Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fitness Phenomenon

At one time or another all of us have looked for the next Fitness Phenomenon.  Admit it, you have clicked on that picture on the side bar of facebook that claims that Rachel Ray lost 50 lbs, hoping for her same miraculous success.  Maybe you have even bought a weight loss shake and taken 3 sips before your gag reflex over ruled that bad decision.  You might have even been desperate brave enough to try a Liquid Cleanse (and then cried next to your toilet all weekend).

Well, I am here to tell you that I discovered a new Fitness Phenomenon.  No, you don't have to buy in.    No purchase necessary, no need to enter your email address or social security number, no commitment required.  I am just going to share my findings with the world (via my blog... that reaches nearly 100 people...) ok, well, you gotta start somewhere.

Here goes:

A few weeks ago JT and I were at the gym together to work out.  Before I work out I like to hop on the scale.  For a few reasons.  One: because I don't have a scale at home, so the gym and the doctor's office are the only places I ever check.  Two: because ever since I lost the baby weight from Riley (5 years ago) every number on that scale looks good (comparatively speaking to pregnant Katie). So I hopped on the scale.

This was right after JT and I moved to our new place and spent a month (OK- probably even more than that) of eating out everyday.  Literally.  (I know sometimes I exaggerate... this is not one of those times.)  I had a bad feeling about stepping on the scale that day.  It had been weeks since I had had a really good workout (unless you call wrestling 3 kids at McDonalds a work out - and then, in that case, it is to you that I am speaking- this phenomenon is for you!).   I had been consuming curly fries like they were protein bars and Dr. Pepper like it was, well, Dr. Pepper.  It wasn't going to be pretty.  But I knew it would help to get me motivated to shed whatever pounds I put on over the course of that month.

As I slid the scale into place I was shocked.

It slid down 4 pounds from the month before!  What?!  I had lost 4 lbs?!

(Oh yeah, I know lots of women fluctuate about 4 pounds throughout the month based on hormones, this was 4 below my low number!)

There I stood, in the middle of the gym, flexing my biceps and sucking in my tummy (because that is what I do when I am at the gym) and looking boldly around for video cameras and reporters.  I had done it. I was a Fitness Phenomenon!  All this time we have been told that eating fast food on a daily basis and drinking gallons of soda would make you gain weight!  But no, not me, I defied the laws of fitness.

In my mind, as I flexed and posed for the invisible cameras,  I was already writing my book:

The Fitness Phenomenon.  (Subheading: How to eat garbage and lose weight like me.)

I saw myself at Book Signings in Costco waving to housewives with bags of Burger King in one hand and a Costco Hot Dog in the other.  I pictured myself on the today show laughing with Rhoda about how amazing I am for making this new discovery as we stuff our faces with donuts.  In this fantasy, I was even invited to the Kelly Rippa show- but since I don't promote anorexia (or whatever she does to get those freakishly skinny arms) I declined.  But I did agree to go on Ellen, because, well, I love her.  (And I have a secret wish for her to like me.  Is it weird that a straight girl like me wants a Lesbian to think I am hot and funny?) Heck, I would probably even end up being the new Subway Spokesperson.

(what's not to love?? I got her picture here, for all of you "straight" girls who like to stalk her...)

As I was about to hop off of the scale and begin my new life as a Fitness Celebrity (since P-90X has run it's course and no one ended up looking like Tony Horton, the world is in desperate need of a new Fitness Celebrity)

(And also for all of you "straight" girls who want to stalk someone- pic from here)

 I turned to brag to my man.

"Babe, check it out!  I ate fast food for a month and lost 4 lbs!" I shouted, loud enough for the guys in the weight room to hear and gawk and for the women on the treadmills to pout with jealousy. (Don't worry, jealous-treadmill-ladies, you can buy my book on Amazon in a few weeks.)

JT looked up briefly from his stretching (obviously not catching the magnitude of this discovery and how he is be married to a soon-to-be-celeb) and shrugged "Yeah, I guess you lost a lot of muscle weight, huh?"  Then he turned back to his stretching, but not before he checked me out (because that is what you do at the gym when your wife is standing on the scale like it is a podium flexing every muscle in her body).

Deflated I stepped from the scale.

