Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. the Kindergarten Meet and Greet

She has dealt with pregnancy, limited sleep, and potty training. She has fought valiantly against the Perfect Moms and their arsenal of judgey glares and organic food lectures. She daily wages battle against whining and sticky things. Toy clean-up and why-is-there-an-apple-core-under-the-couch still best her, but she soldiers on. Awkward Mom is determined to get the Supers to adulthood; that there will be therapy, and perhaps some heavy drinking, in that adulthood is kinda a foregone conclusion, but they are gonna get there. Today, we arrive at a huge milestone on this forced march to maturity. Today, 5 years of planning and hard work reach fruition. Today, Super Preschooler takes on a new mantle and forges forth on his educational path toward further awesomeness and greater spelling ability. Today, well, Awkward Mom threw up a little in her mouth and was awkward, making today no very different from most days.

I am leaning on this picnic table next to the sandbox, trying to look cool. I don't think it is working; Awkward Dad just asked me if something is wrong with my back. We are the first ones here, which is lame and totally over-eager. I don't know what to expect and I don't know what to do with my hands. Naturally, all my children have chosen this moment to be incredibly independent, so I have no one to camouflage my discomfort with. Super Preschooler (last post we will be calling him that!) is playing in the sand with Super Toddler, and Super Baby is being pushed in a Cozy Coupe by Awkward Dad. She is yelling to go faster. I wish stuff would slow down, personally.

This seemed so fun a month ago. "Oh! Super Preschooler will get to meet his class and teachers at the park near the school, which is also 2 blocks from our house. We will walk over all casual-like, like the earth-loving, relaxed people we want everyone to think we are, and everyone will love Super Preschooler and he will start his academic career on a high note that will never let up until his graduation from Harvard Medical School. What should I wear?"

Today, it seems less fun. No one had time to change, so we are all wearing various nerd-shirts and ripped up jean shorts. The heat and humidity decided to act up, so we are all sweaty when we finally make it to the park, 15 minutes early because I rushed everyone out of the house in my panic to be on time. We probably did have time to change; a fact that Awkward Dad keeps reminding me of, with dirty looks and gestures to the sweat marks on his SHIELD shirt. Oh crap, that's the one with the eagle-like thing on it that people sometimes think is a Nazi symbol. Why the heck didn't I let everyone change?! Super Preschooler has a black eye from our recent Ikea trip (post coming) and it has turned a frightening shade of green. I tried to hide it by pulling his hat down, but now he just looks seedy, with a black eye. Super Toddler and Super Baby both look dirty and raggy; like all toddlers look at 6pm on a summer Tuesday. Oh well, it's August, everyone is in the same boat, right?

Perfect Mom #1 is the first to arrive after us, clearly from work at some high-powered law firm or something; I can't remember ever owning heels that high, let alone walking like some runway model in them over park wood-chips. Her son is wearing a collared shirt, ironed shorts, and looks about 8 years old. She heads right for me, as I try to melt into the picnic table.

Perfect Mom: Hi! I am Perfect Mom. Are you the teacher? (Her skeptical gaze takes in my floppy sunhat, Captain America t-shirt, ripped jeans, and Chuck Taylors with a hole in the right one.)

Me: Nope. Just another mom. My son is over there.

Perfect Mom: Oh, is he the one eating sand?

Me: Ummm...well, he is mine too, but Super Preschooler is the one in Kindergarten. He is actually digging a hole over to the left.

Perfect Mom: I see. They aren't twins?

Me: No.

Perfect Mom: And he is 5? He is so small. Of course, Perfect Kindergartener here has always been on the high end of the growth chart. (Blindingly white smiles flashed by both of them)

Me: How nice for you.

Perfect Mom: Are you ready for all-day? I imagine it will free up your schedule to focus on your other child.

Me: Um, well, I actually have 2 other children.

Perfect Mom: Oh my goodness, aren't you ambitious? Must be a circus at your house!

Me: Yes, a little. But Super P. is actually going to half-day Kindergarten.

Perfect Mom: Oh. (Any welcome in her eyes goes dead and she starts scanning the playground. Other Perfect Moms have begun to arrive.) Will you excuse me? I see someone I know.

I sigh (I am not sure if in defeat or relief), and I resume holding up the picnic table. Awkward Dad has found a dad to talk to in that infuriatingly easy way that men have, and all the children are happily playing that screaming-running game that children at the park always play. The teachers finally arrive and pass out name tags for the children. It appears that the full-day and half-day children are all here; there are 26 full-day students and 7 half-day students. I begin the long process of finding the half-day parents by weeding through the throng and enduring, "Oh, so your child is in Begindergarten (That is what they call it; I'm not kidding), what an interesting choice."

