In a little over 9 hours, Eli will be back in a classroom!! *Ahhhhh the crowd goes wild* I am thrilled he gets this opportunity to be back in school with his friends, going to art/music/library/gym specials, being face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) with a real teacher, eating lunch in the lunchroom….hang on. Back it up. That last statement is why I didn’t sleep well last night. In all my glory of rejoicing that Eli gets to go back to school, I failed to really stop and think that this will be his FIRST time ever eating lunch at school (preschool and kindergarten were half days), and that led me to thinking this will be his FIRST time ever using a public bathroom with a stall by himself! What kind of mom am I to send my baby boy out into the world without knowing how to open a tube of yogurt and flush a public toilet with his foot?!?! It dawned on me at 11pm last night that I always open Eli’s food packets for him at lunch and throughout the day – fruit snacks, yogurt sticks, chip bags, granola bars, juice boxes. I automatically open and serve him and Ava lunch every day, and they both ask before having snacks, which means I naturally open their snacks when they ask if they can have them, so does my 7 year old know how to open food?!? Will he starve in the lunchroom with unopened packages of food?!? This is a completely neurotic thing to be worried about at 11pm at night, so I told myself to start saying my prayers and calm the heck down. Well, right about “…give us this day our daily bread…” my mind jumps to bread – sandwiches – sandwich baggies – Ziplock closures – what if the Ziplock closure tears and Eli can’t get his sandwich out of the bag?!? Now he has NO yogurt, NO sandwich, NO chips, and NO juice box. His lunch is an utter failure and he is starving with a hurt stomach the rest of the day until I pick him up at 3:20pm when he woefully shuffles to the van weak from hunger.
As soon as I got my mind off the lunch debacle and rationalized that Eli used a yardstick at the age of 2 to press the refrigerator water dispenser and get himself water, so he will be fine opening lunch items (plus I had him practice today! Ha!), I realized that he has never used a public toilet by himself. Preschool and Kindergarten were only a couple hours each, so he either held his bathroom issues until he got home, or used the private bathroom attached to the classroom with a regular door and regular toilet. Outside of school we are never gone for long stretches of time that he has to use the bathroom, or if he does, Sam or I take him and we open/lock the stall doors, flush the toilets with our foot, etc. Now that Eli will be at school for 6 hours, he is bound to need to pee at some point, and I have deprived my child of knowing what to do in a public bathroom. Mom failure!!!! So, now it’s roughly midnight and my mind is racing through scenarios of Eli standing in the school bathroom, not knowing how to lock a stall door, mortified if other kids are in the bathroom, and then God forbid, using his hand to flush that disgusting metal stick handle with his little face so close to the toilet seat. Why does my mind go here?!?! Why can’t I just sleep like a normal human being?!?! Oh yea, because I’m a mom and this is what moms do. We worry about our little chicks leaving the nest and going out into the world of all-day school.
I just keep telling myself this is for Eli’s best to be back in a classroom. He is going to be fine. I’m going to be fine. Everyone is going to be fine. Last night, I officially crossed over from Helicopter Mom to Drone Mom – I hover closer, quieter, and move faster. Sorry kids (not really)! Oh, and will there be another bus cake tomorrow?? You bet your Drone Mom butt there will be one waiting for my little boy when he gets home 🙂