Madison got me yesterday morning, intentionally or not. I got up at my usual work week time of 4:45 to get ready. I was in the computer room putting my clothes on (so as not to interrupt the sleep of my wife who is a beast in such situations) when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked the doorway and saw my daughter with her hair standing up all wangahs. She was silent. “HEEEEEE!” I said. “Whatcha doing, dad?” she said with squinted eyes. “I have to go to work,” I said. She didn’t move. She have been 3/4 asleep. “You got me,” I said. She didn’t move. I walked over and kissed her on the forehead. “Why don’t you go to our room and sleep in my spot of the bed. She never said a thing, turned on the spot and disappeared into the darkness of the living room. A few hours later, she would officially be a 1st grader.
Mad shed no tears about the simultaneous end of the summer and beginning of the school year. It was a different story with Lynnette, who claims “No, I didn’t cry, I wanted to, but I didn’t.” As per the tradition Lynnette started when Mad first started school, she arranged a mini-photo shoot at the front door for the first day of school. One day – maybe after 5th grade – we’ll put together some kind of super-cool frame/plaque that we ripped off of Pinterest (but didn’t quite replicate) and feature all the first day pictures. I going cry.
We dropped off all 346 of her individually-labeled school supplies on Wednesday. We spent the tail end of Tuesday night making her a Pokemon milk carton. Madison did the character selection, I did the image searching and altering, and Lynnette did everything else that required skill, including cutting, lamination, and applying adhesives. Madison’s seat in the classroom is at the very first desk upon entering. Soon after we entered the room and began setting up, a boy and his parents arrived at seat on Mad’s immediate left. And in an amazing turn of events, the boy placed his milk carton on the desk AND IT WAS COVERED WITH POKEMON! “You guys are going to be best friends!” Lynnette whisper-squeeled to Mad. “But not too best,” I said.
“How was your first day?” I asked Mad when she got home. “Good,” she said. “What did you guys do today?” I continued. “I don’t remember,” she said. This, along with “I forget already,” is her answer when she doesn’t want to think, and wants to scurry off to something else. In this case, That something else was her iPad and Pokemon: Black and White, her most favoritest show in the whole wide world. Sometimes, when I see and hear Madison laughing maniacally at an episode she has already seen 55 times, I feel like Gob – I’ve made a huge mistake. Or Nic Cage in The Rock talking about VX gas – It’s one of those things we wish we could dis-invent. But she loves it. Who the hell am I to tell her what her passions can or can’t be? Eventually, Lynnette pried some information out of her. She learned some housekeeping procedures. She did crafts and ate with some second graders. “But what about the other 5 hours and 45 minutes of her day?” you ask. I don’t know, either.