Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Stress served up frozen...with salt

So, as I sit here, I am pretty darn proud of myself. Why? Because I have managed to only riddle you with ONE, count 'em ONE, anxiety-filled blog entry counting down to my son's starting kindergarten. This is really good for me (and for you too)! I wish I could say it was all my self-control, positive thinking, and lack of stress that helped me with this, but it is not. I have just been too darn busy to blog about it until now!

In one day from this moment, I will be greeting my son at his bus and bringing him home to hear all about his first day of school ever. Words cannot describe the level of pride, anxiety, and happiness I feel about this all at the same time. Now, on to the stress orgy...

Yesterday was pure hell, to be honest. I woke up with my tonsils waving at me out of my ear canals. My body ached. My husband has been sick with this crap for three weeks, hasn't seen a doctor until today, and it finally got me. I only hope it will miss my son. I will have this for three more weeks if I can avoid that.

Most of the day, I labeled the "day of non-progress" as we tried to accomplish the many things we needed to get done before he starts school tomorrow, to have one headache after another and make very little ground all day long.

Last night, we experienced our first "Meet the Teacher" and greeted the woman who will probably have more influence on my son than anyone over the next year. His teacher has come very highly touted by other parents whose kids have been in her class. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. She seemed very upbeat and energetic and the kids seemed to already gravitate towards her. She's very young looking, but seems to be very in control and positive.

The event itself was full of stress though. The amount of information they load the parents up with just two days before school starts is alarming and scary. I have a huge manila folder full of forms and sheets to read through. There's a ton of things he has to have with him the first day, that I had no idea we'd need. Here's a few stress points I'll share:

First off, my kid has to have a SIX-DIGIT PIN number that he must have memorized and enter correctly into a keypad to eat lunch. They drilled into us how he must know it, but then other volunteers at the school said the teachers help them a lot with it. All I know is, how complicated have they made school for these kids nowadays? A PIN number at age 5 or 6? NUTS! He will be taking his lunch the first few days at least....just to avoid this.

And, speaking of lunch, my son's will be at 10:30 a.m. Yes, a.m.! Doesn't that seem a little early? Oh, and they have 30 minutes from the time they leave their class to reaching the cafeteria, to eating and getting back to the classroom. That's not much time!

They will have a rest time. My son has not napped at preschool even once since he was in the 3-year-old class. And they have to rest on a towel from home. No pillows, bedding or anything is allowed. Not even a cuddly bear. A thin little towel with no padding on the cold tile floor. How comfortable is that going to be really? All I can see is my skinny little guy all curled up in a ball shivering on his towel on the cold hard floor, trying so hard to rest.

The whole bus thing has the majority of my brain riddled with anxiety. He has to know his bus number in less than a day. Supposedly, when he gets off he'll be instantly greeted by someone who will walk him to class with the other classmates. But, what happens when someone gets distracted or strays from the group? How long would it be before someone would find him and bring him in? What if he's standing amidst a crowd of 5th graders crying? Would anyone see my beautiful little boy?

And what about the ride home? I have already been scared to death last year, when the news blasted out a story about a missing little girl. Amber Alerts were called and everyone searched for her. Turns out, she was taken to an all-night daycare and had been there the whole time. The fact that this whole thing happened, is scary enough. But, the daycare didn't NOTICE they had a new kid? They didn't question that with the school or bus driver?

I have heard numerous stories of friends of ours whose kids got off at the wrong stop, decided to go home with a friend without telling anyone, didn't get on the bus in time. I really feel quite certain that, should this happen within the first few weeks of school and my son NOT get off that bus, I will have a coronary and drop dead right there.

So, after finding out all of this at the teacher meeting, my husband and I got our priorities straight and instantly headed straight for a nearby Mexican food place we'd been wanting to try, and dosed ourselves each with a margarita the size of a small fishbowl. You know, a nice frozen buzz in a bowl can really do wonders for a sore throat and for a body that is tense with anxiety? Oh, and don't forget the salt..never forget that!

My son, for some reason, for the rest of the evening was out of control silly. My daughter also decided to do dazzle the restaurant with vocal stylings of glass-shattering acoustical whimsy. And, the husband and I just sat back, drank and ate way greasy Mexican food. BURP!

In addition to all of the school stress, I also found out that the BSBs (read Back-Stabbing Bitches) in my moms' group, who are trying to make our group into either some kind of fundamentalist cult or an elitist sorority, have started in again on a new target. This time it is me. Lovely. They are unhappy with how I have planned a scrapbooking retreat for the scrapbooking group, only NONE of them are IN the group or scrapbook. Sigh. I hate to warn them, but if they complain or try to stir up much more, this MomCat is going to have to whip out the claws and go to town on their whiney arses. SCRATCH! CLAW! MANGLE!

Then, I realized that it was almost 10 p.m. and I had not even begun my newsletter for the moms' group that was due the day before. I finally crashed about 1 a.m., only to be awoken at 1:45 by my daughter screaming. I am starting to seriously have sleep jealousies and get very bitter with the members of my household who can sleep through a freakin' monsoon of baby screaming without waking a bit.

OK, I think I have blessed you all with enough stress for today. And, gee...I feel so much better now! Tomorrow I will try to post something more calm and introspective after watching my son get on that bus. But, for now, it's stress all the way. But, if you don't mind my asking, could I have that stress frozen with salt? Please don't forget the salt...


Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

OMG. I don't know how you're managing right now. I'm totally stressing out with the girls but it sounds like you have your hands full as well.
First of all, SIX DIGIT CODES?! 10:30 LUNCHTIME?! NAPS ON THE FLOOR WITH A TOWEL?! WTF?! I would be all up in the faces of the school board with crap like that. I know Houston has got to be raking in the tax money- Surely they can afford the nap pads that we had when we were kids- the nap pads you'll find in any Head Start daycare center IN THE PROJECTS. And that code stuff and early lunch is totally ridiculous.
That said, with a good teacher, I'm sure your son will have a great year.
I love the BSB label. I may have to use that when I start up my own church-linked playgroup this fall (I know, I'm a glutton for punishment- At least it'll give me something to blog about). I've decided I'm done with being nice and not saying anything. If the same women sign up and are bitchy again in -my- play group, I'm calling them on it. I'm going to call them up and very nicely tell them to STOP. Because if I don't, they'll do it again to someone else and I'm tired of just letting that happen.
GOOD LUCK TOMORROW! Let us know what happens- every excruciating detail!

9:27 PM, August 09, 2005  
Anonymous irene said...

ok, in 19 days, it's my turn. but for now, I'm so there with you Steph. everything's going to be just perfect. don't worry.

12:44 AM, August 10, 2005  
Blogger Babs said...

DUDE, most grown-ups can't remember their own 4-digit pins!!! That's ridiculous. Next they'll have to wear ID badges like adults do at work.

p.s. I prefer my stress without salt.

4:59 PM, August 10, 2005  

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