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Sunday, January 24, 2010

First day of Kindergarten (ok, almost)

Today was another big day in the lives of the Bunch Bunch! The babies are 10 months old now (whoa..how did THAT happen?) and we decided that it was time for me to relinquish my selfish control over my 3 babies and put them in the church nursery so that we could back to church ourselves! It's been 8 months since we've been there, but coordinating feeding schedules and just the "everything" that goes along with a baby, let alone THREE, just never worked out. (Okay, that and I was admittedly reluctant to leave my kiddos with people that neither they nor I know! I've only ever left them with my mom or my sister for extended periods of time...so I really needed to work up to this.

This is where we go. And yes, that is snow on the mountains! How gorgeous is that?
Now, there are some factors in my favor:
1. A good friend of mine, Karen Kershner, is the nursery director. Which means she can be there, in and out, to check in on them, and I know that the babies know Karen, which makes ME feel better!

2. My good friend Nicole's son Brody is the same age and therefore is there for the babies to play with too! Same for my friend Cara and her daughter Hadley! So I remind myself that if all these other moms and babies can do it, then so can I! (Though I must admit, I do believe it was I, a year and a half or so ago, who was preaching to Nicole, who was then struggling with the decision to put her daughter Delaney in the nursery, "Just do it! She'll be fine! Even if she cries, she's gonna be okay!" Uuh...sorry Nicole...I get it now!

We've been trying to get there for at least 3 weeks now, but Ethan came down with a nice high fever one Sunday morning, then Karen wasn't there the next week so here we were this morning...Our plan was to wake the babies by 7:45, dress them and feed them at 8:00, then go. ha ha...don't you love "plans"?

So I set my alarm for 6:30. Then hit snooze when it went off. Then hit snooze again. And then again. Oh, and then one more time. So I actually got up at 7:10. Oops. Brian continued to sleep. I showered and was ready by 7:45. At which point, I figured that once again, what with Brian AND all 3 babies still SOUND asleep, we were once again going to be nursery no-shows! Now, I'm not gonna lie. Part of me kinda wanted something to happen to prevent me from having to put them in the nursery, and the other part of me was really disappointed that we failed again!

So at 7:45, when I had this "go/no go" conversation with Brian, whom I finally had to wake up, we decided to at least give it the good ol' college try! He jumped in the shower while I made bottles and finished gathering the babies' diaper bag.

At 8:00, I went in to the babies' room and one by one started waking them up and getting them dressed. Seriously?? I never have to WAKE them up! Great! Was this another sign that today was NOT going to be the day? Oh well...we just kept on changing diapers, dressing babies, combing bed-head, etc. and were downstairs with bottles in mouths by 8:18. (That's right, 18 minutes to change, undress and dress three babies! But also 18 minutes behind our "Plan"... ) Oh well...Luckily, today was a hungry morning for our trio so they sucked down their bottles pretty quick and at 8:38, we were in the car, and I was calling Karen to tell her that we WERE IN FACT COMING! (Church starts at 9:00). You see, the ratio in the nursery is one adult to 3 children, so we can really upset the numbers just by showing up with our little ones! So i wanted Karen to have some advance notice that we were in fact coming!

This is our family standing in front of "The Changing Station" nursery sign!

We got there, carried everyone to the first check-in area, filled out emergency forms, etc. and were then directed to the actual baby room. There we filled out 3 name stickers (one for each child) more emergency contact forms, and then handed our children over to the wonderful nursery volunteers who just took the babies right over to the play mat and completely distracted them from the fact that their parents were about to leave them! At this point, we'd run into Karen too, so she actually had Hunter and was holding her which was great for me!

How fun huh? Why wouldn't babies like it here?
I stood at the counter overlooking my 3 little angels, and just watched them...they were not crying. In fact, they were completely in awe of the new toys and all the bright colors and other little faces...At that moment, they seemed so big to me. I had that moment from the movie, Father of the Bride where Annie is announcing over dinner that she's getting married. But as she's talking, her father, Steve Martin, flashes to his five year old daughter sitting there, saying "I met a man. And he's handsome and brilliant, and we're getting married."

