grown up girls are grown up

*disclaimer: I am a horrible, no-good, irresponsible parent who took not ONE picture of Isabella on her first day of school. Don’t worry, I made up for it with bribes of chocolate and smoothies…like any good mother does. Carry on.

We have a first timer here, folks!

We have lift off! Both Isabella & Annika have started the school year!

This was a big year for everyone: brand new school, new bus stop (up-hill-both-ways-in-a-hail-storm kinda bitchin far…bastards), Bella starting all-day-every-day grade one, Annika starting Junior Kindergarten. Whoa. We loaded up on new backpacks (Disney Princesses & Cars, respectively), lunch snacks and new umbrellas. <- Our poor troops were soaked to the underwear on a trek home from the bus stop one morning…did I mention the bus stop is hella far??

Bella, as expected, loves EVERY.DAMN.THING about school. She’s like that Daily Affirmation girl: I love my friends, I love my teacher, I love my bus, I love snacktime, I love my locker, I love the hall pass It’s cute as hell and I rarely tire of hearing about her adventures. She’s detail-oriented with her stories, so I always feel like I know exactly what happened and how she felt about it. Super awesome, actually, even when it takes her 12 hours to tell a story about going to get a drink at the fountain:) She’s apparently tres popular, which scares me more than it probably should. I’m shocked at how quickly she’s jumped right back into the french, seeing as she didn’t use more than a sentence or two of it all summer long. It’s impressive.

Big Sister is also MUCHO excited about Little Sister being at her school. As evidenced by this: the hand holding. I die. I swear I saw this exact series of pictures in my dreams when I realized Nik was a girl and Belle had a sister. It’s so goddamn adorable I could cry. And I might have…you’ll never know.

I know. I just can't even...

I wasn’t prepared to be emotional over Annika going to school. I don’t know why I expected it to just pass with minimal emotional fanfare…but I was caught off guard by how unwilling I was to leave my baby alone in her classroom. I smiled with immense pride waving at her, all teeny-tiny-33lbs of her, sitting on the bus so excited to be there. I drove to the school and every second of waiting for that bus was worth it to get THIS shot:

The cute! The cute!

Bella grabbed her hand and walked her around the playground, the school, showed her the bathrooms (which Nik will never use for years since there are two stalls right in her classroom) and then back out to meet Mme Harrison. And then we waited. And waited…and waited some more…and I watched with concern as the excitement started to drain from Annika’s face, replaced instead with boredom, then uncertainty, then just enough fear to raise my radar. I knew we were heading up the wrong path when I heard her squeaky little voice say, “Momma? Will you come over here and give me a hug and a kiss?” I know. How can you resist? I didn’t resist, but it was about the fourth hug & kiss we’d given in a half hour. Then she wouldn’t let go of my hand. Rah row.

With some coaxing, she walked into the classroom on her own, Mme Harrison helped her find her hook & I decided not to step foot in that room, lest I never leave again. I stalked her through the outside window for awhile, then I headed inside to discuss some concerns with the Principal (a long story. Suffice it to say: don’t be a bitch to me on the phone. I’m lookin at YOU, secretary. ::hulksmash::), and interrupt Bella’s class to get a few awesome shots of her right in her element- haha.

Standing in front of Mme King's classroom

Grown up girl

Like any decent stalker worth their weight, if the opportunity presents itself to spy on your subject, you take it. And take it I did…wandered down the hall, all alone because the other parents full of sense and with lives of their own had smartly gone home by then, and took a peek in Nika’s classroom. All the students were sitting on the mat, in front of the teacher, playing a happy game of head & shoulders…save for one…

That kid sitting on the chair? Mine.

…and then a well-meaning aide tried to coax her onto the mat with her friends, which resulted in a brief meltdown. It was at that point I gathered what was left of my good sense and took the fuck off.

And later that night, when we asked her how her first day went? AMAZING! “I love school! I want to go back again! and again! and again! We played outside…I played with two boys…no I don’t know their names…then I cried 4 times on the bus cause there were big boys, REALLY big boys…I ate my pizza in my lunch and I coloured you a picture- LOOKATTHEPICTURE!…”

She was not nearly so traumatized as I thought, and considerably less so than I. Well played, Nika. Well played. I learned the following lessons on these first days of school:

#1) Your baby is always your baby and it will always been a little bit selfishly painful to send them off to school without you.

#2) Little girls will pick their OWN shoes, thankyouverymuch.

#3) You might know your child better than everyone…except themselves. Give them space at the exact moment you want to run to them, and they’ll surprise the hell out of you.

#4) Schools are like little Pavlov’s Dog experiments all day long. Once that bell rang on the playground, Bella was full tilt toward the school doors, “We MUST go inside. NOW. The bell has rung.”

#5) I never have a fucking clue what is up with teenage fashion. Like seriously? The tongue of your high top on the outside of your skinny jean pant leg? There is so, so much wrong with that…

#6) Isabella and boys are like moths to a flame. It’s disturbing. They surround her and smother her with adoration, and she bats her little eyelashes like she’s fricken Audrey Hepburn. #stopitstop

#7) My kids are the loves of my life and just when I think I cannot know one.more.thing about them, they change the game and my heart grows 10 sizes a day.

Be still my heart. The fullest on the planet, for certain.

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