My First Day of Preschool

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My First Day of Preschool

I was super nervous.

I could barely sleep last night.

The clothes were laid out.

Pirate shirt?  Yes.  It says “devilish but adorable.”  And the skinny jeans.  Regrettably trendy but the only thing that doesn’t say “saggy gangsta butt.”

The lunch was packed, which nearly killed me.  Was it filling?  Was it too much?  Not enough?  Too processed?  Was it organic-biodegradable-compostable-combustible-and-waste-free?  Would the teachers judge?  Would the kids judge?  Good enough for tradesies?  Good enough to throw?

Where was the attachment object?  A truck?  No.  A stuffed animal.  Elmo?

What do you think, Elmo?  Can you do it?  Show me comfort.  Now safety.  Stop singing that song.  This is serious, dammit.  That’s better.  How well does your flammable red fur absorb homesick tears?  Perfect.

Now it’s time for a hearty-but-harried breakfast.  Let us give the vehicles on the placemat all of the cereal.  And all of the milk.  Perfect.  Would the vehicles care for toast?  Just a bite?  No?  Perfect.

It’s time.  Let’s ready ourselves.

NOTHING WAS LABELED.

Okay, speed-labeling commencing with purple permanent marker.  Is purple appropriate?  Yes.  It says “toddler royalty.”  Teeth brushed.  Sippies filled.  Camera packed.  Car loaded.  The journey begins.

RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC.

Speed-deep-breathing commences.  Let’s sing the back-to-school song!  Happiness!  Lightness!  Airiness!  Guided imagery of serenely floating on a lily pad down a congested river of cars!

NO PARKING.

Walking three blocks on a beautiful day is invigorating.  It gives me time to reflect on this momentous occasion.  Who will I meet?  Who will I befriend?  And then I am there.  In the classroom.  And I see them.  The row of perfectly monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids canvas tote bags.  I do not have a monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids canvas tote bag.  I do not even have a knock-off monogrammed tote bag.

Moment of panic.

Fear.

Isolation.

Then a little hand works its way out of mine and wanders toward the toys.  He does not even look in my direction as I hug him and say goodbye.

My first day of preschool.

He’s ready.

I turn out of the parking lot.

SCREECHING HALT.

How much do you want to bet that his sesame-ginger salad dressing is not nut-free?

Time for a break.

Written by the Tarja Parssinen, aka The Flying Chalupa
email: theflyingchalupa@gmail.com

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