There on the left in navy and white is Ethan, playing with Nicole's son, Brody. Lying on his stomach is Colton and in front of him, with the lovely volunteer is lil' Miss Hunter.
It was weird. Truly. Watching them sitting amongst several other children, all I could see were my three children sitting at various colored tables in their kindergarten classroom... (Reminding myself of course, as a kindergarten teacher of many years, that as parents, you just need to "Go." Your kids are fine when you leave..) So goodbye Ethan, playing with your friend Brody. Goodbye Hunter sitting with your brother, Colton and one of the nice ladies. Goodbye Colton, on your belly, getting ready to steal all the toys. I thought I would cry. I really did. But, somehow, knowing they had each other made me feel better. And so, we walked out.

And then we walked back in because I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of them! So I snapped a few and then left again. :)

I was reminded of that feeling I had in my stomach each night when we left our babies in the NICU to go home.

I sat through church, Brian by my side, clutching my cell phone and the pager they give you in case one of your children needs you, waiting, just waiting for it to go off. ( I mean seriously, the odds that my pager will go off are 3 times more likely than anyone else's, so I just expected it...) I'll be honest. I was there. But I wasn't really there. I was thinking about all the times I sat in the very same row with my big ol' belly, waiting to meet my three miracles. I heard bits and pieces of the message, but I couldn't stop thinking about my Bunchkins, wondering what they were doing and if they were okay. Wondering if Colton would be invited back after they realized that he's a kleptomaniac, or if Hunter would be invited back after they heard her opera-like scream, or if Ethan would be allowed to come after they realized how inconsolable he can be when he cries.

And then it happened. About 15 minutes before church ended. My cell phone buzzed. It was a text message from Karen. (Oh god...). And this is what it said:

"They're such happy babies."

And it was at that moment that I realized that we had passed another big milestone. My tiny little 3 and 4 pound babies are growing up! I guess I'm okay with that...We picked them up as soon as church was over and were pleasantly greeted by the volunteers who couldn't say enough how happy the babies were and how much fun they had. One of the volunteers even commented how, when one of the babies laughed, the other 2 laughed too. Which made me smile because that's what they do at home!
Here they are after their big day! No tears here!

So, we did it. So they did it. And let me tell you, about 3o seconds after we strapped them back into the car, all three were sound asleep! Which tells me they must've had fun! I love my children. I am so proud of them. And I am so lucky they are mine.

Too cute not to share...the ID stickers they put on each child's back.
Me and Sleepy Colton after the big day


Daddy and his little girl
The End!


Anonymous said...

Oh Ami! this post made me a little teary-eyed! I so remember leaving my babies in the nursery and thinking about them the whole time and not truly paying attention to the Pastor (oops). They were always happy campers when I picked them up. It is a great start to interacting with other kids. What sweetie pies!

Jaymee said...

I am in awe! Such a brave mommy and daddy!!!! I am with Charlotte, I was all choked up reading this. We went to church over the summer when Billy was home on Sundays, but I have not gone back because I can not bear to leave Prestton! (That and it feels weird sitting in the service by myself...) Way to Bunchkins: ) You all know how to make the world smile.

Nicole said...

YAY!!I knew they could do it! You too Ami! I am so happy to see you guys back at church and I think it's so funny that you remember our numerous conversations about my struggles... so different when it's your own, I get that now too! Love you guys:)

Anabelle said...

Good job Ami! At least you didn't leave them while they are crying and yelling, "Mama! Mama!" Talk about heart wrenching! Keep it up so you don't have to hear that.

PS I'm happy to see Brian holding 2 babies in a family photo! :)

Mary said...

I guess it makes you understand what all those kindergarten parents are going through when they leave their children with us for the first time : ) They are getting too big, too fast!

Jen said...

It kind of reminds me of taking Trigger to Doggy Day Camp. I was so afraid he would be eaten by the other dogs or wouldn't like it. When I picked him up, they said how great he was. Then he fell asleep in the car before I got out of the parking lot :)
Jen Borquez

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