Today was Julia’s first day of preschool. I had to keep reminding myself of this because I have been so focused on Gabe starting kindergarten and all that that entails, I just was happy I remembered her first day at all. And remembered to take the morning off work. I put her in a nice dress she had never worn. She spilled yogurt on it (of course) at breakfast. Then later in the bathroom, she says she was “moving” a bottle of bleach spray I had out from cleaning the bathroom last night. (Though it’s almost always put away, I had left it out for further cleaning tonight. She’s three, she should know not to touch it right?) Only she “moved” it all over her new dress! (And I found out later, all over the bathroom rug.)

I put another dress on her before we went out the door. We dropped Gabe off first and then went to her school (they are right next to each other). We go in and see a friend whose son was in preschool with Gabe. She has a white binder in her hand. “Oh! The binder!” I say. “How did you remember that? Did they send you a note or something?”

“No, it was in our folder.”

“What folder?”

“The one we got on parents’ night.”

“Parents’ night?!” Shit! I’d missed parents’ night. Well, it’s not like I didn’t know about it entirely. I did know about it. And I went for two years before Gabe’s preschool started. I’d just remembered, forgot, remembered, then completely removed it from my head to make room for other things, like getting Gabe to school on time every morning (more than five tardies and they send you before a juvie judge…no joke).

I have been so focused on doing all the kindergarten/new school stuff for Gabe. But it feels like SO MUCH for measly kindergarten. Seriously, papers and papers and emails and weekend homework and fundraisers and after-school programs to sign up for. Money for dues, money to PTO, money to the cafeteria, money for before and after school care. It’s not so much the paying as each check goes somewhere different and in a different manner (online, in his folder to his teacher, at the school, etc.) and he needs lunch and a drink and a snack and a drink packed separately from his lunch as well. And his name tag that says where he goes on which day. And you have to remind them to give stuff to their teachers so that’s another note.

Luckily Julia’s teachers are the same that Gabe had so they forgave me for not going and gave me my folder. We took some pictures and Julia bossed everyone around and they read a story and she told on the boys for not sitting on their mats, and then we went to the bathroom, got a sucker, and left with our big folder of paperwork but without her backpack.

So we turned around and got that and ran to Target to get her school supplies. After Gabe’s first day of school I took him to Panera. I think I had his school supplies six months before he started. With her, I get them AFTER school starts. How do people keep track of more than two children? Seriously. How? I mean, I consider myself  a multitasker extraordinaire, but I guess even I have my limits.

Crazy morning aside, I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t really sad at all for her to start school, which I feel bad about because I’m still bummed out that Gabe is going to kindergarten. I don’t know why the difference, maybe because I feel like she’s socially ready and he’s kind of shy? Or that preschool is for such a short amount of time it’s more like fun and less “real” school?

Maybe it’s because she’s always followed in his footsteps so for every new thing he does, it’s new for me too, whereas I’ve been there, done that with preschool? Regardless I feel a little bit like an emotionless robot. Sorry Jules. Mommy will take you to lunch after your next full day. But don’t tell Gabe!

So I forgot parents’ night.

…and I just realized I didn’t pack Gabe a snack today.

Smile! Hurry! We're running late! (Yes, Gabe dresses himself.)

All ready to get her learn on.

Quietly listening on her mat before raising her hand to tell the teacher that the boys were not sitting on their mats like they should. She'll have that place in top shape in no time.