Life as a Chili Pepper

6:00 am. Darkness still hangs over the 'burbs. A glimmer of light faintly glows over the treetops, gently pushing as the blue-gray sky recedes. BA-DEEP!! BA-DEEP!! BA-DEEP!!, the alarm blares into my ear. Good morning.

6:36 am. Big E is up and halfway dressed. The sponge curlers she forced, I mean begged, me to put in last night don't give her quite the level of bounce and curl she had been hoping for, but she holds it together very well. No wailing or throwing herself on the floor in desperation. Dare I hope she's outgrowing her tendency toward the Ultra-Dramatic? She's too preoccupied with thoughts on her new class...the Chili Peppers. You know, 'cause they're hot, hot, hot!

7:05 am. Now we're running late. Little A is still in bed, BB is just rolling out and we've got to leave in 15 MINUTES PEOPLE! I start my countdown panic with the same effect as usual. None, other than a spike in my blood pressure.

7:25 am. Out the door only 5 minutes past Goal Time. We swim through the the Houston-like fug, me hauling Little A and Big E's 75 lbs backpack in the wagon in 98% humidity, BB on his bike taking photos. Big E alternately skipping and walking and chattering non-stop. Aside from the 18 inches she's grown in the past three years, our walk to school is virtually the same as it was on the first day of kindergarten. We walk by a group of middle schoolers waiting for the bus and I privately hope to myself that Big E will never look like THAT...I'm too tired to adequately describe it, but mostly it's just BIG. They just seem so old and all traces of childhood innocence are gone. Or maybe there's a tiny bit there, but they're trying SO HARD to hide it all we see are these 2/3 kid - 1/3 adult people trying to seem 100% grown up.

This ensemble was the result of approximately 36 hours of shopping and trying on and decision-making to get just the right look for the first day of school. Not just any thing will do. Don't want to be too dressy...can't be too casual....one wants to set the right tone with a class of new, harshly-critical 3rd graders. Finally, we came to this. I think it lived up to all her expectations.

Little A asked if we could stop by The Short One's house on the walk home from school. He hasn't accepted the fact that TSO is in kindergarten now and that means he won't be around to handcuff him and stick him in jail, aka the closet, or fight as pirates or Jedi Knights as often.

3:00 pm. Big E comes home starving. Lunch is only 20 minutes and they were running late, so really only about 10 by the time they actually got to it. I've been shocked several times recently by how much food she can eat. Today was one of those times.

4:00 pm. One homework assignment today is to fill a brown paper bag with 5 things that say something about you. She agonizes over which 5 items she'll take and narrows it down to a necklace that she beaded this summer, a photo of her with BB and me in San Antonio when she was 3 years old, a Girl Scout patch, a pin from San Francisco, and a Letter of Acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a Harry Potter-themed sleepover she went to a few weeks ago. Close runners-up were a Math Pentathlon patch and a swim team ribbon. There may still be some switching around in the morning.

8:15 pm. Big E crawls into bed, happy and tired and looking forward to tomorrow. 1st day as a Chili Pepper a spicy success.


grumpy said...

This story and photos brought a HUGE smile to old grumpy's face.

Bubble Girl said...

Glad something could make grumpy smile.