Things I want to remember (and forget) about the first day of middle school

“Middle school was the best time of my life,” said no one, EVER.

And with an eighth and sixth grader, I’ll have both kids in middle school. I still feel gypped off for Bode. If he was still in Colorado, he would be the king of elementary school today with lots to look forward to like student council and a week of Outdoor Lab. All he gets is is being thrust to the bottom of the totem pole for the second year in a row. In his Intermediate School for fifth grade, he only got to know the 30 kids in his class and half of them are going to the new middle school so he’s starting all over again. But at least he’ll recognize a few familiar faces so that’s a step up from moving to Utah only a few days before school started last year.

Yesterday was back-to-school night where we met their teachers. In typical Bode fashion, he meticulously mapped out his route to each class and quickly figured out his alternating gold and black schedule while Hadley will probably be asking him for directions (she takes after me). Both kids got the classes they wanted. Bode will be playing the flute again this year and signed up to be a tutor. Hadley doesn’t like music (which unfortunately knocks out 80% of the elective choices) so she was relieved to be appointed to student government. The last four months of school were such a nightmare that we’re trying to remind her what a rock star she was when she started seventh grade–she made friends quickly and landed on the honor roll for the first time.

She’s not buying into any of it and judging from her sour expression as we toured her classrooms (most particularly with her arch nemesis: math), eighth grade is going to be quite the ride. We’ve resigned ourselves that we’ll need to hire her a math tutor for the rest of her scholastic life and here’s for hoping we find someone who can get her excited about it all. If last year taught us anything it’s that she can do everything she sets her mind to…but when she’s checked out, watch out.

After touring the school, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Cafe Rio and went home for back-to-school father’s blessings. We tried to get to bed early and that’s where the fun began.

3 a.m. Bode limps into my bedroom, agonizing over a cramp in his foot. I fumble around for ibuprofen and massage his foot. He goes back to sleep. I barely do.

6:20 a.m. His alarm goes off. Why is he setting it so early when he only takes a few minutes to get ready? He snuggles up to Fat Kitty and me in bed (which I love) and I go downstairs to wake-up Hadley. She leaps out of bed and heads to the bathroom. Note: this is the first time the entire morning she rushes.

6:40 a.m. Bode gets dressed and chooses not to wear the clothes we set out for him the previous night. No worries, he still looks great so I load peaches and cream waffles on his “You Are Special Today” plate. The first day as a Middle Schooler is “special” for sure.

6:50 a.m. Hadley still not out of the bathroom. Order her to go get dressed.

6:55 a.m. Notice Bode spilled food all over his clothes (not untypical). He’s annoyed when I tell him to go change so he wears the outfit we originally picked out.

6:59 a.m. Yell at Hadley she only has 10 minutes to eat her breakfast and pack lunch.

7 a.m. Set out lunch foods for the kids. They throw everything together, Hadley scarfs her food, finishes getting ready and somehow poses for a quick picture within 9 minutes.

7:10 a.m. Drove them to the bus stop like a madwoman.

7:15 a.m. Arrive home and pass out on the couch. Jamie tells me I need to chill out and I decide to put HIM in charge of getting them out the door for the rest of the year.

Now, excuse me while I go back to bed.

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