That would explain why I lost weight- but my jeans were tighter.  Apparently I exchanged muscle for flab.  Talk about a sad discovery.

I will probably still write the book.  I am not ready to let go of the dreams of being on The New York Times Best Seller's List or of Portia de Rossi being a little jealous of me.  I will just have to change the title:

The Fitness Phenomenon (Subheading: How to lose weight while still gaining inches.) (Sub-subheading: You will probably feel pretty sick on this diet.  You may even lose energy, focus, and the sense of what good food actually tastes like.  But you will lose muscle weight, and therefore feel like a rockstar on the scale at the gym.  Or in your bathroom, if you have a scale there.)

I think the book will be available by Christmas.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Worst First Day of School Ever: Part II (& Bullying)

I know, I know, you have all been refreshing your screen, checking your phones, and stalking my blog to find out how it all went down after The Worst First Day of School Ever.  So, as not to disappoint my fans, here is the follow up:

Riley came home from school happy.  She returned the next day, happy.  She got off the bus- still happy!  Apparently the event that scarred me (and all of my readers) was much less horrific to her.  That isn't to say we didn't have another little incident (which I alluded to in my last post), but it was minor in comparison...

Anti- climatic, right?

"I added this to my blog roll, forsook food and sleep and social interaction, and sat next to my computer for a week waiting for that?!" that is what you are all thinking right now.  Sorry.

But wait...  I did learn something.

Besides the fact that I am a teeny tiny bit overdramatic (which we already knew)  I apparently have some other issues...

The thing that I realized (while rewriting 3 drafts of hate-mail to her teacher, after the very minor incident on Friday, threatening to take Riley out of her class, remove her from the school, and begin home schooling-- *now we are all laughing at the idea of Katie homeschooling* ha ha ha) is that all of this might be coming from somewhere deeper.

I was bullied when I was in middle school.
(Holy Crap, did I really just admit that to the entire universe and the 8 people who read this blog?!)

(I just realized that this may not be earth shattering to anyone else, you may be yawning right now, but that was a big deal for me to write.)

I recovered (from being bullied and then reliving it on my blog) and actually had a really fun and successful High School career.  In fact, I thought it didn't really affect me.  (But did you notice how I just skipped over any details of the bullying to talk about how I recovered and pretend like it never happened?)   I thought that because I was able to make really close friends and have fun and become the Junior Class Vice President (Do you like that Title Dropping?  I sound cool, right? You could also call me the Class Clown- sorta.  And you could read this post about me being the Class Clown.) and other cool things, that the bullying really hadn't followed me.  But watching Riley's first week of school, I am realizing that I might have been wrong.

When Riley was crying on Friday (mainly because she was exhausted and her teacher wasn't there, and the para-educators stared at us like we were aliens with 6  green heads instead of helping her calm down) I knew I needed to walk away.  I knew she needed to be in school.  I knew she would calm down and enjoy the rest of her day.  I knew it would all be fine...

But all I could think about was how I abandoned her.  I cried (a lot, like, hysterical, writing mean emails to the teacher crazy lady crying) and felt like the world's worst mom.  When I could finally verbalize my feelings to JT he pointed out that I was not being a bad mom at all.  But all I could think about was how I left her there.  I am suppose to be her advocate.  I am her defender.  I am the one who will keep her safe and protected.  And I think a lot of the guilt stems from being bullied.

I hated going to school.  Like, hated - faked sick - skipped school - got horrible grades - scared to walk home - hated Middle School.  And seeing Riley cry made me want to grab her and run away.  It also made me want to attack the school and the teachers and Principal for allowing my daughter to be so sad.  (Again, I realize how normal this all is for Kindergarteners and that Riley is not being bullied.)  I am terrified of her hating school the way I did.  I am scared of her going from a kid with good grades and confidence to someone who fails classes and doesn't make eye contact.  I am worried that no one will look out for her.  And I am especially afraid that that will be me.

