We made it mamas. We did it. High fives all round, please. We made it through staying at our parents’ all summer long. We survived all their endless comments on everything from our parenting choices to how much or little we’re eating. We waded through the family obligations and getting our kids adjusted to new time zones and beds and rules and foods and mosquitoes. The list is endless.
A new school year brings with it new worries though. Sure, there are the obvious expected-and-rather-natural worries and then perhaps, the not-so-obvious ones that I never thought I would have. At least not this early on. She’s not even in high school yet! Or am I behind on these worries?
Obvious and expected back to school worries
1) Meals The stress of what to feed my kids is back and I find myself missing being at my parents’ place the most during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And during naptime. Oh, and bath time. Okay, so pretty much around the clock, but let’s focus on meals for now.
Let’s just say they’ve eaten a lot of cereal and cheese sandwiches since returning home until I get my energy up to shop for actual food.
2) That first cold The rush… the thrill… the joy to get my free time back (well, all two hours of it when my baby is sleeping and my toddler is at nursery). This is immediately Debbie-Downered by my fear of their first bad cold from nursery. Sure, the fear in summer time is earaches and that they’ll hate camp (I’m not there yet but have heard my fair share of stories from my sister). But back to school time means how to handle 2x the illnesses, tantrums about school, and separation anxiety. All I can do is pray they get the worst of it before December when I’ll have a newborn at home. Maybe I should encourage my big girl to lick the floor tiles?
4) Nursery injuries
That first injury that happens at nursery. We’ve all had that phone call and rushed to “assess if it’s a trip to hospital.” It’s going to happen again I know it and probably sooner rather than later with one who’s become a really fast runner and another who is as coordinated as a baby who sneaked straight vodka into his sippy cup.
5) Confidence Boosters
I really am worried about what to do when my daughter is made fun of, picked on or left out! And mostly, mostly I’m worried about figuring out how to give them confidence when they’re made fun of and left out (yes even as toddlers when brain development may not include “worry about what others think of you”). This has kinda already happened when they were asked to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. That day at nursery all the girls were dressed as princesses. Except for my girl – she was a doctor. The others wouldn’t hold her hand so I kept creepily coming up behind them and whispering to “Elsa” to… I’m sorry how is being a princess a job? Not my proudest moment.
New superficial worries
I’m even more worried this year, since she’s turned three (I cried the whole day so God knows what’s going to happen when she’s off to college). I’m faced with a lot more superficial worries. It’s strange really because she’s going to the same nursery but, still.
1) Is she going to win friends and influence people? Is she going to be one of the popular kids? Is she going to be invited over for a different play date every day of the week or am I going to have to rent a horse and camel plus an elephant to get kids to hang out with her?
2) What subject is she going to excel at… so much that Harvard will beg her to attend? Do I have to teach her multiplication on the way to school – in that brief 30 minutes when she sometimes snoozes should I be screaming what’s 8×4 tell me quick?!
3) Will they make fun of how loudly she likes to sing even though she doesn’t quite yet know all the words? Maybe this one’s universal but I’ve never seen kids in French pre-school singing loudly. Is she going to be ostracized for being… vocal? And off key?
4) Will they make fun of her “Annie-esque” hair? Yes, it’s curly. Frizzy curly. I think it’s charming but will everyone? Probably not. This is the reality of being a mom. We think the sun shines out of their bums. It sadly doesn’t. No, not even from yours… despite what your mom has told you.
Okay, so she’s still in nursery another year but she’ll be “graduating” this year. That means elementary is around the corner. And I know I’m going to sob. I just hope I’ll have made a really good friend by that point. You know, someone to tell me to blow my nose because I have snot hanging out. Can’t wait.