Après breakfast “impromptu” photoshoot whereby I force my first born children to snuggle up to me lovingly in appropriate lighting in order to replicate the wonder and emotion of their early years of life, before embarking on the big new adventure that is the public education system, whilst wondering what I have stuck to the sole of my foot.
Phrases like “what is that face you’re making” and “can you please not do that with your head” and subsequent “can you please not lick your elbow while we are taking the photo” type remarks, along with veiled threats along the lines of “if you can’t sit nicely for the photo you can’t go to kindy” may or may not have been involved in this process.
After forcing aforementioned twins to sit and stand in multiple locations in order to capture the very essence of their (my) slowly disappearing youth on film (iPhone) at which to marvel at a later date (when Facebook shares this memory with me in six years time), I move on to creating a frenzied atmosphere of semi chaos in and around the kitchen and living room in order to make sure everything is ready in time.
And by “on time” I mean half an hour before we even need to think about leaving. Because I’m that person.
And by “everything” I mean packing the lunch boxes I pretty much had made up the night before anyway (because, again, I’m that person).
This was followed by ensuring the kids were dressed in clothes I only sort of like because they will inevitably be besmirched with non washable “washable paint” and/or vegemite and/or other unidentifiable substances that day.
But, and this is an important distinction, not clothes so ugly that other mothers will mentally cross me off their “potential future mum friend” list when they cast eyes on the spawn of my loins wearing “these are the ugly clothes given to me by relatives”.
I then shower and get dressed in an attempt to make myself just presentable enough to look “potential future mums friend” approachable but not so presentable I look like one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
This may be the first time I have been showered and dressed before 8am in the last three years.
It may also be the last time.
We then sit around aimlessly for half an hour while the twins pepper the room with comments like “can we go yet?” and “is it kindy time yet” as I wistfully imagine a life where my children are so bonded and attached to me that they can hardly stand to entertain the thought of being out of my company.
Further “can.we.GO.yet”ing ensues.
As I pile them into the car, and my husband and 14 month old daughter Rosie come to wave us off, Rosie throws me a bone and says “mama” accompanied by a beseeching outstretched hand and quivering bottom lip and simultaneously puts meaning back into my life with the mere suggestion that one of my children prefers me to their daddy. Rosie, workin’ the third child system like.a.boss.
Is it any wonder they say the third child is always the favourite?
Do they say that?
Or is that just me? #classicthirdchildsyndrome
We arrive at kindy and I force them to stand for one more “impromptu” not-at-all-planned-in-my-head-before-we-arrived photo shoot in front of the kindy sign because that’s how much I love them.
On entering, it feels like an unnavigable foreign land adorned with plastic buckets and backpacks and ziplock bags and sticker charts and bark chips, and because it wouldn’t be a day in the life of me if I didn’t make a small to medium sized ass of myself in some way, I proceed to find the coolest, most effortlessly chic, yet fashionably nonchalant woman there, mistake her for a kindergarten employee, and subsequently have her writing name tags on sticky labels for my children and showing me where the lunches and bags go.
It’s only when she has extricated herself from my company that it becomes apparent that she isn’t actually a kindy teacher and that I’ve probably just been mentally crossed off the first (but probably not the last) “potential mum friend” list of the day.
I stand around awkwardly for awhile watching as my kids give less than two shits about whether I’ve left or not, randomly yelling out “Henry and Tilly I’m still here”, insert desperate wave here, followed by “love you”, blow kisses etc.
Mentally congratulate myself for having such confident, independent and self assured kids whilst half heartedly wishing a tiny bit that one of them cling to my leg for like four seconds.
Go and find (and hug????????????????) their teacher from the previous years pre-kindy class.
As you do.
She asked sympathetically if I am teary, which I’m honestly not even though I felt like I should be since the guy at the woollies deli counter had told me the day before I should pack tissues when he was small-talking me over small goods about first day jitters.
I’m actually pretty sure that glassy eyed look I have going on might be a combination of having been awake since 5:30am and the thirteen year old mascara I poked into my eyeball that morning in my hurried efforts to achieve approachable, non-real housewives, I just woke up like this and we should be friends eye make up. But after my affection deprived embrace of a woman I barely know I feel like I should play up my emotional fragility.
Stand around for awhile longer wondering what to do before offering up 17 more “I’m really going now”s and approximately 8 and a half thousand hugs each (to my children as opposed to kindy teachers or people I may or may not have mistaken for kindy teachers, just to clarify).
Check their lunches are still in the appropriate place in order to look like I’m doing something other than milling around aimlessly wanting to be wanted and come to the belated conclusion (FINALLY) that I may as well go home.
Wildly clean the house which looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since 2010 as Rosie watches on as though she’s never seen me sweep the floor before 🤔 and eats a banana. And by eating I mean throws the actual banana on the floor and chews the banana skin for ten minutes before pointing to another banana.
Do just enough cleaning and putting things in less obvious places so as to render the illusion that I’ve been cleaning all day.
Put Rosie down for her lunch time sleep and proceed to spend the next couple of hours writing a blog about the first day of kindy that will be read by approximately 14 people while I could be sitting on the couch stalking
Harry Styles my celebrity crushes on Instagram.
So this is being a kindy mum huh?
I’ve never felt so alive.
Thanks to amazing illustrator Mike Lowery for allowing me to use his drawing for the title image of this post!