Children covered in bees

The other day I received an email from Ollie’s school. It turns out that the class had taken a walk in the park, and had unfortunately stumbled full-force into a nest of yellow jackets. What had started as a fun little nature walk ended in 21 screaming 3 year olds, covered in bees.

Can you imagine the carnage of an entire preschool class being swarmed by bees? Kids running, kids screaming, kids crying, dogs and cats, living together…mass hysteria. I doubt bedlam is too strong a word.

In the email, one of the children was quoted as saying “They can’t talk so they tell us with their stings!” “WHY DO THEY HAVE TO TELL US SO MANY TIMES?” I assume she continued. All in all, 9 kids were stung. Needless to say, the school nurse was a little busy that day.

Oliver was one of the children who was stung. Apparently a bee or two had crawled up the leg of his shorts and gotten him a few times on the inner thigh. (!!) Of course, it took the nurse awhile to realize he’d been stung, since he was just sitting there smiling and generally in a good mood; she thought he’d been sent down with the other kids by mistake. That boy and his ridiculous pain tolerance (remember how he forgot to mention even once his chronic ear infections?) By the time Sara picked him up from school he had already forgotten which leg had been stung, and he insists that the red welts are “mosquito bites”.

By the time I got home from work, the whole event was a distant memory.

“Did anything happen at school today?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Did you go for a walk to the park?”
“Yeah, we did.”
“…and did anything happen while you were at the park?” (You know, such as you and 20 of your classmates being swarmed and stung repeatedly, while everybody ran around and screamed like some kind of a cartoon?)
“Yeah!” said Ollie excitedly, “I found a stick!”

Oh well. Better than being traumatized I guess. Despite living through the Titanic-level disaster scenario of 21 children covered in yellow jackets, his outlook on bees hasn’t changed a bit.

First day of school

Yesterday, our big boy had his first day of school.

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It’s so funny how each kid is a little different. With Evie, she didn’t want us hanging around, she wanted us to get out of the way so she could start meeting people. With Ollie I’m definitely experiencing a little bit of the “how am I going to leave this poor, little boy on his own?” On the other hand, I never really had one of those, “Oh my little boy is growing up!” moments. Maybe that’s because the whole thing was just too chaotic, with so many people starting today and figuring out a new school, etc. Or maybe that’s just being the second kid again.

I do know that Ollie is going to have a BLAST at school. I’m so excited for him to have so much dedicated playing time. This boy *loves* to play. I’m so glad he’ll finally have a chance to make some friends of his own (as opposed to Evie’s friends), explore his own interests (as opposed to Evie’s interests), and just to be his own person. I just know he’s going to grow and blossom so much this year, and that’s really exciting.

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At this point, the whole thing was kind of old hat to Evie. Yeah, yeah, kindergarten, so what.

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She might have acted blasé, but I could tell she was excited based on all the extra energy she had. She’s always excited to meet new people, but I think she was actually more excited about Oliver starting school. She was a little disappointed that she had to go to her own class this morning, rather than watch him. But she did meet some other kids, and her and another girl “robbed a bank”. So, you know, I guess the teachers know who to keep an eye on now.

I’m not sure how different kindergarten is going to be from preschool. But her classroom definitely seems more like a “real” classroom, with a lot more responsibilities for the kids, and her teacher seems a little more old school. It seems like a really good environment for Evie, but then again, school just seems like a really good environment for Evie. She’ll just absorb up everything they throw at her, and then re-forge the entire school the way she wants it, like she always does.

I’d say things are going well

Evie has been going to her new school for awhile now. Although she still misses some of her old friends, she seems to be fitting right in at the new place.

After awhile, Sara and I started noticing that whenever we introduced ourselves to parents at school, we would always get the same reaction: “Oh, Evie? Everybody knows Evie!” Not to say that I’m surprised that everybody knows her (can anybody say they’d be surprised about that?), but it seemed to be a curious reaction, especially since there are three classrooms of kids and she hasn’t been there that long.

I don’t run into the parents that often, since Evie only goes twice a week and she goes to aftercare both days. So I am not around during the standard pickup time, only for drop-off. So I don’t really get to see her interact with the parents very much. I asked her about this reaction we kept getting, since all of the parents kept saying that they knew her.

Apparently, when the parents start arriving, she stands at the gate and waits for them. As they come in, she talks to each parent and directs them to where they should go, shepherding them to their kids. She even has some favorites, referring to some of the parents as her “special buddies” that she spends a little extra time talking to.

Me: “But you don’t talk to *all* the parents, right? I mean, if there’s a lot of them, you probably miss some of them.”
Evie: “The gate is only two mommies wide.”

So apparently Evie has designated herself as the school greeter. I have this vision of all of the parents lined up at the gate, waiting to be let in by the hostess two by two and presented to their children. It certainly would explain why everybody knows Evie.

1st day of school

Yesterday, Evie had her first day of preschool.

Everything was sort of disastrous. First off, it so happened that Sara and I both had dentist appointments scheduled for that day. We spoke to the dentist and I rescheduled my appointment and they promised to hurry Sara’s. However, because Sara had this appointment, she ended up having to leave this morning before everything was ready, meaning I had a lot of running around to do, and she didn’t get to take pictures like she wanted.

Finally, we got out the door and met Sara at the school on time. However, something was wrong, nobody else seemed to be there. It was a ghost town. I went inside to check, and it turns out that the first day (which is only an hour to sort of get her used to it) started at 10 instead of the regular 9. So we were an hour early! So much for all our hurrying. I could have gone to my dentist appointment.

So it was sort of anti-climactic because I had to leave for work, and Sara had to go kill some time. Evie was disappointed too, because she was excited to go to school and didn’t want to be told it wasn’t time yet. It was like we were building up for this big moment and then…nothing. Oh well.

It sounds like Evie took everything pretty well. She insisted that she wasn’t going to play with anything because she, “didn’t want to help pick anything up”. But when she saw the duplos, she just couldn’t help herself. So she ended up having a pretty good time.

This sending your kids to school thing is sort of a head trip. Obviously there are all the feelings about how your kid is growing up so fast, etc. But there’s more to it than that. When you’re old enough for preschool, your life starts happening. I met the best man from my wedding in preschool. I have memories of preschool.

It reminds me of a Louis CK bit I heard one time about how now that his daughter is in preschool, there are no do overs anymore because now she will remember things, the way he remembers things about preschool (EDIT: you can hear the bit here, from minute 3:00 to 3:32). As he says, they press record at age 5, nothing you do before that matters. You could punch her in the face before that and it doesn’t matter because they’re going to wipe the hard drive.

Not that I’m considering punching her in the face. I just mean that any mistakes I make now she could remember for the rest of her life. That’s heavy stuff! No more do-overs!

Dear FutureMe

Write your future self a note from your present self.

But even more fun is reading notes other people have written to themselves in the past.

I got crazy sick over the weekend but I think I’m going to be better by Christmas.  3 more days of work this week.  14 hours of Axis and Allies over the weekend.  I beat Tony but Sara beat me.  I couldn’t belive she actually played and I think she even kind of liked it.  First Monday with no school!  No celebration for finishing grad school. 😦 I should have walked in the ceremony, then people would have had to come visit from home and buy me presents!  That was dumb.  The Packers suck.  Yesterday Sara let me go through her closet and actually got rid of like 4 bags of clothes!! I don’t know what came over her.  I’m so proud! 😛

That is all.