Jackson had his first day of his last year of preschool. Did you follow that? Eek! That means the next time I take him to a new class it will be for kindergarten. That is craziness, I tell you! Pre-K is less about me getting a little break and more about him learning and becoming prepared for the school years. He loves going and I am excited to see how he will grow this year.
Annabeth got to go to mother's day out for the first time today. It was February when I registered her for this fall and she seemed too small and sweet to go. I couldn't imagine being ready to drop her off for 5 hours, twice a week. But I remembered Jackson at this age and thought I would probably regret not signing her up. And, wow, if you have an 18-month-old you can probably relate to my current feelings of readiness!
I didn't get too worked up about the whole thing. There were no tears. I'm saving those for next year. The most emotion I felt was the (minor) regret of Annabeth's brown, red, and yellow nap mat and blue, pink, and green backpack clashing. Also, my mom tried to shame me for using a paper lunch sack instead of a real lunch kit but, hello, it doesn't have to be cleaned out and it weighs less! The amount of stuff I will be hauling to and from the car while carrying one child and holding the other's hand is truly amazing. The paper sack is a survival technique and I HAVE NO SHAME!
I attempted to take some adorable pictures of the kids before leaving. Annabeth must have understood where she was about to go because when I got the camera out, she began clinging to my leg and whining. All I could do was take some of Jackson and hope she would get jealous of the attention and join him. I gave her her backpack and she ended up dragging it over to the door, sitting down on her bedroll, putting her arm on Jackson and smiling for the camera. I could not believe it. Of course, I missed the half-second that they remained in that pose.
Drop off was pretty painless. I was wishing I looked cuter, but a major benefit of all this is to be able to beautify oneself in peace. So I dressed in clothes that at least made it look like I'd worked out or was going to work out. Doesn't that excuse the morning uglies? I think so. I showered in complete privacy for once and got ready to take my sister to lunch.
I was running late and assumed Melissa was too, so I went to my parents' house without my makeup on. I would just do it there in the company of my two favorite women. Mom was about to get picked up to go to the airport, but we would have a few minutes together. I was fishing around in Melissa's makeup bag for something and that turned into her doing my makeup. We've tried this before and I've always felt like Elvira, but today I liked it. I did, however, get rebuked for not wearing earrings after all the work she'd done on my face. Horror of horrors! She fetched me some of her own and there was reconciliation.
Melissa wanted to go to Ruggles Green at the City Center (AKA the trendy graveyard of Town and Country Mall). I was a little apprehensive, given that I typically scoff at hippie food because it's bizarre, small, and doesn't taste good. But we went for it and I have to say that I've never had a better grilled chicken sandwich in my life. We even got some pink velvet cake to go. It was pink because they don't use all the dyes to make it truly red. Or something eco-friendly and organic like that. I don't know. I'm just a Texan who was raised by a father who doesn't trust vegetarians. And whose greatest fear is that I won't allow my son to hunt deer when he's old enough. Don't tell my dad that Melissa ordered a veggie burger.
After lunch we walked across the street to Anthropologie. All the beautiful fall clothes were out and we were both drooling. At this point we were really missing our mom. Our husbands are very lucky that we had to pick up the kids because we did not have time to do much damage.
We trekked back to the kids' school and I was grateful to have Aunt Melissa there to help me get everyone and everything to the car. It's a law of nature that some sort of shenanigan has to happen at the start of school and lucky for me, my sister got to witness it! We went to Annabeth's class and I quickly found out that I had not packed enough food in her lunch. Yes, just take that in for a moment. They had to give her goldfish borrowed from the snack reserves. Her lunch had a turkey and cheese sandwich, a baggie of quartered grapes and some milk. I started to put a cheese stick in there or some Wheat Thins, but I thought surely she would not eat all that! I was wrong. So very wrong. Melissa and I couldn't stop giggling about my humiliation all the way to the car. Next time I will do better, Annabeth! Despite having a mother who needs food service tutoring, I was told that Abey did great today. Jackson seemed to have a great day, too. Both of his teachers seem wonderful, as do Annabeth's!
We made a beeline for the Dairy Queen and got Jackson a little Blizzard. Then we headed to my parents' house just to hang out. I made some tea, Melissa made some coffee, and we dug into our pink velvet cake. Lis spoke Jackson's love language of playing hide and seek. We could have stayed all day but the kids were exhausted. Jackson fell asleep two minutes after we got in the car.
I never know whether my sister being around my kids is going to help or hinder my chances of having nieces and nephews on my side of the family. She sees everything from the chaos and the frustrations to the absurdities (her favorite) and the awesome moments. Like when Annabeth pointed at my bridal portrait today and said "Mommy!" Thank God I'm recognizable, right? Ha!
Whether or not I ever get to be an auntie to some sweet little Fitzpatrick babies, my kids have a fantastic aunt in Melissa. They have only begun to realize how fun she is. We love you, Lissy! Thanks for such a great day!
The Sir posing solo.
Aber hauling her little backpack to the front door to join him.
Independence is her love language.
This lovely picture is the closest I got to that dreamy moment of sibling affection. See AB's arm outstretched? And doesn't Jackson's expression sum up the family photography experience?
My two loves.