This week was the Munchkin’s first week of school ever. It was also the first week of the new school and there were a few problems on its shakedown voyage into education. I also learned some things I didn’t know about mothers this week.
His first week ended a few hours short since it is also race week here. We picked him up early on Friday to go tailgate and watch the race. Friday the race was between tropical storm Hanna and NASCAR. Hanna won by about 6 hours. Pretty amazing weather, made it seem like we came back home on a different day than we left. When we got to the track, it was sunny, windless and about 90. When we left the wind was knocking over tailgate tents and it was cold and wet.
Since I really like to tailgate (I would probably go do it even if I didn’t have tickets to the race…) I spent the evenings of the last two weeks constructing the uber tailgating rig (and shelves for the Queen, it’s the cost of doing personal home construction projects…). We had planned to take our tow behind trailer with us, cause we saw somebody do that in the Spring race. I built extensions for the tent to cover the trailer, I was going to bring my big grill instead of the little weeny pink one. And no, it wasn’t pink when I bought it, it faded from red. I built the uber flagpole, so I could fly our four flags higher than everybody else.
Sadly, on race day, I discovered some things about parking with a trailer. One, they only allow it in Lot J. Not too bad, I can walk a little further. Two, it’s 80 bucks. Ok… that’s a deal breaker. So no trailer. And I had to use the weeny pink grill. I’m going to get me a hibachi. A black hibachi… Also, I decided against flying the flag. I didn’t want the first test of it done during a hurricane.
While we were out there and negotiating with the car behind us for tailgating space, we had an epiphany. It occurred to us we could bring both trucks out there and have everything that we had on the trailer. Plus, I figure I can fly half my flag in the bed of my truck on the way there! One problem, (My Queen is a bummer sometimes…) it means no beer for me. So I need another designated driver. It will be 11 years before the Munchkin can drive my truck. Tailgating is hard…
Back to school… During the first week they allow the parents to take the kids all they way to the classrooms. I have been going with My Queen and the Munchkin to drop him off and pick him up. I wanted to send the message that I think this is important enough for me to drop work. On the first day we were the first ones in the classroom. We hung around while the kid played with some of the toys they had. My Queen didn’t want to leave him. After a long hug goodbye, we left. Down the hallway of the school, My Queen cried. Then I realized she wasn’t the only one crying like that. Lots of the Moms were.
Now that seemed odd to me. I don’t remember my first day of school, though I do remember my teacher, of the few teachers I do remember, she was one of the best, Mrs. Countess. But had I thought about it in the intervening 40 years I would have bet my paycheck that my Mom did a little happy dance singing, “One down and one to go!” Turns out that she cried each time she started us in school. I don’t get it. We were brats.
When we picked up the kid on Thursday he was all excited to tell us about the fire drill. He told us about it in great detail, clearly the highlight of his day. Later that night, during reading and snuggle time, he explained to My Queen just exactly what he thought happened. It seems that a plane flew over and dropped a big fire drill (Think 1/2″ Skilsaw hammer drill, like the one he watched me use all week long, apparently one that was bigger and on fire…) and they had to go outside while they fixed the school. I’m guessing those NASCAR boys pitched in, cause not only did they repair the school in record time, there’s no trace there was ever any damage at all…
That first day was a bit rough at the end, it seems that as they prepared for the couple dozen car riders to leave the school, about two hundred car rider parents showed up for kids. And it seems that a couple of them were put on buses. Which buses? They didn’t know. Teacher / school admin has got to be among the worst jobs in the world to have to do. I can only imagine how fun it would have been to have to tell me that my kid was on one of those buses that just left and they didn’t know which one…
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