The Big Yellow Bus Took my Baby…Again

25 Aug

This morning I gently woke Ainsley to find her in the foulest of moods. I had even allowed her to sleep an extra 15 minutes. I don’t know why I thought that would make a difference. I won’t pretend to know all that goes into what causes one morning to be one way and the next, another. My own morning moods are totally random. I stared out the window for a moment hoping for some miracle of mood reversal, because we had only 45 minutes to go from this to school-ready. She rolled over and covered her head with her pink “blankie.”

“I don’t want to put on clean undies!”

“Ainsley, you’re changing your underwear no matter what, so it’s up to you if you want to turn this into a struggle.”

Normally, she puts up more of a fight and on Krabby Patty days she’s been known to take it to the limit, ending up in a timeout, but she gives in, until we clash for a couple seconds over the need for socks and the matter of choosing shoes, but I drop that fight quickly. Choose your battles wisely.

As this is only her second week of Kindergarten, I know I have several hundred days similar to this one ahead of me. The rush of morning has never been my favorite part of the day. But once the bellies are full, faces are washed, teeth are brushed, and lunches are packed, the mood in the house always improves. It becomes, amazingly, one of the best parts of my day.

The three of us sit on a concrete ledge, across the street from our house, waiting for the number 16 bus. All that is left is to enjoy the time together, knowing we’ll be apart for the next seven hours. Petty arguments have ceased. Peace prevails. Any remnant of grumpiness melts away, and I’m left to ponder the mechanism behind this black magic, for ten minutes earlier she yelled over and over “You woke me up I didn’t want you to wake me up!” as she struggled to enjoy the pancakes she eventually abandoned in a huge pool of syrup.

Now we talk about the day ahead and I’m fed a couple of nuggets from the previous day that were not offered twelve hours earlier when I asked for them. What’d you do after rest time? What’d you do before lunch? It fascinates me that she has such a full life out of my awareness, but after school, gathering details of her day is tantamount to playing golf with a marble. She’s hungry, mildly excited to be home, and seems intent on putting all that silly Kindergarten stuff behind her.

We hear the bus before we see it and for reasons I can’t explain, she looks genuinely excited. A beautiful smile. Why is she this happy to be leaving? I am sad, then I feel a pang of jealously, for I know Miss Watkins will be getting this smiling, idealistic version of my daughter. But would I want it otherwise? Could she suppress her emotions at home and then have her blowouts and breakdowns at school?

On this day, finally, I have a camera ready to capture my princess going off to do interesting things without me.

Ainsley walking towards the bus

Time to go to school.

Our house from the bus stop

My two little girls

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4 Responses to “The Big Yellow Bus Took my Baby…Again”

  1. gordoria August 25, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    I’ve been reading so much about babies going off to kindergarten- everyone is so sad. Mine is only 4 months old. Some days, I really wish the time would go a little faster. I’ve been warned, however, to enjoy every second because it goes by so quickly.

    They are cuties.

    • mom August 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

      You always woke up easily but Aimee on the other hand did not! ha ha I always felt better if things went well getting ready for school…

      • fightn4it August 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

        Today was the opposite of yesterday.

  2. nursewrachette August 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Dear friend, today you made me cry.

    You are so lucky to be able to experience all the excitement of parenthood. I unfortunatly am unable, and now have a 20 year old step-daughter who hates me with more passion than I imagined possible.

    I know that the sadness of being alone again, even for 7 hours, is horrible. And that hearing about how their day was without you heart breaking. But please do remember you are so very lucky to have their love, and little hands to watch grow.

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