E. starts kindergarten in a few weeks. She wants to wear a Batman t-shirt for the first day and is pretty excited about her new lunch box and backpack. Depending on when you ask her, she’ll either grin happily about getting to be in the walking group with her big brother or run away from the conversation, yelling that she’s scared. The other day she told a friend of ours that she was afraid of school because she thinks the principal will yell at her for not being very smart and not knowing how to read. I can’t tell if she really believes this or if she just likes the dismayed reaction she gets when she says it. That my clever girl would think for a minute she’s not smart or that she worries about grown ups yelling at her makes me want to wrap her in bubble wrap and keep her in my pocket for the rest of her life.
This morning she woke up for the day and climbed into my lap, tucking her head under my chin, her face pressed against my breast. She was still warm from her covers and her first words of the day were “Hi, Mama, I love you.” She called me Mama Duck and said she was the tiny baby duck and quacked softly to me as we snuggled under the covers for a minute.
She is so big little right now. She’s learning to ride her bike without training wheels but a tricky button on her shorts can reduce her to tears (and result in pee on the bathroom floor). She still needs a blankie to fall asleep at night along with a few vigorous squirts of anti-bad dream spray (water and with a few drops of perfume) but when she wakes up in the morning she helps herself to a cereal bar for breakfast and some videos on YouTube on the iPad. I catch flashes of the baby she was but then I also watch her run down the block ahead of me, braids bouncing, and I know she’s ready.
In a few weeks, we’ll take her to school and pretend that it isn’t completely crazy to be sending tiny infant people into a building filled with 5th graders who are wearing bras and deodorant.
Good luck, little duck.