I wasn’t able to be with Lynnette and Madison on Mad’s first day of school yesterday. I found out this morning that it was to be her only day of school this week. Nice gig if you can get it. Anyway, my two girls filled me in on some of the day, but I cooked dinner, Lynnette had work to do, and Madison isn’t the most reliable narrator. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t have a very clear, detailed picture of Madison’s first day of school. I have a few pictures taken by Lynnette, but that’s about it. I’ve had to fill in the rest of the pieces myself. What follows is an account depicting Mad’s first day of school. What I know actually happened will be highlighted in pink, Mad’s signature color. The rest? My best guesses and a little embellishment.
Lynnette emerged from the bathroom half-dressed and half-made up. “Wake up, Mad!” she said. Madison offered no response. Lynnette turned on the spot and walked back into the bathroom. She took up one of those eye pencil things. “It’s your first day of Kindergar-ten!” She said, looking at herself in the mirror, her tone and inflection reminiscent of an in-her-prime Oprah about to give away prizes.
“I’m too tired!” a little voice grumbled from under a colorful blanket. The blanket shifted suddenly on the futon next to the bed.
“Sheesh and teeth!” Lynnette said, stealing the catchy abbreviation of Madison’s morning process from her clever husband.
“I’m cold!” the voice called back from under the blanket. Lynnette walked over to the futon and knelt next to Madison. A rustling from under the bed was heard. Abby appeared, ready for scratches and kisses. “Kiss Madison!” Lynnette said. Abby moved in on Madison, licking her face after Lynnette had removed the blanket. “STOP IT, ABBY!” Madison shouted.
Madison dressed in a t-shirt featuring characters from Yo-Gabba-Gabba, a children’s television show. She picked at her Chocolate Lucky Charms. “Can I watch my shows?” she asked. Lynnette picked up the remote and punched in 1429. In a few moments, Disney Junior appeared on the screen.
Lynnette fed Abby her Royal Canin and powered up the Kerig. “You know what?” she said. “I desperately miss your father.” Madison placed her spoon down solemnly. “Me too,” she said. Lynnette poured the coffee into her mug. “You know what?” she said. “I miss your father so much, I am going to make sweet love to him upon his return home. The kind Anita Baker went on about.” Luckily, Madison was too involved in an episode of a show she had already seen three or four times during the summer. Abby kind of winced, though.
Lynnette and Madison made their way downstairs. Lynnette positioned Madison in front of the door. “Make sure your toes don’t align,” Lynnette said. “What did you say?” Madison asked. “Your toes. Make sure they’re on different planes. It gives the photo depth,” Lynnette said. “Huh?” Madison said. “Don’t worry, I’m going to con daddy into enrolling you in modeling school, and you’ll learn all the things mommy did, which is why I am so photogenic,” Lynnette said. Madison flashed a bewildered look. “Smile!” Lynnette said. She snapped a few shots with the Canon. She took one with her phone. “I’m going to send this to daddy so he stays off my ass,” Lynnette said. “Don’t say that, mom,” Madison said. “Sorry,” Lynnette said.
The two loaded into the Highlander. “Daddy is such a fine man for agreeing to let me drive the new car,” Lynnette said. “Yeah, yeah,” Madison said. “Daddy had to give away Mr. 8, his first car so that we could get a new one,” she added. The new engine purred as it was brought to life. Lynnette inched out of the garage, wary of the large side mirrors and their close proximity to the garage entrance. In a process only slightly quicker than Luke’s flight through the canyon on the surface of the Death Star, Lynnette got the Highlander out of the garage, closed its door and headed toward Mililani Mauka Elementary, dubbed by our family “The Big School.”
Lynnette parked the car and pulled freed Madison from her car seat. She helped Madison strap on her Mario Kart backpack featuring Princess Peach. They walked toward the school. “Wait,” Lynnette said in the middle of the sidewalk. “I want to take a picture of our shadows.” Madison slowed. “Since we have the same haircut, your shadow will just look like a miniature version of my own!” Lynnette squealed! She took out her phone, placed her hand on Madison and snapped the picture. “I will send this to dad so that he is jealous he is not here, but also jealous that he doesn’t have the same haircut as us!” Lynnette said. “Let’s go mom!” Madison said. “I want to go to school already.”
Lynnette and Madison entered one of the 15 Kindergarten classrooms at Mililani Mauka Elementary. “Looks like this is your class, Mad,” Lynnette said. They explored the area. “There’s my name!” Madison said excitedly as she found her taped off area on the classroom floor.
Lynnette looked around the room. There were other parents with their children. A wave of emotions came over her. Keep it together, she thought to herself. Just then Madison’s teacher came over and introduced herself. Lynnette recovered just in time to make introductions and smile that beautiful smile of hers. Madison did that thing where she clings to one of Lynnette’s legs, but for totally different reasons than my own.
“Could you take a picture of us?” Lynnette asked Madison’s teacher. “Sure!” she said. Lynnette fell into a squat and wrapped her arms around Mad. Mad lifted her right arm and placed it around Lynnette’s neck. Whenever they smiled, they looked even more alike than usual.
“Okay, Mad,” Lynnette said. “Have a good first day!” “Okay, mom, I love you!” Madison said. “Three kisses and three hugs,” Lynnette said. Madison obliged. Madison did not cry as Lynnette walked toward the door. Lynnette found her way back to the Highlander and spilled herself inside. She was grateful for the tint. She took her phone from her purse and selected a song. “No. Too soon,” she said.
Madison settled into her new classroom quickly. She saw friends from her pre-school. She took an assessment test and made a cut out featuring Humpty-Dumpty. There was also something about cupcakes, but not the real kind, I don’t think.
Eventually, the bell would ring on her first (half) day of Kindergarten.
I can’t believe I forgot to ask Lynnette if the cubby box fit!