My six-year-old daughter has developed a new habit in which she narrates every single thing she is doing as though she is a character in a book. I’m pretty sure that books are where she picked up this habit, as her cadence sounds similar to the audiobooks I let her listen to over lunch. We went to the splash pad to beat the heat and as she went to get out of the car I heard her exclaim, “’WHOA, it’s hot out here! Scarlette said to herself as she swung her feet onto the pavement.’”
This in and of itself is hilarious but what’s even funnier is when we are out in public and she includes random strangers into her constant self-dialogue. Like when we passed a man wearing a yellow hat and Scarlette said, “As we walked down the street, Scarlette pass-ed a man in bright a yellow hat.” And then the man in the yellow hat (who, disappointingly, was not accompanied by a curious monkey) turned and looked at us suspiciously.
These sorts of shenanigans had me a little bit curious about how Scarlette’s first day of first grade would go. This year she is at a new school, because we decided to embark on the adventure of homeschooling as a family. We found a fantastic private school that allows for Scarlette to attend full days a few times each week and then the rest of the time she completes her curriculum at home. While I never really worry about my little extrovert making friends, I could tell that she was both excited and nervous about starting somewhere new so I was anxious to hear all about her first day.
At the end of the day, I went to pick her up and as I rounded the hallway towards her classroom the administrator stopped me and mentioned that Scarlette had just gotten sick and her teacher was helping her. Prior to that moment, Scarlette had legitimately never thrown up in a day in her life, outside of baby reflux, and so I thought that maybe there had just been a mistake. Then I noticed all of the other first-graders sitting against the wall in the hallway and I felt the sort of mom-panic that comes when you know that you’re about to walk into a tough situation involving your kid and I picked up my pace towards the classroom.
She was sitting in the back corner, tears streaming down her face and covered in her own sick. “Mommy!” she said when she spotted me, “I don’t know what happened to my body!” As I surveyed the scene and I assessed the situation, I quickly deduced that Scarlette was going to need an entirely new set of clothing, straight down to her shoes.
Luckily I once binge-watched an entire season of Bear Grylls and so now I am completely prepared to survive for day if I were somehow stranded in the wild, if by “wild” you mean “suburbia.” My friends make fun of me for keeping such a random assortment of objects in my car but once my husband got stuck in a blizzard for six hours and he had plenty of snacks and also hand warmers thanks to my well-stocked trunk. Sure I can’t fit groceries back there but we all make sacrifices.
I quickly ran down to the car and gathered up a new outfit, two beach towels, a handful of plastic bags, a jumbo bag of baby wipes, and a can of Lysol. That’s right. This is what I trained for. Like the Bible says, perhaps I was created for such a time as this.
Most of the time in motherhood I feel like a mom but there are certain times when you feel like a MOM and this was one of those times. Armed with my arsenal of hazmat gear, I went back in and I handled that situation like Olivia Pope.
After I got Scarlette all cleaned up and changed, we walked slowly back to the car and I heard her say quietly, “’This is the worstest day of my entire life,’ Scarlette said sadly as she walk-ed down the stairs.”
This is my absolute favorite thing about my daughter, that even in the worst of situations she is still quintessentially her, full of laughter and making the best out of everything that comes her way. Her light is undimmable.
Outwardly I was comforting and nonchalant but inside, my heart was breaking. I was worried because she was sick but I was also worried that she would feel embarrassed. I was dismayed that her first time ever throwing up was on her first day of first grade in front of her peers.
Later that afternoon, after a healthy dose of electrolytes and a Beverly Cleary audio book, Scarlette wanted to call all of her grandparents and tell them about her first day of school. “And guess what! I throw-ed up!” she told them, her voice lilting with laughter.
All of my worry about her feeling embarrassed was for naught and I realized that was because she didn’t know to feel embarrassed. No one made her feel as though she should. In fact, I asked her if it was okay if I wrote about this and she said, “Sure Mommy, that is a HILARIOUS story! AND tell the audience that Ramona Quimby ALSO throw-ed up at school when she was age eight!”
It was such a poignant parenting lesson for me, the reminder to not ascribe my own emotions to her but observe her interactions with the world before responding. It’s so easy to think of your children as an extension of yourself, and there is a lot of me in Scarlette, but she is her own, unique little spark in the world.
And when I picked her up at the end of her second day of school, she turned to her classmates, raised both hands in the air, and exclaimed, “Everybody! I HAVE an ANNOUNCEMENT! I have to go do some homeschool days now but I will be back at this school soon, I PROMISE. And so you will not even have to miss-ed me for that long I think!”
So I think it’s safe to say she came through what I thought might be a fairly traumatic event totally unscathed.
I, however, need a vacation and we’re only on week two.
*affiliate links included As we prepare for our new adventures in homeschooling, I am tapping into the Parenting Super Bundle resource library from Ultimate Bundles. I am most excited to explore the homeschooling resources given our family’s new journey but I have been anxiously awaiting this new parenting set, because a mama needs a little support sometimes.
This set of resources includes 35 eBooks, 10 eCourses, 2 audios, 23 printables, 9 workbooks, and 1 membership site and while I might not use them all, here are a few things in the bundle I’m really looking forward to using:
- Emotion Coaching: An Essential Part of Your Parenting Toolbox eCourse by Melissa Benaroya
- The Back to School Planner 2017-18 by Laura Rizer and The Homeschool Planner Pack by Kayse Pratt
- Blockies & Fairies Complete Routine Chart Set by Samantha Jockel
- Editable Chore Cards for Kids by Sara McClure
- Begin Homeschooling with Confidence by Kelly George
- 10 free audio stories for kids from Around the World Stories
If you’re new to Ultimate Bundles, these bundles run as flash sales, which means for six days only you can get an entire collection of parenting resources for just $29. After that, you have to purchase each item individually and many of them are two and three times the cost of the bundle alone. Even if you just want to use a handful of the resources included, it’s worth the price to snag them in this sale! It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.
As you already know, parenting is amazing and difficult. Enjoying it even on the craziest of days (like the first day of first grade ;)) is not impossible. You don’t need to be a perfect parent to raise great kids, but if you (like me) could use a little help, see the rest of what’s included in the Parenting Super Bundle here!