Friday, August 21, 2015

Second Day of School

I used to be one of those moms who took pictures of my kids on their first day of school, and who made teachers pose with my child when we met for parent-teacher conference.  I'd still like to have those photos, but life has sped up and the school years have blurred into summer and back into school.  We pick up our new school-year routines like we had a break for only a few days, and as I drop the kids off at their three schools, I realize another year has passed and I suddenly have a senior in high school.  How did this happen so quickly?!

I did manage to snap a picture this week of #s 4 and 5 as I dropped them off for school breakfast.  It's slightly better than the snapshot I remembered to take last minute as they hopped out of the van a year ago.
They look pretty much the same, right?  I can probably just take a picture every other year.

My Jr- and High-Schoolers have not been so cooperative with pics.  #2's BFF has been catching a ride with us this week, so I thought maybe I'd capture their second day of school photo together...until the following exchange took place.

First, some background.  (Actually, first a disclaimer.  #2 is not mentally ill.  She just had a bad couple of days.  We've all had a day like the following, right?)  So...#2 began her first day of school by staying up too late with friends the night before.  (She disputes that, but I think 10:45 is too late to be coming home on a school night.)  #2 woke the next morning with a head cold that aggravated her tired state.  After school, she took some 24-hr. cold medicine to reduce the congestion and suppress her headache.  That night, she got a bloody nose that didn't want to quit because the antihistamines made the blood clot slowly.  The nose and the lack of sleep combined to set off a highly emotional and distraught sophomore.  Her sobs became increasingly pathetic as she leaned over our master bathroom sink that night, holding a bag of frozen corn to the bridge of her nose, and letting the blood flow down the drain for nearly 20 minutes.  (I considered taking her to a clinic, but the all-knowing internet said not to take that step until after 20 to 30 minutes.  She clotted just in time!)  

#2, in tears at 10:30 p.m.:  I'm so tired!  I just want to go to bed.

Parents:  Your nose will stop bleeding soon, and then you can go to sleep.

#2, high-pitched and sobbing:  I can't go to sleep!  I still need to take a shower!

Parents:  You can shower in the morning.  You just need rest tonight.

#2, with a low-pitched wail:  My hair is a mess. [Pause for some gasping sobs.]  There is blood everywhere!  I need to take a show-ow-er tonight.

Mom, pulling #2's hair back into a couple of improvised ponytails:  There is no blood in your hair.  Just calm down.  Are you pinching your nose?

#2:  Yes, it won't stop!

Mom, feeling faint and nauseated watching all that blood run freely, turned the back rubbing over to Dad, who said:  [#2], I'm setting my timer for ten minutes.  The bleeding will probably take that long to stop.  It's going to feel like a long time, but it's only ten minutes.  You just have to wait for it to stop.

#2, still crying:  I'm so tired!

And so the conversation went.  When the bloody nose finally stopped around 10:45, #2 stood and looked at us miserably, with a wide path of red clinging from under her nose to down her chin: I need to take a shower tonight.  I didn't get one yet today.

Parents:  You need to get some sleep, and just take a shower in the morning.

After some resistance about not having enough time in the morning, and having blood on her pillow from when she originally tried to go to sleep (without a shower), we finally convinced her to just lay out some towels on her bed and get to sleep.

The next morning was the second day of school.  #2 was sad that I forgot to wake her up early, but she hopped in the shower nevertheless.  I was glad she had perked up.  (It was not to last long.)

#2, post shower, with 20 minutes until departure, approaching me in just her underwear:  I don't have anything to wear.

Me:  I just did laundry two days ago.  You have plenty of clothes.

#2:  My clothes weren't in the laundry.

Me:  I'm sorry to hear that.  You could check the basket of unclaimed clean clothes.

#2:  I did.  [Pausing to let her frown deepen.]  I have nothing to wear!

Feeling the mood returning, I walked away and heard #2 ask to wear her sister's clothes.

Me, two minutes to departure:  Two minutes everyone!  Grab your bags, get your shoes, get in the van!

#2:  I haven't done my makeup!

Me:  Just do it in the van.  We have to go.

#2, in the van, and putting on a brave face in front of her BFF:  I look horrible.  Look at my hair.  It's still wet.

Me:  You look just fine.

#2:  I didn't even have time to put in my contacts.  I can't find my deodorant.  Do you have any?

Me:  Not in the van, sorry.

#2, getting agitated:  It's so hot!  This shirt makes me extra sweaty, and I have no deodorant.  I'm going to stink all day!

Me, sensing that this might not be the best morning to ask her to pose for a second-day-of-school picture:  You'll be fine.  You're not going to stink.

#2, before crossing her arms in a silent huff:  I have dance first period.  I'm going to stink the rest of the day.

Me, a few minutes later, pulling up to the school:  Try to have a good day.   I love you.

#2, as she and her friend gather their things to climb out of the van:  Okay, love you.  [Pause.]  Wait!  Oh no!  Today is school picture day!!

I exchanged a concerned glance with #2's BFF, silently wishing her friend good luck with my distressed daughter.  She returned the glance with  a weak smile.  The last glimpse I had of poor #2 was her blotchy-red, tear-stained face as she turned to face a building full of teenagers.

The second day of school can be rough.  I guess the yearbook will be a painful reminder of that nine months from now.  Maybe we'll get a good pic for #2's junior year!

Update: Clearly, I was wrong.  #2 brought home her school portrait package for me to preview.  No blood, sweat, or tears!

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