Friday, August 21, 2009

Daddy's Not Ready

Well, as I write this it is only 4 days until the triplets start preschool!! I can hardly believe it, especially when I think about everything that Perrin has gone through since he was born just 3 short years ago. It's just amazing.

On Tuesday the school district had a "getting to know your bus" orientation for preschool and kindergarten students. The district put on a pretty big event that had a carnival atmosphere to it, complete with Moon Jumps, Clowns, Balloon Animals, Caricature Artists, Face Painting, and Train Rides. They also had free snacks and juice for the kids. The idea was to give kids some experience with a school bus and what to expect for their first day.

This is where I found out that I am not really ready for this. Why? Well at the risk of coming off as pretentious and conceited, it was that I got to meet and see other parents and their kids. A bunch of ill-mannered, poorly behaved, and anti-social people modeling behaviors that will eventually lead to long parent conferences and discipline actions were in abundance. And the kids, while not to blame, were worse. I shudder at the habits that will rub off onto the triplets.

The best example I can give is when I had to take the kids to get their individual bus ID's. I had them in their train and I took them out one at a time for their ID's. Sarah sat in the back and when I took her out, there were parents actually telling their kids to climb into the train and play!!! You know it takes a lot for me to be stunned, but I was speechless for a few seconds. My anger must have been apparent because the mother (most parents were mothers) grabbed her kid quickly and said, "Let's Go," to which I was quick to reply, "Yeah, we aren't part of the festivities." or something very close. Sadly, I think the mom didn't know what festivities meant.

The other thing which appalled me was seeing other parents views on how they react to the word FREE. I know that many of the preschool families consist of the most economically challenged percentage of any school district, but there was more than one mother who brought shopping bags with them and filled them with the "free" bags of gold fish crackers, popcorn, and juice boxes. It was definitely an eye opener for me!

Despite there being close to 300 people there, the main focus of introducing your child to the whole bus experience was not being taken advantage of. The line I thought was for the bus, was not moving at all and packed with horrible people, kids, and strollers, all acting in ways that made me want to take off my belt for the lot of them. I turned away rather than stand in that line and walked around a little more. I chose not to give up and went back about 20 minutes later and the line was practically the same. Luckily I asked a worker about it and she told me that it was the line for the sketch artist!! She pointed to the buses and said no one is in line, so you can just go!!

I couldn't believe it. The whole point of that event was for the bus and these people were more concerned with getting balloons and sketches for their kids!! I still considered not going through with it because I knew I'd have to leave our train behind while on the bus and I really feared someone might take it. When I explained my concerns the helper offered to watch the train for me, so we all went for a bus ride.

The kids did great walking up the stairs and getting in their seats. It's a big change from 35 years ago when I was in kindergarten, mostly noticeably the seat belts. The bus driver was wonderful. He was a bit Santa-like in appearance but he was patient, slow, and talked softly and comfortably to the kids. That helped them quite a bit. We only went a couple of blocks, but it was enough for them to get a good feel for a bus ride. The boys were fine and very happy about being in their "seat belts," but Sarah was almost terrified at everything. I had to sit with her for awhile and talk her through the whole process before she accepted it and started to have fun.

They all commented on how the bus was Loud and as Ryan said, "It's Berry Bumpy Daddy." When we got done we got off the bus and the kids did very good on the big steps getting down. With everything Perrin deals with, I thought he did exceptional!

So, I despite going I'm still not convinced they will do well the first couple of days on the bus. I sincerely hope I can go with them on the bus rides the first day, but I am betting that's a no-no.

Monday is the official "Meet & Greet" day for them. We'll get to go and see their classrooms and meet their teachers so that they have at least some small idea about what to expect. We will let you know all about that afterwards.

Until then, here are some more pictures of the bus and some more that I found. Click for enlargements.

Ryan experimenting with the camera.

Photo By Sarah. That's a bow on her head. Perrin wasn't interested in doing this.

Waiting for the big kids to get out of the Moon Jump

Getting Ready For Their First School Bus Ride

Sarah sitting in the bus with her seat belt.

Ryan, happy to be on a "Berry Bumpy Bus"

Perrin almost being strangled by his seat belt. I didn't like that one so I am hoping not to put him in a seat like that on Tuesday.

That's it for now. I'll try and get their ID picture scanned---Those are hilarious!!

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