Friday, September 9, 2011

Let's revisit the first day of school

Sure the pictures look great, everyone put together, ready for the first day of school.

Carter and Luke selected their clothes and shoes for the first day of school.  Laid out the backpacks.  All done the night before.  Brayden's wheelchair ready with appropriate buckles and straps for the bus ride, backpack and supplies ready as well.

And the night before, Carter and Luke selected their choice for the first day of school breakfast.  StarWars pancakes (Williams Sonoma pancake molds) topped with chocolate chips, bacon, eggs and fruit.  I put out fun plates, cups/straws, place mats for the big breakfast...getting ready to make it all the following morning.

Went to bed, ready for the first day of school.

Around 5:45 a.m. I found out that Brayden's nurse was not able to make to our house that morning to help get Brayden ready for school and to go to school with him.  I sprang into action and quickly grabbed a shower.  Then woke Carter and Luke for their showers.  Luke in my shower.  Carter in the boy's shower.  I quickly start getting Brayden's meds done, his food prepared and dressed.

Luke is dressed and I am wondering where Carter is...oh he was still in the shower...for 30 minutes!  I just assumed he would get in and get out, I woke him in enough time for about a 5 minute shower.  Apparently he was savoring that warm shower early in the morning.  I shout at him to hurry up because he had run out of time to eat breakfast.

All the while in the back of my mind knowing that I wanted everyone ready in enough time for those first day of school pictures at the house and bus stop.

Then I realize that while getting Brayden ready, I ran out of time to make Carter and Luke's special breakfast.  I had to think of something fun and special to do real quick.  I run downstairs, grabbed donuts, squirted whip cream in the middle and put sprinkles on top (they also had healthy things).  I thought it was fun, right!?  Well, the boys thought the whip cream was gross on donuts and sprinkles were for ice cream.

Everyone ate breakfast, quickly.  Brayden is busy sitting in his wheelchair, I am scrambling to figure out all of the straps (I should have done a trial run before the first day of school).  Then Brayden proceeds to have a lovely vomit time for vomit people, no time.  And I am praying that he does not soak into his clothes because there is no time to change him.  Carter and Luke run to get him some paper towels for clean up.

Brayden's bus papers said that his bus would arrive at our house for pick-up at 7:03 a.m.  It was 7:02 and we are wheeling his outside, still vomiting because I did not want him to miss the bus the first day of school.  And I needed him on the bus so that I could get Carter and Luke to their bus stop by 7:17 a.m.

7:03 comes and goes, no bus for Brayden.  But we now we have time for photos.
7:10 comes and goes, still no bus for Brayden.  Carter and Luke decided to wheel Brayden to the end of the driveway so he is ready when the bus comes.
7:15, still no bus and it is time for Carter and Luke's bus.  I cannot see the bus stop from our house so the majority of the time I drive them to the bus stop.  This morning I could not drive them because there was no way I was going to get Brayden out of his wheelchair, undo all of the straps, pull off his gear and supplies to breakdown the wheelchair to load everyone into the car. 

So we end up running down our street for Carter and Luke's bus stop...and understand this, we live on the side of a large hill/small mountain, our road is steep and going downhill with the wheelchair is NOT something I would suggest.  At any moment I felt like he could have gone rolling away towards serious destruction.

About half way down the hill, we see a bus.  It is Brayden's bus.  I shout to the driver to turn around and meet us at the end of the road.  The boys and I continue down the hill to the end of the street.  Brayden's bus turned around and parked to pick up Brayden.  I scramble to get Brayden on the bus, barely talking to the bus driver because I am frazzled, sweaty now and a bit out of breath.  It takes a while to load Brayden on the bus with the lift and then put on all of the wheelchair locks that have to happen for safe and secure bus ride.  Meanwhile, his bus is blocking several families from reaching the bus stop for their first day of school.  Cars are parking and kids are running, parents following behind trying to get pictures.

Carter and Luke's bus arrive, all the kids load.  Their bus pulls off.  Brayden's bus pulls off.  It was about 7:20 a.m.  I then have to walk/climb back up the hill to get in my car to rush to Brayden's school because they are expecting Brayden's nurse to be getting off the bus with him.  I flag down a neighbor who gives me a ride up the street.  I hop in the car and dash off to Brayden's school (about 20 minutes away).  Remember how bad traffic is the first day of school?  Apparently everyone leaves for work right after getting the kids off to school.  I make it to Brayden's school, explain that his nurse will not be joining him (praying that they are okay with it all).  I talk to the teacher, aids, then the PT and the school nurse. 

At that point, I am finally children free but not stress free.  I load myself into the car and drive to the nearest Starbucks.  I sat in Starbucks for two hours, barely doing a thing.  For the first hour, I just sat and didn't even get coffee.  I did my best to not make eye contact with anyone and praying that I would not run into anyone I knew because at any moment I felt like I was going to burst into tears.

I finally made it home.  Brayden had a good first day of school, although he screamed all the way home on the bus.  Carter and Luke were happy to be back at school.  How I just needed that day to be over.


Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

You are a super mom. Your strength amazes me. Hugs.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

That is a crazy day! I definitely would have been a bawling mess! Glad you were able to get some quiet time at Starbucks to regroup after all that!

Laurie said...

I always think it is so brave when mothers who blog share the true stories behind the photo-op's. Those of us who are over-achievers and super-moms try so hard to make everything go smoothly and perfectly, but the truth is messy and complicated and imperfect. Hoping you have some better days ahead.