Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of Year... Back to School!

The day I've been waiting for has finally come... back to school!!  Now don't get me wrong.  I love being with my kids.  But I also love structure in my life and summertime means a lacking of said structure and routine.  I can handle it for a little bit, just like I can handle the kids arguing for a day here or there... but after 10 LONG weeks of listening to them, the time has come.  They MUST GO BACK TO SCHOOL!

Actually we had a really good summer overall, it was only the first three weeks of August that were painful.  Extreme heat even by Barcelona standards... heat to the point where we didn't leave the house unless we absolutely had to.  Like even the grocery store, at one block away, was a trek.  Add that to the kids having very few if any friends in the city during the month of August.  And what do you get?  Stir crazy!!!  Yes, we were all stir crazy by the time we left for Menorca last week.  It was a much needed escape out of the city to put us back in a good place before school started.

We didn't get the teacher assignments for the kids until Friday at 5... just enough time before school starts so that the parents don't have a chance to complain or ask for a reassignment.  I was happy with both of the kids' teachers.  Liam would have Ms. Valerie, the same teacher that Aidan had for kindergarten.  And his co-teacher is Ms. Alex, who was his co-teacher back in pre-k.  This was great and makes for a much easier transition since he's already familiar with at least one of the teachers and we absolutely adore her.  He was disappointed that only a few of his close friends were in his class and his other close friends were in the other kindergarten, but given that Liam is absolutely a social butterfly, this was of little concern to me.

Aidan's teacher, Ms. Merixell, I really don't know anything about.  But like Liam, Aidan had his co-teacher before - Ms. Poonam had been his co-teacher in 1st grade and she is just one of the loveliest people so we were both excited that she would be in Aidan's class again.  But he was excited about having her and he was more excited about the kids in his class. A bunch that he knows already plus he liked the idea of new kids being in his class - he lost 3 close friends this summer to relocations...and so he's excited about the idea that there were new kids starting that he might be able to befriend.

Monday night it was "reasonable" bedtime by 8PM.  Given that most of their summer they haven't been in bed before 9 or 10, starting to live and enjoy more of the Spanish life, they were less than thrilled with the idea of being in bed before the sun goes down.  But with a warning that 6:30AM comes around early, off they went.

They woke up super excited about the day.  Aidan being the negotiator that he is, convinced me the night before that if he got ready on the first day, argument free, could he download a season of a cartoon he's been wanting to see.  And being the sucker that I am and really wanting the first day to go smoothly, I agreed.  He knows me way too well sometimes.  Aidan didn't argue about the clothes I picked out (in my defense, I only pick out clothes for him on the first day and on picture day... is it too much to ask that you don't argue about those 2 days???).

Showing off his cool clothes (yes I convinced him to wear madras, I am supermom)

I'm soooo excited!!!!

Can you find Jake underneath Liam??

A little tv downtime before heading to the bus at 7:35

For the first day, everything actually went pretty smoothly and we got out the door on time to head to the bus stop.

On our way to the bus stop.... yes, I'm ready to hit the gym right after drop off.

The bus pulled up and everything just felt familiar again which was a nice feeling.  Ana, the bus monitor greeted the kids with kisses and asked about their summer (all in Spanish, which of course, they refused to answer in... maybe this year will be different???).  I got on the bus with them to head up to school to drop them in their classrooms.  And ever prepared, I had a puke bag for Liam, just in case.

At the bus stop

So excited for his first day of kindergarten

A bit blurry but notice that this is not your typical yellow school bus but in fact a luxury tour bus... yes they travel in style here...

We got to school without puking incident thankfully - though I fully expect a call sometime this month that he's puked on the bus.  It's inevitable and will happen.  But for now, we got there unscathed.  And the kids were beyond excited, immediately hooking up with their friends that they haven't seen all summer!

I did eventually have to corral them so that I could drop them off together.  And of course, I needed that photo op of each of them at drop off ;)  

Aidan and his friend Pablo

Aidan outside his class

Welcome to third grade!!!  

Liam and his friend, Logan

Liam outside his class

Totally comfortable in his class already - he barely even said goodbye to me!!

Both kids had a great day and got off the bus full of energy and couldn't wait to tell me about their day. I can only hope that this enthusiasm lasts a bit!!  Although on day 2, the novelty was already wearing off for Aidan and he begged me to let him sleep later... guess you should go to bed when we tell you!!  Regardless, I can't believe we now have a kindergartener and a 3rd grader in the house... when did they get so big???


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