Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Second Grade

Monday, on the Eve of Second Grade, Big Sis and I went on a first-day-of-school-outfit mission with her cousin and auntie. We returned home armed with new dresses for her and for Little Sis.

I almost updated my Facebook status thusly: "Oh, to buy a dress confidently, like a seven-year-old, without trying it on."

Little Sis wanted to sleep in her new duds so she could eject herself from bed and straight into the welcoming arms of One More Year of Preschool. We nixed that plan in favor of jammies.

The next morning Little Sis had her dress on before both eyes were open. Big Sis donned her dress and immediately hated it.

"I feel like a GROWN UP," she growled, tugging at the dress's white starchy collar, which she described as going "way up here, and way over THERE!"

Yeah, so she probably should have tried it on.

We settled on a flowered dress from last spring and polka dot socks. There was peace in the valley until the other shoe dropped.

Except there was no other shoe.

I bought my kid some new kicks this summer, thinking they'd be great for school. Comfy sneakers with glitter.

But her feet didn't grow as fast as I anticipated, and the new shoes don't fit yet. I confess that I didn't take proper stock of the shoe situation before the First Day of School. Our girls wore flip flops every day for the past 12 weeks; I didn't know where we stood in the closed-toe arena.

"Mom. What shoes am I going to wear?"

"Ummm...your new ones?"

"They don't FIT, Mom; they're really loooong."

" about your white sandals?"

"MOM! Seriously? They're inappropriate. INAPPROPRIATE. Do you want me to get yelled at by my teacher and end up in the principal's office?"


There were some old Mary Janes that could work. But the left shoe of that pair...well, didn't drop. It wasn't under the couch; it wasn't in the car.

Which left us with a pair of tennis shoes Big Sis never really liked. Slightly dorky ones. I knew she didn't want to wear them but they were our only hope.

Before I could accuse her of being snotty, she clarified: "Mom. It's NOT the way they LOOK. It's the way they FEEL."

Cue tears. Followed by my cajoling. And finally, the pleading, with a splash of gritted teeth: "This. Is. What. We. Have. I am sorry. I will buy you some shoes that fit TONIGHT. I promise."

And that was the promise I regretted later when I was still at work for my own school's Back to School Night and husband called re: Little Sis was on the verge of vomiting and when was I coming home.

I assured him I would make haste as soon as parents were leaving our campus and stop by the store for some Sprite.

While Dad was distracted, Big Sis followed up with a phone call of her own: "Ummm...hi, Mom? I'm just calling to see if you are going to go get me a new pair of shoes?"

As I listened to that voicemail, my blood pressure began to rise. I wanted to be home, hearing about Big Sis's first day and comforting Little Sis with her funky stomach flu. Instead, I was at work, with my daughter reminding me she badly wanted shoes that fit. I was irritated that she appeared more concerned about shoes than about her sister.

But her chirpy last sentence saved the day. "Mom. I will totally wear my tennis shoes tomorrow if you don't have a chance to buy me some new ones. Okay, bye! I love you!"

And this is why, after confirming that Little Sis was holding it down for the time being, I made a Sprite-and-shoes run on the way home from work.

I arrived home in time for goodnight kisses, brand-new-shoe endorsements, sick-tummy-rub-downs, and the news that Big Sis was (elected? chosen? selected by lottery?) President of Her Class for the week. With two Vice Presidents below her.

All in all, it turns out, the first day of second grade was not second rate.

And word on the street is (after consulting her cousin with the matching outfit), Big Sis might rock her new dress this week. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Ms. F said...

My First Day outfit involved a favorite pencil skirt, but I had to quickly revise that plan morning-of on account of the fact that I still hadn't quite gotten rid of that extra 5 pounds that a cross-country trip and no gym membership for the last month brought about. Turns out a pencil skirt is not the kind of thing one can wear a little snug -- not very forgiving in that way. :)