Sunday, September 8, 2013

The big back to school post

As scheduled, school started back up last week and the girls arrived with nervous smiles for their big first day as first graders.  I had moved my day "off" to the first day of school so that I could accompany Grammy to drop off and pick up.  Not only did I want to be a part of their first day of school but I wanted to ensure that Grammy and I both felt comfortable with the new procedures.  Rich was also able to be at drop off with us.

A few days before the first day of school, Anna fell down the stairs here at home.  I was ironing upstairs when it happened.  The girls had been playing up there in their bedrooms and then they all went downstairs to tell Rich something.  I could hear kid chatter downstairs so I assumed Anna was already down there.  I then heard what sounded like someone throwing one of the wooden chairs in the downstairs hallway.  Followed by someone throwing it again.  I ran to the stairway, yelling.  Rich reached her before I did.  She didn't make a sound until he picked her up.

She told us that she had only made it down two steps before she fell.  She had been holding onto the railing but her feet had slipped out from under her.  Thank God she didn't fall head first.  She walked away with some rug burn and very minor bruising on her back and a big knot on the back of her head.  I know exactly how it happened.  I've witnessed her sliding her feet over the edge of the stairs instead of picking them up.  She doesn't do it out of laziness; she does it because her body is tired.

So now back to school drop off on the first day.  We loitered outside the entrance with many familiar faces, waiting for the doors to open.  Within five minutes, I realized that the school was extremely organized and knew exactly what they were doing.  Anna's physical therapist came out to greet us and told us that she would be walking with Anna.  The fear in having Anna walk independently is that another kid may accidentally bump into her and cause her to fall.  Her PT offered to take her in a few minutes early and Rich and I both thought that it would be fine but when they went to walk in, Anna was fighting back tears.  The teachers opened the doors for all the other students two minutes later.

That night Anna told us that she wants to walk in with all the other kids.  She doesn't want to be different.  This was communicated the second morning of school so now Anna walks in with everyone else but her PT kind of hangs out with her in the hall.  Anna is okay with this arrangement.

The transition from half a day of school to a full day of school has definitely been a big one.  For starters, they were wiped out after that first day of school.  Here's a list of pros and cons (per the girls) thus far:

  • They have art, music and gym classes this year.
  • They have recess everyday.
  • They already know some of their classmates.
  • New friends
  • Lunch time is too short.  
  • Snack break is too short.
  • They don't have lunch or recess at the same time so they are unable to see their sisters during the day.
  • Missing old friends

We are still trying to figure out lunch.  They brought for a few days and then all bought on Friday.  I'm sure the novelty of purchasing lunch will wear off at some point.  They want to bring items such as soup and pasta with sauce and I haven't found good thermoses yet.  It will all be straightened out at some point.
They each have gym class twice a week and need to wear sneakers on gym day.  All three of them have gym on different days.  Some of the days overlap but I can't even tell you what the schedule is without looking it up.  The adults need to be a bit more organized this year.

I was really happy to hear that they've all made new friends.  By the end of the week, they all seemed to be much happier and better adjusted.  Activities begin this week.  Eeeeek!


I haven't done any back to school shopping for new clothes yet.  We bought them new sneakers at the beginning of the summer.  It's still warm here and will be for a few more weeks so they have plenty to wear.  They are in desperate need of cooler weather clothes though.  And pajamas.  And winter boots.  And rain jackets.  Eeeeek!      


Amy said...

Sounds like they had a great day! You are a brave woman for having them all in different classes - the logistics make it just like having kids in 3 separate grades at times I bet. I'm hoping our twins will be OK with being together forever, LOL. They are SO different that it's still easy to have them together, which is easy, since we're juggling the older kids' schedules and homework too! I hope they have a great year in first grade. :)

Tammi said...

Lunch periods always fly by at school! I send my kids with a thermos container (Foogo brand- made by Thermos) and they've never complained about food cooling down too much. I use a similar one for my own lunches. They also keep things cold, which was great when my daughter was going through a phase of taking cold pasta salads to school.

Jennifer said...

I just bought this thermos for my daughter because she wanted her beloved nuggets at daycare and our containers just weren't keeping them warm until lunchtime. The staff reported to me that this one did the trick and she's been eating so much better this week...

Best of luck with lunch time. I work in an elementary school and lunch is such a blur, especially for the little ones who don't realize how fast they have to eat before the time ends!!

Pamela said...

That bottom photo is the most identical photo of Emily and Allie that I have seen!!

They all look happy and healthy :)

Good job mum :)

Stacy Kinard said...

I love reading your blog! I don't comment often, mostly b/c I'm reading at work :-P but I had to say how glad I am your sweet girls are loving school!! I'm so thankful that Anna has a good PT!! Wishing them a wonderful year! Good luck adults- these sweet girls get cuter daily and are gonna keep you busy!! hehe

Jessica Orlowicz said...

That hair - Stunning!

Sarah said...


And I was so happy to read 2 of you recommend the same thermos. I'm going to order some tonight.

Anonymous said...

A trick I've learned and seems to help is to put hot water in the thermos first then empty the water, then put the food in the thermos. It seems to be working on keeping the food hotter longer.

Anonymous said...

Oh my - my heart stopped when you talked about Anna falling down the stairs - bless her heart - I am so glad she is ok. That was so sweet that she wanted to walk in with everyone else - and I'm glad she told you right away how she felt. You have such a wonderful family - I love reading your blog.