The kindergarten registration process was not easy. No, it was not easy at all. Nor was it quick. That, however, was typical – something very simple that I had to go about making as difficult as humanly possible. Seriously. All we had to do was walk in there, sign in, wait for a few minutes, meet with someone for less than five minutes, and then head out on our merry way. It could have been so simple and painless. But it wasn’t.
No, it was not simple and it was not painless. It was insanely complicated, exasperating, painful and it left me feeling like I have no control over anything, defeated and pathetic. Heh, but what doesn’t do that these days? C’est la vie.
In case you were wondering what the most efficient way to make a terrible first impression is, I’ve got some notes that you may want to read. You wouldn’t think that destroying any face that you may have permanently would be so easy to do without any effort, but when you have two kids anything is possible.
Where should we begin? Ok, let’s start at the beginning.
Something that I’ve noticed about myself over the years is that I can be kind volatile in a situation without even opening my mouth. A lot of it has to do with my appearance. Let’s just say, I don’t exactly fit in. Ever. At least, not in every day situations with normal people. The years I spent modeling were kind of awesome for my sense of belonging because I spent most of my time with people who were like I am – but now, I’m a mom and I don’t fit in and it’s frustrating. I’d like to think that it isn’t the giant cannabis leaf that I have tattooed on my left arm, but it probably has a lot to do with that. Right now my hair isn’t aggravating – it’s not normal (it’s short, bleach blonde, asymmetrical and random, but not invasive), but it isn’t insane. My mohawk hat attracts a hell of a lot more attention than my hair does at the moment. But specifics aside, there’s something about my presence that can irk people. I don’t try to come off like this, it just is. I feel like if I could help it, I’d have found a way by this point in my life. So, I embrace it. I can’t say the same for the people that I encounter when I’m out and about doing my day-to-day thing. I used to think I was paranoid… now I just try to do what it is I need to do as quickly and quietly as possible.
Another thing I should mention is that in the last year, I’ve lost about 65 pounds. I put on A LOT of weight when I was pregnant with my son … not just during the pregnancy, but in the six weeks after I put on a solid 20 pounds all on my own from being given the medical “green light” to eat carbs again (I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy). The last time I bought new shirts was about 40 pounds ago. Needless to say, they fit me differently now than they did when I bought them. This day, I was wearing a racerback tank top – I love these things, I live in them during the summer, just throw them on over a cami or a bralette or something that actually covers what’s under it, and you’re good to go. What should you not wear them over? Regular bras – bras that are blatantly bras, bras that – when showing – alert the surrounding audience with a tone of shame and shock. These are not bras that are meant to be pretty, theses are meant to be functional. Unfortunately, when you’ve dropped a lot of weight since the last time you bought bras, they aren’t as functional as they are meant to be – so what we have here is a lose-lose wardrobe situation. But whatever, we’re just going to be quick. Run in, run out. It will be fine.
Well, as you can imagine, it was not fine. Heh, no it was not at all fine. It was bad. I ended up getting us there 15 minutes before the end of registration because for some reason I am absolutely incapable of getting myself and the kids anywhere remotely on-time… I was shooting for an hour before the end of registration… the school is only 3 freaking miles away… I don’t know what the hell happened.
It was probably a combination of having to talk my daughter out of wearing a goddamn costume, chasing my son around, waiting a half hour for my daughter to find matching shoes, chasing my son around, waiting to an hour for my daughter to finish eating, chasing my son around, waiting 15 minutes for my daughter to decide she needs to use the potty and perhaps, chasing my son around. And, of course, it’s 90 freaking degrees outside. I don’t do 90 degrees well, and I really don’t do 90 degrees well when it pops up after a two week bought of unseasonably cold weather. Nothing good happens when it’s 90 degrees outside. So, we get there… we’re tired, we’re sweating, we’re hungry. We’re half naked… mommy should have worn a tank top under this one, but she was sure of it when the boy proceeded to pull her shirt 75% of the way off within 30 seconds of walking into the school.
The set-up I’m greeted with is the dreaded circle – sign in at the table in the middle, then have a seat somewhere in this circle of chairs that are setup around the perimeter of the entrance hallway. And wait. My dumb ass did not anticipate the waiting. I don’t know why. But when I made the decision to feed my son after we got back from registration, I did not anticipate the waiting. When I told my daughter to hurry up and throw some socks and shoes on so we could go, I did not anticipate the waiting. When I didn’t grab anything to eat or drink to bring with us on my way out the door – even though the little voice in my head was SCREAMING AT ME – I did not anticipate the waiting. Once again, I do not know why.
Waiting with a feisty, hungry, tired and insane one year old is an ordeal no matter how you go about it. I thought that I was going to be surrounded by a sort of universal sympathy – after all, it was a school, everyone there has kids = but no, it was not sympathetic, it was judgmental and I felt inferior – heh, at least it was a familiar situation. No, I don’t have any control over my kids – I’m sorry I’m not as perfect as you are, but I live in the real world.
I had to decide what would be less disruptive – letting my son shriek as he was confined to either my arms or a stroller, or letting him run free and having to chase him down every 10 seconds like he was an escaped convict on the freaking lamb. Option B, unfortunately, also involved bouts of shrieking every time I caught him and turned him around so he was running back in the direction that we came from.
This elementary school was not toddler friendly. I don’t know why I was expecting it to be more or less. I really don’t know what I was expecting, but apparently any inkling of an image I had in my head about what I was walking into was just 100% wrong. I think that’s from going to private school for thirteen years – my memories of school functions aren’t exactly normal. Or universal. They are actually kind of insane, and definitely esoteric. I was not in the presence of any of the chosen few or their descendants – that’s one thing I can always appreciate about the private school alumnae factor, it’s very tangible – weirdly tangible… you can definitely feel it. But heh, it was not here – not here, not today. I was on my own.
After what seemed like an eternity – in reality it was probably about 15 minutes (and in those few minutes, my son managed to crash into a display in the hallway, draw all over the hallway and walls – literally, almost escape completely down a long hallway that we weren’t supposed to be in, and he pulled my shirt off twice… oh, the stares… damn, those eyes burn) – we were finally called into the office to do this thing! My daughter was an angel, she was very polite, she was brilliant and she definitely showed the powers that be that she is ready to go to kindergarten. My son managed to pull my shirt off again, and draw all over the desk with a violet crayon… I don’t know how he got the violet crayon, it wasn’t the same crayon that I took away from him in the hallway (no, I don’t know how he got that one either). Our registration was very smooth, that was due to my husband putting all of the documents and paperwork that we could possibly need into an organized folder making me appear to be much more organized than I actually am – I couldn’t take credit. My husband made a fantastic impression. Typical. At least one of us looks good. I probably would have come off better had I not been there as well.
I don’t even want to talk about the ordeal in the parking lot. That is another story for another day. Kids are weird. Fucking crazy, man. And so are we for having them. But at least we got through this one. Barely.