Every other child in this area, and apparently on God's green earth, has started school already. Every child, except for Henry. And, presumably, Henry's schoolmates. Henry's school starts tomorrow.
We have spent two full weeks together. The first week was jam-packed with fun as his many friends were also out of school, and there was much merriment and pool-going and beach adventures and etc. But now all his friends are in school, and Henry has turned to me for companionship. And boy howdy, I love my kid, but he talks ALL THE TIME. He narrates everything he's doing. Everything. I often delight in his extensive vocabulary and the stuff he comes up with is often so clever and adorable I'm weak with love, but then he keeps talking and talking and talking and whoops I just jammed a fork into my ears. If he can't think of something to say he launches into a stream of nonsense words. I admit that I can get pretty voluble when I'm in the mood, but when I have nothing to say I don't shout BOOP BEE BOOP while throwing myself to the ground and slapping my head.
Okay, sometimes I do that.
As I was typing the above Henry joined me at the dining room table. He can spend only a few minutes playing by himself until the need to share his ongoing adventures overcomes him. Here, verbatim, as it pours from his mouth—or as I call it, his sound-hole—is an excerpt from Henry's narrative as he shoves a Transformer under my nose: "It has a magic glider with a horse, and a shirt and that shirt is magic. And it also has robotical powers for him. Is that cool sounding? Is that cool sounding? Isn't that cool sounding?"
Yes, son. It's cool sounding.
Adding insult to emotional injury, this new school of his features a ridiculous, painfully drawn-out phase-in. I can appreciate the thinking behind the phase-in, but they haven't taken into account that I AM LOSING MY MIND. The first day is thirty minutes. THIRTY. I will drop him off, head home, open the door, close the door, and head right back. Or I will sit in my car and chew gum. I will bet that my gum will not have lost its flavor by the time school's done. The second day? 45 minutes. Maybe I'll have to move on to a second stick of gum by then. Maybe I'll choose a different flavor, mix things up a little. Wheee! The days continue like that until Friday, when he stays for enough time that I could possibly run home to write an email and toast a waffle. If I eat the waffle while composing the email I might be able to pee before heading back out! Jubilee!
"Know where these two people went? Do you know? Do you know, Mama? The guy went into his own mind with one of his friends. He went into his own mind. The robot went into his own mind. He went into his own mind with one of his friends. SHHHHOOOOOOOOoooooooooooop."
So in other words, school doesn't actually begin until next week. School, by the way, being pre-school, because I was stupid enough to birth my child on October 7th, when the cut-off date for kindergarten in New Jersey is October 1st; no, they won't put him into kindergarten, there are no exceptions, yes, I CHECKED. And frankly I'm not too broken up about him spending an extra year in preschool. He's probably ready in-tee-lek-shully for kindergarten but physically he's a teeny bit behind, and every year he's been the youngest in his class and has literally been unable to catch up to his classmates as they race circles around him. (Of course the fact that he wants to stop and comment on everything doesn't help him move any faster. Here's Henry at the playground: "Wow, you sure can climb those monkey bars! I would climb them but I don't know how and anyway I don’t really want to learn. But you're doing great! You're almost at the end now! And hey, now you're running and you run really fast! I'm going to run too! Hey, wait up! I'm following you!")
Also, the public school kindergarten here is a half-day. It ends at 11:30. That is too early. So even though we can't eat because of all the money we're paying for preschool, at least he's there until 3 p.m. Of course not this week.
"Look at this guy, I tied him up pretty good. I tied him up with a special magic rope. He's a cryto-robber. Look at this guy, see? Are you looking? Look at this guy, look how I tied him up? Do you see it? Look. Look! Look at how I tied him up? Are you looking?"
I may have raised my voice a teeny bit with that last one. YES I SEE HIM GREAT WHATEVER. I'm losing it. I just gave him three Fig Newtons, because at least then he'll be quiet. Right? Wrong.
"I turned my Fig Newton into a boot. I bited it and it looks like a boot. See? Now I'm eating the boot. Now it's a car. See? See? Now I'm eating it. Now it's the wind. Because I ate it all? See? See how it's the wind? See?"
Dear school: please start. Thank you. Love, Alice.
P.S.: Hey, look: a Wonderland post from last week! Do you see? Look! Look! Look! Look! See? Do you see? Look!