You know the picture of that little baby covered in chocolate that's always been at the top of my blog? Well, here she is now. I don't know how it happened, but she's notsomuch a baby anymore. :(
My little Brooklyn started preschool last week. She's been looking forward to it all summer.
"When do I start school, Mama?"
"Five and a half more weeks, Honey."
The next day, she'd ask again, "When do I start school?"
"Still five and a half weeks, Oat."
"How many days is that?"
She'd pout and looked bummed. Then she'd brighten and ask, "Do I start tomorrow?"
"Nope. It's still thirty-eight more days."
"Oh," she'd say, seemingly understanding that the first day of school was still several days away. Then she'd eagerly ask, "Do I start yesterday?"
"Uhhh no, but let's hope your teachers show you a calendar and work on the concepts of today, tomorrow, and yesterday with you."
So, her first day finally arrived and she very excitedly galloped down the hallway to her classroom. I put on a brave face and walked my little girl into her preschool class. I looked around at all the moms dropping off their children. I think the average age of these parents was fifteen. When did everyone get so young? Oh well, that’s okay, I thought to myself. I’m a very young looking forty-year-old. No one would ever guess me to be forty. Just last month, I was carded at the grocery store for buying a bottle of wine. (Nevermind the fact that I’d driven miles out of my way just to buy my wine in a neighboring town that has to card every single person by law whether they look eight or eighty.)
And then it happened.
A woman said to me, “I see so many grandparents taking care of their grandkids while the parents work these days. That’s so nice of you to help out like that.” She smiled sweetly.
Surely, she wasn’t talking to me! I glanced over my shoulder. There was no one behind me. Grandparents? GRANDPARENTS! Oh no, she di’n’t! If only I had a cane I could trip her with! But instead of showing her how my arthritic old body could still kick her butt, I looked at her point-blank and asked, “How OLD do you think I am?”
She mumbled an apology and said something to the effect that she hadn't been talking about me, just grandparents in general. Although, a minute later, I think I heard her whisper to her friend, “Stay away from that grandma over there. She’s touchy about her age.”
Needless to say, after I kissed Brooklyn goodbye, I hurried out to my car and sped to my local salon for an “age-defying” facial.
I know this is just misdirected payback for a comment my ex made to the mother of one of Savannah's friends years ago. When Ann's (name has been changed to protect the innocent) mother came to pick her up from our house after a play date, Bob (name has been changed to protect the stupid) introduced himself and asked her if she was Ann's grandmother. She wasn't. And she wasn't amused. I was mortified. To this day, I can't look at her without feeling pangs of guilt from the horrible faux pas that transpired at my house all those years ago.
I used to be the "young mom" at the preschool. I did. When Austin attended there twelve years ago, I was young! Now, people think I entered the preschool by mistake and they try to give me directions to the senior center. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to hang out at the high school more often where I'm once again the young parent. I can enjoy being the young one there for a few more years until Brooklyn starts high school. And then I'll have a t-shirt made that reads, "No, I'm not her grandmother!"