Thanks, whoever posted this on my facebook years ago.  I know you all needed a visual of the Middle School Katie. (Bottom Right)

The thing is-  I am fine now.  (Right? Maybe not. Obviously not if I am freaking out at Kindergarten.  I think I need therapy.  Josh, you could make a lot of money off of all the therapy I probably need. You owe me anyways for making you so famous by linking to you on my very popular blog.)  I thought that surviving hard things made me stronger.  I thought it allowed me to look at my children and believe that they, too, could overcome hard things.  But I guess I just don't want their challenges in life to be the same challenges I had.  I don't want them to make my same mistakes, have my same heartbreaks, fail the same classes.  (Although if they do, I can tell them how to hide a Report Card so that I will never find out.)   I guess every parent wants to protect their children from heartache.  And we probably focus on whatever heartaches we experienced and try to avoid those ones.  Chances are, she will have her own set of struggles (that hopefully don't involve being scared to go to school) and my job will be to be there for her in those struggles.

I think the Worst First Day of School Ever may not have been as traumatic for Riley as it was for me.  And I can only hope that it was the worst day she will ever have at school.  (However unlikely that is.)

What I do know, is that I had a wonderful talk with both the Teacher and the Principal at her school. (After I got really upset, and maybe cried a little.)  I really loved them and felt assured that my daughter will be loved and looked after at school.  And hopefully Riley knows that her mom was there for her and will be no matter what she faces.

I also know that if anyone ever considers bullying my daughter- I will kick their butt so bad they will be hiding themselves in the dumpster.  (Ok, I never actually had to do that, but it makes a way better story if you think that I did.  There goes my talent for exaggeration:)

P.S. Does that last paragraph sound like I might have some pent up anger issues?  Again, thank goodness we know a good therapist.

P.S.S. So that you don't feel too bad for me, here is a picture from my High School Reunion a few years ago.  I think we all turned out OK.

Thanks again, whoever tagged me in this picture on facebook, I am obviously lame at taking/saving pics like this.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My ways are not your ways

My ways are not your ways

It’s interesting how difficult this has been for me to put into words.  Some of you were there when I tried to verbalize this in church about a month ago.   But I cried and stammered so much that I am sure you were just as confused as I was.  (“At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you ever close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.  Everyone in this room is now dummer for having listened to it.” 10 points if you can name that movie).  And yet, the words have always been there.  Sitting right on my bed stand, next to me every night, in Isaiah.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Or in other words: he knows better than us.

I found this verse a few weeks ago while I was reading the scriptures in the Temple.  I actually followed a footnote from Mosiah that led me to Isaiah.

Mosiah 4:9
“Believe in God… believe that he has all wisdom, and all power… man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Sitting in the Temple, I was learning the same lesson I have been learning for years.  Again.”

That He knows better than I do.

Back in the beginning of summer we were getting ready to move.  We didn’t know where, exactly.  We knew we wanted to be close to campus so that JT wouldn’t have to commute and so that I could be in the City- which has been a life long dream of mine.  (maybe a little more of the latter)  We were on the waitlist for the U.W. Student Housing and had been told it could take anywhere from 6 to 18 months to get in.   And the rest of the housing in Seattle was so expensive it seemed nearly impossible to move there on a student budget.  We were starting to feel discouraged.  After all, I had been praying about this for months and the only answer I had received was that it would all work out and be clear in the end.  So when would it be clear?

While our family was at Disneyland the idea came to me that we could rent out our friend’s basement while we waited for student housing to become available.  That would buy us some time while we waited for things to work out (and become clear).

It wasn’t actually necessary that we move out of our own house.  But it would mean saving 10’s of thousands of dollars in Private (that is Non-Student) Loans to cover our mortgage.  And we had always planned on renting out our house during school.  In fact, we bought our house with the intention to live in it for a year or two and then move somewhere out of state for P.A. school and rent it out while we were gone.  We just never expected to get accepted to U.W.  (notice: my ways are not your ways)

So there we were.  Choosing to rent out our house (to save tons of money) for a few years and down size to student housing.   But it would be OK, we would be living in the City, my dream come true.

Thankfully, our friend agreed to rent out her basement to us.  She was pretty much alone in this large, beautiful home, after all, and was happy that she could bless our lives as well.  (And let’s face it, she loves our kids and they love her.  It’s a win win.)

But a few weeks before we were planning to move in, the call came from U.W. Student Housing that there was a unit available with our name on it!  We were in shock.  (So much shock that I ended up being pulled over by a cop and given a ticket for speeding, that kind of shock.) 

