There I was, lip quivering, tears threatening the burst the levees, face to face with my twins' Kindergarten Teacher on Parent Orientation Night five days before the first student day. I was tip toeing ever so close to the fine line of sanity that separates the cool moms from those referred by educational professionals as “that mom”. How did this happen???
Back it up way before the onset of those first-day-of-school jitters - you know, the anxiety! The worrying! The lamenting of where the time went! Actually, I’m talking about myself here. My kids? Oh, they would be fine. Aside from the forced posing for photos while waiting for the grand entrance of the bus ...
Sometime one hot, humid late August day, I returned from my fabulous trip at the Econo Lodge to find the teacher assignment letters amongst the week’s worth of mail. Hmm. My twins were not together as politely requested. Okay, call the school leave a message. It’s a simple fix, just swap one over and be done with it … or so I thought.
I called the school back after not hearing from them. Here’s where I learned something new. A lot of people call the school the week before the start and that doesn’t make for a very pleasant secretary. As if I was at a deli counter, I was relegated to being 11th in line and dismissed for the day. Gulp! Feeling tense but pleased with my ability to speak up, I eagerly awaited my phone call that my request had been granted – thank you very much.
Oh, the school called the next day alright – only it was the Guidance Counselor wondering about “the issue” I was having. I replied confidently with the statement, “There’s nothing wrong with the two of them!” (Now, as I was occupied with this phone call, my daughter was applying butterfly stamps up the front of her chest. She had gotten the idea from seeing a segment on tattooed Olympians featuring one of the synchronized swimmers from
. I wanted my children to watch the Olympics to see how hard work and determination paid off. They seemed more impressed with the featured story on “tatts” – nice!) Russia
Anyway, through my blubbering I managed to win over the Guidance Counselor who went to the secretary (remember her? Miss Take-a-number?) to process my request of the same classroom. And, of course, #11 hadn’t been called yet and I would have to get back in line and wait.
Meanwhile, I began to question my original request. What if I was doing my twins emotional harm forcing them to be together in half day Kindergarten? What kind of mother am I? Was I only thinking of myself having to meet with two teachers for conferences instead of three? Oh the questions. Oh the self-doubt. Oh the mixed messages on the internet. Why did I meddle? I could have left things be. What was so wrong with that?
The day of the Parent Orientation night, I had not heard from the school. Of course, I didn’t. Remember back in the spring how I thought it was going to be so simple, so uncomplicated? I called the school with a lump in my throat and finally, got an answer. “Oh, we didn’t call you?” No, no you didn’t. Just sitting around freaking out waiting for my number! I didn’t say that exactly, but I think my silence spoke volumes.
It doesn’t end. Yes, my twins were now together in the same classroom with the same experienced, enthusiastic teacher as my older son had. But, when I told my daughter she would be together with her twin, she wasn’t quite as pleased as I had anticipated. She ran to her room screaming, “Nooooo!”
So, there I was on Parent Orientation Night, meeting with my twins' Kindergarten teacher, trying so desperately not to fulfill my prophecy of becoming “that mom” – the one always calling the school and complaining and making ridiculous requests and then changing her mind – that one. And here’s what brought me ultimately to tears: My twin’s teacher is herself a twin, she has a fraternal twin sister! She knows all about twins because she has first hand experience living it!
The first day of school came happily – well, my third grader wouldn’t agree since he knew it was back to doing homework – but it was a happy day. And yes, there were some quirks like the afternoon Kindergarten bus running an hour late and my husband and I having to drive our twins to school.
By the late afternoon, I was greeted by three happy faces running off the school bus. And in the end, that’s all that really matters!