Thursday, September 2

The First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for Katie and Bethie. They were very excited about taking the bus to school. Dan and I had them ready early and had time to take plenty of pictures.

Sarah was very upset about being left behind. She loves buses. To have a bus come to her house, open it's doors, and the twins get on while she watches was agony. Then, to add insult to injury, she had to go to daycare...alone!

Dan and I were very excited all day. We couldn't wait to see the twins get off the school bus. We were certain that they would rush over to us and tell us all the wonderful things they had done throughout the day. We were so excited to see them that Sarah, Dan, and I were waiting outside before 3pm, and the bus wasn't even expected until 3:15.

When the bus arrived, I rushed to take pictures. I wanted to have photos of my little darlings coming off the bus on their first day. I also wanted to take pictures of Roxanne coming off the bus because I knew her mother would appreciate it.

Here's the first photo:

That's Roxanne getting off the school bus. I did not take any photos after I took this one. Why? Let me show you a close up of the bus driver.

That's him telling me that my 5 year old twins are NOT on the school bus. At first, I honestly thought that he was joking. I thought that this was a stupid prank. Of course my children were on the school bus! I had told the head of daycare that they were supposed to take the bus home this week. I had reinforced this with their teacher on Monday. I had even told the bus driver in the morning! I got very stern and told him to produce my children. But they really were not on the bus.

I went crazy! I ran into the house to get my keys (while the bus driver was still talking to me!). My neighbour was saying that the twins were probably at daycare and I should call the school. I wasn't listening. I hopped into my little red car and I was ready to go. Dan called out, "Wait! Sarah and I are coming, too!". Oops. I completely forgot about the two of them!

As I drove to the daycare, I thought about how upset the twins would be. They were so looking forward to being on the bus with Roxanne. They knew that I was going to be standing on my driveway waiting for them. Instead, they had to go to daycare. Then I thought that something may have happened to them. If they got hurt at the bus stop, the school would not have had time to call me by that point. They would have been too busy calling 911. Then I thought of my children been squashed by a school bus, using their last weak breaths to call for their Mummy, and I didn't even know where they were!

I was pretty primed (to say the least) by the time we pulled into the parking lot. I got out of the car and headed straight for the daycare. Dan called out to my backside, "Don't worry about Sarah, I'll bring her in!". I had forgotten about Dan and Sarah again!

I was beside myself. Everything seemed to be slowing me down. The doors to the daycare were locked and I had to be buzzed in! I rushed to the office. I didn't know anyone. I didn't know which people worked there and which people were other parents picking up there kids. I opened the door, and said to all "Are my children here?". Then I sobbed. Thankfully, Dan had caught up and he was able to provide the children's names and other relevant info.

After an excruciating amount of time, the daycare was able to confirm that my children were there. Relief swept over me, and I sobbed again. I think the daycare ladies were going to have the children finish their snack and collect their bags, and then the children would be sent to me. WRONG! My children, in my opinion, had been kidnapped by "Big Brother" (Dan has asked me not to refer to the children's educational institutions as "Big Brother" but I can't help myself!). I wanted to see their little face RIGHT NOW. And so I did.

While collecting the bags, we ran into the head of daycare. She didn't seem fazed by the whole situation. She acknowledged that I had told her that my kids would be on the bus this week, but she had forgotten to write it down. Knowing that sometimes (okay, often) I speak before I think about the consequences, and knowing that we anticipate dealing with this daycare for many years, Dan jumped in and took over talking to the head of the daycare. I don't know what was said, but I was seething. All I wanted to do was to get my babies home and hear about their wonderful day.

We walked outside the daycare, and the twins broke down. They complained that they were soooo tired and they had to walk to daycare and it was hot out and they didn't get to go on the bus and some little boy knocked down the castle they made out of wooden blocks and I didn't put "Princess Pasta" in their lunches as promised (I had. In fact, when I checked their bags when we got home, the Princess Pasta was the only thing in there!). The list went on and on. It ended with them shouting at me "It's all your fault!".

My fault? I had done everything perfectly. I had spoken to all involved about the twins taking the bus home. I had made them Princess Pasta. I even went to two different grocery stores in search of the Pillsbury School Bus cookies to delight my little girls. I ran from store to store to store searching for all the perfect school supplies. I spent hours labelling everything just right. I had agonized over this day until I had made myself physically ill. But it was "my fault". And I sobbed.

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