet. Silly, God. He's funny like that.

So it gets to that point where everyone is clearing out of the bathroom as I'm rinsing the conditioner out of my hair and I know it's time for the Bean to go.

"Let me know when you're leaving!" I yell out. (I have this fear about kids being kidnapped. It stems from my brother vanishing when he was four.) "OK!" she yells back, more out of complacency then actual concern.

By this time the bathroom is still and I'm allowed those moments where I can just stand and let the water wash over me. I didn't even mind that the water had lost that scalding-the-top-layer-of-my-skin warmth. I was actually alone in a quiet bathroom.

"MOM! WHERE IS MY BUS STOP?!" an extremely panicked voice cried out.

I'm tempted to respond with, "Well, I was going to tell you that last night, but you insisted on stomping about while accusing me of growing massive amounts of chest hair. Betcha wish you woulda listened then, eh?" but I knew that was an immature answer that would bring no real sense of peace, so instead I took a deep breath and yelled back over the shower curtain, out the bathroom and down the hall to where ever it was she was standing, "IT'S ON THE CORNER OF 6th AND LOCUST!."

"WAIT. WHERE IS IT?! HOW DO I GET THERE?" the yelling continued, panic rising in epic leaps and bounds.

"BEAN," I yelled while trying to remain patient. I knew she was just nervous. I would need to stay calm and make this simple for her. "GO OUT OUR FRONT DOOR - TURN RIGHT - WALK TIL YOU GET TO THE STREET - THEN JUST WAIT THERE."

"OH, OK." she said, sounding relieved....

and...

the still silence of the bathroom returned....

and then....

"WAIT! WHICH WAY IS MY RIGHT?!"

(She's going to be a Freshman.)

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