I was ecstatic.  My dreams were finally coming true.  You all know how rough these years have been on me.  (That is, if you have continued to read my whining about it on my blog for 3 years.  If you just started reading my blog it looks like you have some catching up to do.)  I felt like I finally caught a break.  I felt like there was actually something in this for me.  I felt validation.  I felt like one of my dreams was coming true.  I felt like Someone really had been listening to my prayers for all of these years.  And I felt excited to be a City Girl.

We drove up to campus to check it out.  And we felt nothing.  Nothing.  No excitement, no peace, and certainly no clarity (which if you remember from the beginning of this post- was what I have been waiting for all year).  We prayed.  And the answer we got shocked us both.  (Luckily I wasn’t driving this time- we couldn’t afford a second ticket in one week.)

We felt like we needed to stay with our friend.  (In our friend’s basement to be exact.)  What?!  Right when I felt like Heavenly Father was finally handing me one of my dreams, when He was finally compensating me for my support and sacrifice these years, when He was actually listening to what I wanted, and giving me this one wish, He was going to take it away?

But that is just it.  He didn’t take it away.  He left it there on the table.  And then quietly asked me not to pick it.  (My ways are not your ways) He gave me what I had been begging for, and then asked me not to take it.  I knew it as clear as anything.  There it was, finally: clarity.

So we moved our stuff across the street and down the road.  We left our house and our swing set (Ok, strangely I miss the swing set more than anything, even more than my walk-in closet) and turned down U.W.’s Student Housing (and a life in the City) and we moved in to a basement.  Immediately I felt judged.  I felt like everyone thought we lost our house, that we were too broke to live on our own and were living off of charity, or that we were crazy for turning down student housing.  I felt embarrassed.  How could I explain this decision?  How could I tell people I own a house across the street, but live with a friend?  (In a pretty big basement, actually, with a really loving “landlord”.  About the best rental situation you can get.) How could I explain that I stayed in a suburb when I wanted the City?

(My ways are not your ways)

And then, on Friday, I took Riley to school.  If you read the last post you know we have had our traumatic moments with Kindergarten.  Friday was just as bad (don’t worry, she will not be scarred for life).  Riley was late to class because of a Doctor’s appointment.  She got sad and said she didn’t want to go to school.  (Not because of the first day of school, she is well over that and loves her teacher- but because she is an exhausted Kindergartener who misses her Mommy and her little brother and sister.)  When I took her to the class- there was a substitute teacher.  (Dun, dun, dun….) Things fell apart and ended with Riley being pried off of me, again, only worse than last time, and sobbing and begging me not to go. 

The scene was similar to last week, with me going to the car and sobbing.  (Seriously, guys, if this doesn’t scream “Katie needs meds- she is having nervous break downs on a daily basis!!” I don’t know what does.)  Luckily, I have a close friend who is also a teacher.  She kindly explained how common this is with little ones.   She confirmed how quickly they calm down when the parent finally leaves.  And reminded me that I am not a bad mom.  And as I cried to JT about feeling like the world’s worst Mom for leaving my baby girl crying at school again, he reminded me that she is Ok.  Not only is she resilient, but she actually needs this.  Everyone has to go to school.  And everyone has to do things that are hard, that they may not want to do.  And it won’t help Riley if I am whisking her away from any situation that hurts a little.  (Before you decide to comment and judge, remember, you don’t know the whole story here.  Things are resolved with the first day of school. ((and I promise to Blog about  Part II next)) She is fine.  She came home happy and smiling.  Public Schools aren’t evil… not altogether.  I defend her and fight for her and she knows it. )

As JT held me, crying about how hard this was for me, I heard it again:

My ways are not your ways.

Or in the words I would say to her:
Riley, darling, I love you so much.  I hate to see you cry.  I hate to see you hurt or confused or scared.  I hate to walk away when you are begging me to stay.
But I don’t really walk away.  I look in the window and see you sit back down at your desk.  I watch you recover and get stronger.  I see you in 20 years with a college degree as a successful woman, and I laugh at the idea of agreeing to let you quit school when you were in Kindergarten.  I laugh at the idea of keeping you away from the thing that will make you stronger, and wiser, and eventually much happier. 
I know you don’t understand right now.  And how could you?  You are only five.  But I know what I am doing.  My ways are higher than your ways. 

