Today my girls turned six. I cried a little when I looked at the picture retrospective yesterday. Especially at this picture…
I mean look at those tiny things. I could almost hold both of them in one hand. Those first years were tough, really tough. I didn’t sleep for more than a few hours at a time for months and months. We moved three times before they were three (twice across the country.) And almost everything (breast feeding, sleeping, solid foods, talking, potty training) seemed out of my control. So when they entered Kindergarten this year, I breathed a sigh of relief… finally some control.
Shall we have a slight pause for your laughter?
But really, I did everything I could. We researched all sorts of schools; sang a happy tune when we got lottery spots at the “best” (whatever that means) public school in our area; anguished over the decision to send them there; had numerous IEP meetings, etc. etc. I immediately joined the PTA, volunteer in each of their classrooms once a week, show up to every school event, walk them in every day and pick them up instead of putting them on the bus. Basically I do everything I can to make sure they have a positive school experience.
And with twins that can be challenging. Since we weren’t having a party this year, it was especially important to me that their birthday go well at school. This included special birthday outfits this morning, special lunches, minute by minute specific plans on how I would hit both classrooms, and four dozen homemade kitty cat cupcakes.
Then as I was putting the final touches on my licorice whiskers, the dreaded call came.
Desmonda Drama had lice.
This is the third or fourth time we have gotten this call this school year. The four classrooms that make up their unit seem to be on a never ending cycle of lice. And I get it, I truly do. Those suckers are hard to get rid of. And I am an expert now. We’ve got the best lice comb and a no-nonsense system of bag, vacuum, wash EVERYTHING while dousing our kids’ heads in toxic chemicals. Then I go crazy with the scissors, cutting out those nits like I am Edwards Scissorhands. And I try to remember to spray my girls’ heads with lice defender spray every morning. So yeah, I get it.
But school? GET RID OF THE FRACKING LICE.
That’s pretty much the message I had for the school nurse as she told me “but you have to comb the nits out!” Oh really lady? I have never heard of that. I asked if they could keep my daughter until the end of school in forty five minutes so she could celebrate her birthday. I asked if we could have the cupcakes right when I got there. I asked if I could speak to the principal.
Instead I got the secretary on the line telling me that my children were the problem. Cue mom rage. I rushed up to the school, told the nurse not to touch my children again, told the secretary that I needed a better answer and the principal, and generally had a snit fit. And then she told me she would have a security guard escort me out.
Obviously that didn’t happen. The principal came in, he apologized for the comment, we talked, I teared up, I took my daughter home. Then I listened to her cry in the car when she realized she couldn’t have cupcakes with her class. Then I gave her five cupcakes to make up for it.
We rounded back to pick up her sister who immediately burst into hysterical angry crying when she saw me because I hadn’t been there at her cupcake time like I had promised. My heart broke as I ran towards her to scoop her up. Her sister tackled me from behind and we all fell down in a hysterical pile. The only solution was to go home and eat more cupcakes.
As I poured myself a beer and sat down with my trusty nit comb and scissors, I couldn’t help sighing a huge sigh at what a horror my carefully planned “first birthday on two hands” had turned into. My girls though, they were happy or at least on a sugar high. We ate a dinner of pizza and macaroni and cheese. We put candles on last minute substitute store bought cupcakes and had Grandma and Grandaddy sing Happy Birthday via Facetime.
When they went to bed they were happy. The tears were forgotten and all that remained were the good memories of “the best birthday ever.”
Control over your kids is a myth. Even at this age I can’t protect them from life’s battles and I can’t keep them from being brought down by things like a little louse. And as hard as I work, I can’t protect them from how other people see them whether it was the starers at my child’s parking lot breakdown or a secretary on a lice witch hunt. But what I can do is love them and hug them.
Love them and hug them.
Every single FRACKING day.