Facebook goes through several really annoying periods each year.
The number one most irritating phase?
The look-where-I-put-the-Elf-on-the-Shelf phase, which rears its ugly head in December.
I don’t give a crap about your Elf on the Shelf.
The EOTS phase is followed closely by the Disney World phase.
and with a tropical drink,
and at the beach,
and in the pool,
and in a teacup,
and with Mickey
and Cinderella phase.
And then there is the phase we are currently in.
The First Day Of School Phase.
I hate to break it to you, but I don’t really care what your kid looks like on the first day of school.
I’ll admit, I have fallen victim to this phase myself.
And I’ll grant you a free pass on the first day of preschool or kindergarten.
Those are milestones.
But the first day of
After 300 first day of school pictures, you just scroll right past that shit.
Now, if your kid is doing something funny or completely mortifying, well, that’s a different story.
Last year, for instance, I wrote this post about my attempts to get a first day of school picture of Number 3 and 4.
I took about 4000 pictures.
They all sucked.
They sucked so bad that I entered this one,
that I call, “First Grader Pretty Pissed That Summer is Over”
in a local photo contest.
And I won.
This year, I took another picture.
But after seeing the 4 millionth first day of school picture,
I decided not to post it.
But there is a funny story behind it…
Number 3 started getting carsick when he was about 14 months old.
From that point on,
pretty much every time we were in the car for more than 5 minutes, he was guaranteed to puke.
We tried all the remedies.
Sitting him in the middle of the back seat so he could look straight ahead,
sitting him near a window so he could get fresh air,
drinking ginger ale,
motion sickness bracelets.
Eventually, we just got good at knowing when it was going to happen and being prepared with towels and a change or two of clothes.
So when Number 3 started kindergarten, we tried taking the bus to school.
He seemed to do okay the first day.
But the second week, after he puked on himself one morning,
and his teacher didn’t notice,
and he spent the whole day wearing a shirt full of puke because he was too embarrassed to tell anyone,
and I got an email from the teacher at the end of the day saying “some of the students said Number 3’s raincoat smelled funny so you might want to check it,”
I started driving him to school.
Over the past couple years, he seems to have mostly grown out of the motion sickness.
This year Number 4 moved up to the same school as Number 3, and they are on the same bus.
So we decided to have Number 3 try the bus again this year.
He was a little nervous.
Nervous about the bus ride.
Nervous the bus would break down.
Nervous that he wouldn’t know where to go when he got to school because he hadn’t taken the bus there before.
Nervous he would get sick on himself.
And Number 4 was so cute.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” she said.
“I’ll take care of him.”
She said that right as I was taking this picture:
They just put their arms around each other on their own.
And that made me less nervous.
They got on the bus.
A united front.
The next day, the morning routine didn’t run as smoothly.
Number 3 was having some outfit drama, and just couldn’t decide on the right t-shirt.
I thought only girls went through that crap.
the bus came early the second day.
Number 4 ran out the door.
Number 3 was about 30 seconds behind her.
I was only halfway dressed,
in pajama pants and my bra,
and I couldn’t walk outside.
I told Number 3 to hurry,
shoved him out the door,
and I ran to my room and got a shirt.
I heard the bus pull away.
I had just pulled my shirt over my head and I ran to the door to wave goodbye.
Number 4 was looking out the window of the bus,
with a big smile on her face.
And Number 3?
He was walking back to the front door.
The bus left without him, and Number 4 was apparently pretty happy about it.
So that afternoon when Number 4 got home, I asked her what happened that morning.
“Why didn’t you tell the bus driver to wait for Number 3?” I asked.
She looked at me.
And matter-of-factly she said,
I thought he needed to be held accountable for not following the directions and getting dressed when you told him to.”
And I thought I was tough.
So much for Number 4 looking out for her brother.
But you know what he did that afternoon when he got off the bus?
He unpacked his bag,
washed out every container in his lunch box,
laid his outfit for the next day out on his bed,
finished his homework,
and put it neatly in the folder in his backpack.
He was ready for the bus 10 minutes early the next day.
And the day after that.
And the day after that.
Number 4 doesn’t mess around.
And she had to teach him the hard way,
but Number 4 really did take care of Number 3.
We should all probably take a page out of her parenting book.
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