So here I am.  The child.  But I am also the parent.  I have a small idea of what these verses mean.  And I am beginning to believe them.

I don’t really understand.  I am not positive why this is right.  (why we live with a friend) I just know it is.  I think I always thought that if something was “right” it would also be easy.  You always hear people say that they knew something was right because “things just fell into place” or “it all just made sense”.  That does not seem to be the case for us.  Right means right, it doesn’t mean easy.  It doesn’t mean obvious, or logical, or fair.  It just means that it is right.  And it certainly doesn’t mean that right is always what I want to be right.

There are moments when this is hard.  When I miss my swing set.  When I feel judged by others.  When I feel bad for my friend that her quiet house is being taken over by Tylers.  When I wonder why things are working out this way.   But I have to remember that His ways are not my ways and go back to Mosiah.

“Believe in God.”

And if He is any kind of parent, (and we know He is the Best Parent) He hates to see me cry.   Or scared, or confused or disappointed.  But he also sees the end from the beginning.  And he can see me 20 years from now, when I am successful and happy.  And he knows it is because of the ways he is teaching me, and blessing me, and correcting me right now.
And chances are – He is laughing.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Worst First Day of School Ever

I am totally not over dramatic.

Ok, I am, and when most of you read this you will think I am pathetic and over reacting.  So I may insert some really good exaggerations now and then to keep you interested (and from thinking I am totally lame)

Most Mormon Mommy Blogs are filled today with the perfect shot of their child holding some awesome poster declaring the grade they are entering and their mom's creative foresight.

Riley is holding the back of the month of August from my calendar since that was the only piece of paper not still packed- written with some sadly fading markers - since they are also the only ones we could find.  I should have known right then that it would be a bad day and gone straight back to bed.

Stop feeling bad about yourself, because you are comparing your lame poster with my awesome calendar poster.  That is the problem with these Mommy Blogs, I make the rest of you feel all bad about yourselves.  Sorry.

The Worst Day Ever actually started a few months ago when we did the most horrific thing you could ever do to you or your child.  We missed Kindergarten Round Up.  At the time, we expected to be living in Seattle, we just didn't know where.  And we happened to be at The Happiest Place on Earth when our school was holding Kindergarten Round Up. I was told by lots of moms that it wasn't the end of the world if you missed the round up.  They were wrong.

Apparently at the Round Up they do an assessment of your child.   And if you miss that assessment  it is like missing the SAT's and showing up to Harvard on the first day of class with your cute new Hello Kitty Backpack and Lunchbox.  They won't care how excited you are.  How nervous and terrified you look.  They will crush you.

When I registered Riley through the school district, no one mentioned this assessment, or that it could completely change the fate of my child's academic career.  In fact, I waited and waited for the post card from the school with her teacher's name on it-- or any information including her Bus Route, the Start Time or End Time of Class, or any other seemingly pertinent information.  When it never arrived, I went to the school a few days before school started.  This is where they informed me that she still needed to be assessed.  On the first day of school she would be assessed and then assigned her teacher.    But they invited us to  come to the Back to School BBQ and meet the teachers anyways.  (which I would have to miss, but JT could go)  They also instructed me to take Riley straight to the Field on the First Day of School for this assessment.

At the BBQ, JT asked if there was any way she could take the assessment then so that she would not feel left out or awkward on the first day of school being one of the few kids with out a teacher.  They said no.  When he asked about Bus Schedules they informed him that they do not want parents to bring their kids on the first day of school!  Just put them on the bus!  (Can you imagine a mom not dropping off her Freshmen at Harvard? It would be like parents not taking their daughter to the MTC when she went on her mission, so at the opening meeting she had to hug EFY Counselor Friends instead of her own parents like all of the other crying 19 year olds.... not traumatic at all.) They continued to discourage JT from allowing me to bring her, and he continued to remind them that I love my off spring (even though I don't make awesome posters or the best First Day of School Breakfast ever) and would be walking her to her classroom.  (P.S. I did notice the child who was taking the assessment without their parent and the teachers kept messing things up and he ended up crying, with no advocate- or parent.  I was thankful that Riley at least have me there when she did end up crying also.)  They told JT that the kids would be pulled from the Field where everyone was to take the test a few at time, so that no one would even notice that they were being singled out.

