School Daze

The kids are a few weeks into their new school and Paul and I are finally getting adjusted.  The kids figured things out pretty quickly, but us?  We have new kids, new teachers, AND new parents to get to know with only a few minutes each day to sort it out.  It’s a big step for us.

So last week, we attended the first parent-group meeting for the kids school.  We got there early, so that Paul could hang huge curtains on the massive windows upstairs while I navigated the waters of a strange new parent group below.  A few minutes into the meeting, the 10 foot ladder that Paul was on the Very Top Of collapsed on it’s bottom rung.  Consider first, the danger: the damage of a 10 foot fall, coupled with the collapse of a huge metal ladder, and school tables and shelving lining the floor beneath.   Then picture the amazing response: a teacher happened to walk by the room at the very instant the ladder buckled, bearing shocking witness to Paul RIDING THE LADDER TO THE GROUND AS IT COLLAPSED UNDER HIM.  Yep.  He walked away just fine.  I’m placing a bet that Paul’s next job is with Cirque di Soleil.

Despite Paul’s near-death experience at our first official school volunteerism event, we are now officially volunteers with committees and such.  We have met a lot of very nice, down to earth, unpretentious parents… and a few who have given us well-intended lectures about the importance of parental involvement in school, how rewarding it is, and how we really should find a way to get involved.  It gives us a good laugh.

Will is picking up French like a sponge, randomly throwing out French words in conversation.  The best is the word “bleu” pronounced by Will as “BLEGH” and taking the place of where he would normally say the word “blue”.  Like, for example, “Mommy, when I wear my Superman sunglasses, they make everything look BLEGH.”  Kate’s French comes from repeating whatever Will says.  This means that the most commonly heard phrase in the house is “BLEGH.”

What is most definitely NOT BLEGH is the school hot lunch program.  We signed up both kids for a song, considering that now I know that school hot lunch is The Most Amazing Thing in the World, and that I would rip my kidney out with a spoon, eat ramen for a year, and even say something nice about Sarah Palin if it meant keeping my kids in the program.  And it’s not just that I no longer have to worry about going to the store for lunch supplies, or packing lunches, or making sure containers are clean, or juice is made, or freezer packs are frozen… I also don’t have to stress over whether or not they eat dinner.  I know that they are getting a good lunch at school (or, at least, I make myself believe this by dutifully ignoring the school lunch menu) and therefore, have officially stopped having to panic over whether or not dinner is something they choose to eat.  Or, more aptly put, my desire to stuff food down those ungrateful whiny throats encourage them to eat is greatly diminished.

This Thursday, while Paul and I board a direct flight to Boston, Will is going on a field trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art.  I’ve made it a point to be at every school event before, and I am pretty disappointed to miss the trip — where Will is going on his first ever school bus (not counting the school buses he rode as an infant in Honduras) and his first ever Art Museum.  But once Paul and I are on that quiet airplane, deciding whether or not to read novels, gaze into each other’s eyes, take in a few moments of restful sleep, or basque in the comfort of hearing someone else’s kid howl through the flight… I don’t think I’ll be as bothered by it.