This is your bestie Lauren here. It’s been a while, I know, but I’ve got a good excuse. I went back to school last week. Wednesday to be exact. And boy am I pooped. I spent the day at Allen Brook School in Williston and I only just recently woke up. I had to take a week-long nap after all that activity.
I thought it would be super clever of me to go to school for a day with the kiddies. I’d ride the schoolbus, sit in class, eat in the cafeteria, make rubber cement boogers, play on the monkey bars and then head home. I had no idea that I’d need 168 hours of straight sleep to recover.
My day began at 6 a.m. I had to be at the bus stop by 7 a.m. for the big back to school bus stop bash thrown by one of the neighborhood parents. I rolled out of bed, wiped the sleep from my eyes, stumbled into the shower and somehow managed to clothe myself. It wasn’t until later in the day that I realized my underwear was on backwards. Oops.
I drove over to the bus stop and waited with my new school friends. I felt a little out of place because I didn’t have new shoes with lights or wheels built into the heels and my backpack wasn’t the size of a juvenile gorilla. But nobody looked at me askance. Neither parents nor students even batted an eye when I boarded the bus for my first day of first grade. (Disclaimer- I have actually been to first grade before when I was six. I passed with flying colors, but got bad marks for my apparent lack of self control. Hmmph.)
Riding the bus is not fun. I hated it when I was in school and I didn’t even take the bus. It’s so stressful figuring out where you’re going to sit. I shuffled to the middle of the bus and found a sweet-faced boy named Justin who looked like he wouldn’t mind a lame-o adult sitting next to him for the duration of the ride. I was right. Justin was lovely. We talked about Boy Scout camp (I’ve never been) and his favorite subject (art, at which I am crapola).
Here’s me on the bus:
The bus ride was turning out way better than I anticipated, until we made a few unexpected stops in unfamiliar neighborhoods. The bus regulars nearly mutinied when they saw all these newbies boarding. Within minutes the bus became a clown car of limbs clad in back to school finery. Bob, the kindly bus driver, instructed us to triple up on the seats. Justin and I squeezed close as we were joined by a wee thing called Lily. Lily wasn’t sure what grade she was in. She told me I’d have to ask her mom. I’m guessing she was a kindergartner. I’m hoping that she was at least school-aged and that her parents didn’t just drop her off at the bus stop because the babysitter cancelled.
With me riding in the middle, flanked by Lily and Justin, our little bench seat was nice and cozy. It felt good to feel my shoulders brushing against my earlobes and those bruises on my knees still look quite fetching. What a great way to start the day- on a school bus filled with 3,000 screaming children.
One of those children seemed very interested in me. She kept craning her neck around to see me. Perhaps she felt bad about my bum seating situation. Finally she opened her mouth to ask me a question. “Whose class are you in?” she asked matter-of-factly. It didn’t really occur to her that if I was still in school, I’d probably be in 23rd grade by now. So I went with it. I told her I was in Ms. Deforge’s class. Satisfied, she turned back around.
FYI- If any of you three readers are wondering what kind of clothing is in with the under-12 set, it’s madras, madras, madras. And a little tartan thrown in for good measure. I’ve been waiting for madras to become more than just Hamptons-wear.
By the time we alighted the bus, I was ready for a stiff drink, a snack and a nap, not necessarily in that order. Kim Deforge, perhaps the world’s nicest first/second-grade teacher, was kind enough to let me hang out with her class for the day, as long as I kept my yap shut and sit in the back. I found it nearly as hard to do as an adult as it was when I was a kid. I found myself wanting to blurt out answers whenever Deforge asked questions.
I won’t bore you with the minutae of my day, but I will give you some highlights/observations.
- Never trust boys with long eyelashes. They will always get you in trouble. A long-lashed little fellow named Noah wouldn’t stop talking to me about his pets. He nearly got me sent to the principal’s office.
- Girls in first grade don’t worry about anyone seeing their underwear. All of them sit crosslegged regardless of whether they are wearing skirts. When do people start caring about those things?
- Regardless of how old you are, Madlibs are always awesome.
- Sitting criss-cross applesauce is a lot harder after two knee operations and that unfortunate affliction, old age.
-Recess seems way shorter than when I was a tot. Though come to think of it, I never got to experience recess much. I was always “on the wall.”
Lunch should have been a highlight of the day, but I barely had time to unforld my napkin let alone eat my pasta, corn and pears in light syrup. As I shoveled the food in my mouth, the corn spilled into the pears and made for an unappetizing mix of food. Then the kids started getting up and I figured I had to go with them. I took one last bite of food before scraping my leftovers into the compost bin. It was a bite of food that nearly was my last, ever. The food went down the wrong pipe and by down I mean it got sucked up into my sinuses. I nearly had to go to the school nurse.
I pushed through my post-lunchtime food coma and rallied for storytime and octopus tag. Then it was time to go. Not a minute too soon because I was pooped. I rode the bus back, though this time I sat next to a skeptical fifth-grader whose name I never got. She couldn’t figure out why I would want to go to elementary school for the day. To tell you the truth, inquisitive no-name fifth-grade girl, neither can I.