On the night before school as I mentioned our issue with others, they simply stated that their kid had just taken the assessment at the Back to School BBQ.  (The one where they told JT she could not be tested!)   Now I was starting to get upset.  But I knew how I reacted would affect how Riley felt, so I tried to stay calm.

As the next morning unfolded- with First Day of School clothes, and lunches, and pictures, I loaded Riley up and headed off for a memorable day of Kindergarten that would now scar us for life.

Mommy and Riley before the Big Day.

When we got there and I walked back to the Field, there was no one.  Everyone was starting to line up in front of their teachers.  I was mildly frustrated with this, and approached the first Kindergarten Teacher I saw.  She quickly brushed me off, telling me I should be inline by our teacher.  I explained we didn't have a teacher, and she told me "then you should have been at the Office." and walked away.  Are you kidding me??  I am holding my scared little Kindergartner and you tell me I should go to the Office -when they told me to go the Field??

We find the office (by now gates are being locked, and I have no idea how to get anywhere in the school -- because I was snapping photos with Mickey at the Happiest Place on Earth during Kindergarten Round Up) and ask where to go.  They tell me I "should be in the Library" I stare at them in shock.  Are you kidding me?  My third location?  Different than anything anyone has said yet? The Librarian directs us to the Library, then discovers that is not where the Testing is taking place, it is where the Waiting is taking place, and then looks around till she finds the room with the testing.  (Are you kidding me Office?)

After waiting and waiting (long after the School Bells have rung, and the rest of the kids are meeting their teachers)  I am watching 3 teachers take turns assessing 10 kids.  We settled in for a long morning.  (watching other kids cry)

After the assessment they escorted me to the Library where all of the kids and parents would wait (and eat yummy muffins and stuff- best part of Riley's day, until another Mom asked if I had fed my child that morning... because she was eating so much... I punched her in the face and ate my muffin) for the results of the assessment and the assignment of her Teacher.  After waiting, and waiting, and watching all of the other kids leave the Library and eating more muffins, the Principal and a teacher finally came in looking for Riley.  We waved and said we were there (the Library was empty accept for volunteers, it was pretty obvious we were there) when they said "Oh! We have been looking all over for you!"  (Are you kidding me?  You walked us here yourself!! How did you lose us???)  By now, it is 10:40 (School started for everyone else at 9:30) and I am frustrated.  The problem with me, is that I have only two settings: "calm frustrated" ( like politely asking where to go at the Office, when they were the ones who sent me to the Field in the first place)   and "hysterical, making no sense, sobbing, yelling frustrated" (like hitting the other mom).  I felt Hysterical, Making No Sense, Sobbing, Yelling Katie coming on when I looked at that Principal- but felt Riley's scared tiny hand in mine and kept my mouth shut and my fist unclenched.  They told me our teacher and began to walk away. I explained (as calmly, uncryingly as I could) that I had no idea where that teacher's class was.

So they walked us down the hall (informing us that Riley was not allowed to wear her cute flower flip flops to school--- another horrible flash back to my first day at the MTC when they told me my hair was too highlighted,  I was wearing too much make up, and my outfit was too contemporary, and sent me to my dorm to change - in front of about 100 missionaries.  Wait, to be clear, I didn't change in front of 100 missionaries, I was scolded in front of 100 missionaries.) to the Mean Teacher's class.  I saw her (after they informed me that the assessment was to make sure the levels of development were distributed between the classes and so that this particular teacher could get the kids who don't speak English -because she was an E.L.L. teacher before -) and then they sent Riley and I right in.  (The kids who don't speak English? Huh?  Was this like the time the people at Head Start didn't believe me that I am not Russian?  And asked me 10 times in one conversation if I was Russian, or if I speak Russian, or why I won't answer them in Russian?)  Apparently they have to have a few English speaking kids to balance out the  rest of the class?  No one explained anything.

