"That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," I said to my husband as we walked to the car after dropping Smartypants off for his first day of Kindergarten.
Then I realized: we just dropped Smartypants off for his first day of Kindergarten! "This is harder"--and I teared up.
I expected Sweetiepants to take the separation harder than I did: this would be the longest time she'd ever spent away from Smartypants in her entire little life--3 1/2 hours. I was not disappointed.
Sweetiepants did OK til Daddy left for work. She looked at me as if to ask, "So, what now?" I looked at her in response: "I have no idea."
Then Sweetiepants got an idea. An awful idea. Sweetiepants got a wonderful, awful idea:
"Turn the TV on NOW!"
Now I talk a lot. But Smartypants leaves me eating his wordy dust. She couldn't stand the relative silence.
"Let's have a teaparty!"
"Turn on the TV!"
"Want to wear your tutu?"
"I want to watch Cinderella!"
"Want to help Mommy make bread?"
"NOOOOO!" As she scooted a chair up to the kitchen counter.
So we made bread. And cuddled. And watched Cinderella.
When the timer for the bread went off we both jumped up--still wearing our shoes (very unusual here): Time to get Smartypants!
When Smartypants saw us he ran out the door. I told him to tell Mrs. Roldan that I was here and that he was leaving. "Mrs. Roldan! Mrs. Roldan! Mrs ROLDAN!" Mrs. Roldan looked up from helping a student into a backpack twice the size of the student with a frazzled confused look--the look I must have when I finally register that the barrage of "Mommy Mommy MomMEEE!" is directed at me.
"Oh! Ohhhh! Goodbye!"
Smartypants declared the day "Good." No exclamation point. But no refusal to return either. On yet another hand he didn't give the speech he consistently offers when he really loved an event and is upset it's over ("Why did you take me to Disneyland? I didn't want to go to Disneyland. We should have stayed home so I could play Legos.")
After an extended round of 20 questions Smartypants proved himself Daddy's equal in reticence:
Did you color?
Holds up a coloring page with a yellow mark and a blue scribble and the first 4 letters of his 9 letter name written remarkably neatly.
Did Mrs. Roldan read to you?
What story did she read?
This one. (Again holds up the coloring page with "Spot Goes To School" noted at the top.)
Did you play?
We had 2 recesses: a practice one and a real one.
Did you learn anyone's name?
Allie was there. [He met Allie at last week's orientation. First friend = best friend.]
And so on.
Smartypants has a particular way of digesting important things. The importance of the thing can be determined by how long it takes him to start talking about the thing.
After dinner I heard him singing to himself, "Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose? Down by the bay down by the bay...." So I know the singing bit was superfun.
At bedtime he told me that one kid pushed another kid off the ladder on the playground. So I know this was troubling him.
The next morning he told me that "the kid who got pushed off the ladder" is his friend. So I know that Smartypants was more worried for the pushee than about the possibility that he may be the next one pushed.
And this is perhaps the hardest part of sending Smartypants out for Kindergarten: he has his own life now, a life he can choose to share with me -- or not.