I won't bore you with the details; it goes as you would expect. Basically, like a middle school dance. The end result of the pain is that Super P.'s classmates are a pair of twins with mega helicopter parents, 2 kids with Perfect Moms (one fairly garden-variety and one with movie star looks and stunning fashion sense), 1 lovely little boy with normal parents, and one that wasn't there, so I am holding judgement for the time being. It is gonna be a long school year, Readers.

Now, before you despair with, or for, me, I have one positive story. I am standing forlornly at one end of the park, after my semi-disastrous meeting with the helicopter parents of the twins, when Awkward Dad starts frantically waving to me. I meander over to see him in animated discussion with a very normal looking mom.

Normal Mom: I really think it is gonna be exciting to have new Star Wars movies. Disney has the money to do it right.

Awkward Dad: You are totally right. Awkward Mom, this is Normal Mom. She wanted to meet you.

Normal Mom: I spotted his SHIELD shirt and totally started scanning the park for his match. I knew it had to be you; I just love that vintage look that your Captain America shirt has. At least you guys know how to dress for the park; the heels on that woman over there should be illegal.

She morphs into Angel Mom at some point during her speech, and I can't quite think of anything worthy to say.

Angel/Normal Mom: This is my son, Normal Kindergartener. Who is yours?

Me: Oh, this is Super Preschooler, I mean, Kindergartener, here.

Super Kindergartener.: Hi.

Angel/Normal Mom: Hi, Super K. How are you doing?

Super K.: Good, I guess. (He is clinging to my leg and peering at her.)

Angel Mom: I love your Chewie shirt; your mom has the best taste in clothes. Do you like Star Wars?

Super K.: I love Star Wars, and I love Angry Birds Star Wars too! (He is still holding me, but he has come to the front on my leg.)

Angel Mom: Oh! I love to play that, so does Normal Kindergartener. Have you played Temple Run yet?

Super K.: No, what's that?

Angel Mom: Oh, it is so cool! (She pulls out her iPhone and shoots me an inquisitive look. I nod.) Look; here is what you do....

Normal K. comes over and they play for a couple minutes. Then, the boys run off, discussing strategy for the Hoth level of Angry Birds Star Wars. Suddenly, the heat disappears and the sunset makes everything a lovely reddish golden color.

Me: Thank you; I think you made his night.

Angel Mom: No prob. Awkward Dad tells me that you guys are doing Begindergarten. What a lameo name! But I wish we were doing that, it is such a smart idea to ease them in, you know. Hopefully, we will still see you guys around though.

Me: Yes, I hope so. I really really hope so!

Angel Mom: Now, let me tell you my theory how they should use Han and Leia's kids in the sequels. I swear to you that it isn't fan fictiony.

Angels walk among us, Readers. They truly do. 

It is Nightwing time! That magical time of year when everyone moves up a place in household structure around here and is given a new name to more accurately match their growing personalities and abilities. OK, that is obviously impossible, so I will just settle for accurately representing their ages. We present to you, the Awkward class of fall 2013:

Super Kindergartener; fiendishly smart
with rapidly growing gamer prowess
and extreme grumpy-face-making abilities.
A born leader with a tender side; he quietly helms the ship around here. 

Super Preschooler; charm itself
housed in a tiny blond being with devilish grins and angelic hair.
A wild child with a hippie soul;
he can be talked into any scheme and talk his way out of any trouble. 

Super Toddler; somehow both a delicate beauty and a stunning daredevil
with a boldness that knows no bounds
and an intelligence that has not chosen an allegiance to either good or bad yet. 
One to watch, that is for sure.  

Super Baby (currently going as Super Fetus);
his/her debut should be in late February. 
Identity currently unknown,
but nausea-producing thrusters appear to be set on high. 

Me and Awkward Dad. 
We think we are in change, 
but we are mostly just keeping the bugs at bay. 

Hope your bugs are at bay, Readers! We love the fall this side of the blog-o-verse and hope to have tales of school success, leaf levity, and Halloween hilarity really soon. Until then, enjoy those last couple days at the pool and have labor-less Labor Days! 

Back soon, same awkward time, same awkward channel! 


  1. Still laughing out loud at "now he just looks seedy, with a black eye..." Great post! So glad you met a normal/angel mom :)

    1. She was an angel. And he totally looked seedy..... :)