Of course, the Mean Teacher, seeing the timid Kindergartner in tears coming in on her first day of school, over an hour late, to a class of unknown kids sitting on the carpet, could not be bothered to say "Hi" to Riley or introduce herself or Riley to the class.  Or smile.  Or look somewhat human or kind.  Nope.  Riley, picking up on the "sit-down-and-shut-up-vibe" began to cry.  (Oh yeah, she also had to put a sticker on with her name.  That is pretty much Riley's worst fear.  This is the girl who has kept every princess, kitty, and fairy sticker she has ever received saved in a box because she doesn't like to put them on her clothes.  That was not helping out our morning.)  So she started sobbing.

I am talking about Hysterical, Making No Sense, Sobbing.  She begged me not to make her go to school.  Not to leave her.  Not to let go of her.  I looked around in distress.  What do I do?  Can I stay and hold her for a minute?  Can I take her screaming from the school past the Principal's office to punch him in the nose?  Can I even hold in my own tears?  (Seriously, there is nothing worse than seeing your daughter scared and crying and feeling helpless yourself.)

A teacher helper came over and pried Riley's legs and arms off of me and told me I had to leave.

I was shocked.  Just walk away?  I know we do that in Nursery when the kids are crying, and they calm down instantly... but I am still in the building. I can look  in through the little window to make sure they are playing happily with play dough.  But just leave them?  As I left my sobbing child, I asked the Helper where I come to pick her up after school.  She told me to come back to the classroom door.

I walked out, past the Principal's Office, Past the Library of treats (I should have grabbed another Muffin and stuffed it in my purse for the lady who thought we were starving) and out to my car.

Where I sat down, dropped my head on the steering wheel, and cried.  Not because my Little Girl was growing up.  Not because I felt like I was losing my little Friend to All Day Kindergarten.  Not because I realized I had just brought her home from the Hospital yesterday and that I would be cheering at her Graduation tomorrow!  Not because I was exhausted from staying up all night to bake her favorite cookies and maker her awesome poster that I would scapbook later on that day. (because I really didn't do that)

I was crying because my little girl had been given the run-a-round all morning.  Because the school seemed to be dropping the ball everywhere.  Because I just left her with the meanest Kindergarten Teacher Ever.  (Don't you have to be sweet and kind and loving to pass the test to be a Kindergarten teacher?)  Because, for us, that was the worst First Day of School Experience Ever.

(P.S.  When I went back to the door to pick up Riley after school  they told me I had to go to the Field, when we got to the Field, they told me we had to be waiting by the Bell to pick up our kids.  Blake and I raced there just in time to find Riley-- who they had tried to put on the bus- even though I filled out the paper saying I would be there to pick her up. Seriously? Seriously?!)

Maybe it is the trauma of the move.  (And let's be honest, it has been far more traumatic on me than anyone.)  Maybe it is the chaos of our last month of painting, packing, painting again, moving, family reunions, and living out of a box eating fast food every day for a month.  Literally.  (You thought that was one of the places where I was exaggerating-- who lives off fast food for a month?  The Tylers, when they move.)  Maybe it is the fact that I already have a strange anxiety associated with school- and being lost, or late or having a mean teacher-- and the realization that it was all happening to my baby girl who has been extremely emotional (probably from the move and the fast food) and is now traumatized.  (Ok, she actually has no idea that Teachers are suppose to be nice and say Hi and that she had the worst day ever.  She had a go-gurt in her lunch after all.)

So there you go.  The story of the Worst Day of School Ever.  That probably doesn't seem so horrific to any of you- but to the mom who hasn't been to the gym in weeks, who has consumed two tons of fried garbage, whose clothes are still in boxes and who now shares a bathroom with her whole family (agggghhhhh, the horror!) - it was pretty much the Worst Day Ever.

And for any of you wondering- I was able to cry about my Little Girl growing up, about the fact that I miss her deeply already and miss her laugh and friendship during the day, about the fact that I can't control her environment anymore and she may have a mean teacher, about the fact that I regret ever doing hair and missing out on even a few hours of the short time I had with her before she got sucked in to the school district for forever,  about the fact that she got on a bus and waved good bye leaving me and Blake and Macie alone without her,  I got to cry really hard while I was out jogging around my new neighborhood on the second day of school.

And the neighbors think I am crazy.

Riley, JT and Macie

Riley and her Daddy

Riley at the Bell after school.  Not her classroom door, or the Field,  but the Bell.

And what first day of school is complete without a picture of the Best Friend?  Riley and Anna.