Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Truth Behind the Picture of the Smiling Kindergartner

One of the criticisms of social media is that people only share the perfect parts of their lives -- the smiling family photos, the vacations, the list of reasons why they love their spouse. And, of course, the first day of school pics.

Sure enough, Tate was smiling in this photo, taken right before he headed off to his second day of kindergarten. But here's the backstory:

This is the first year that all three of our kids are at the same school. That means, instead of driving back and forth all morning, Traci just has to drop them off at the bus stop. Hooray!

But to make sure he ended up where he was supposed to, Traci drove Tate to school on his first day. School went fine but he told us, in no uncertain terms, that he WAS NOT going to take the bus the next day.

Today was the next day.

Because Traci was taking Curtis to the dentist, I was in charge of taking Tate to the bus.

"I'm not going to the bus," he said as he walked out to the car.

"Ha, ha. Sure you are," I assured him.

"I'm not riding the bus," he said as we drove to the stop.

"The bus is the best part of school," I countered.

"You said P.E. was the best part of school."

"Oh, yeah. Well, the bus is the second best part," I hedged.

"I'm NOT going on the bus."

Whether he liked it or not, he was going on the bus. 


When we got to the stop, he happily jumped out of the car with Paige.

I knew he'd get on the bus. 

Not wanting to make any waves, I just stayed in the car and waited for the bus to show up. After about five minutes, Paige and Tate came running back to the car.

"Tate is hitting me and biting me!" Paige screamed.

Oh, great.

"Tate, quit hitting and biting Paige. Go wait for the bus."

"I'm NOT GOING on the bus!"

And then the bus showed up.

"You're getting on the bus."

He wasn't. 


I picked him up and carried him to the bus. He spent the whole time hitting and kicking me. (His little legs are the perfect length to kick me directly in the crotch.)

I stood in line behind the other kids (while my crotch was being kicked) and carried him right through the bus doors and up the stairs. The driver stared blankly at me as I said, "Here you go" and set him down.

The crowd behind us pushed forward and Tate had no choice but to follow Paige to their seat. There was literally no turning back.

I snapped another pic before the bus pulled away but he refused to look at me. (And Paige stuck her tongue out at me.)

And that's what it's really like to send your last kid to kindergarten.

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