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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

They’ll never again have a very first day of school

The sweet girls finished their first day of Kindergarten today and both said they really liked it. Whew! Ree seems a touch more enthusiastic than Ro, but both say they’re eager to go back tomorrow. (good thing...) I think the “Meet the Teacher” event yesterday really helped. This morning they marched right into class, stuffed their lunchboxes in their cubbies, then found their place on the carpet. All TubaDad and I got were two over-the-shoulder waves and two excited smiles. We hung around for a few minutes peeking through the tiny window to see if they needed us, but they were perfectly content in their big-girl classroom. (*sniff*)

So TubaDad took me out to lunch and I had a glass of chardonnay to help stave off the weepies. I also made him talk and talk and talk about anything BUT how fast our girls were changing and the fact that they have now started school. It feels weird, I gotta say. Like this is their first huge step toward growing up. Ahhhhhhh, ok, breathing deep and changing the subject to something easier:

Ro (left) chose a Hello Kitty lunchbox and thermos, and Ree (right) chose a Littlest Pet Shop lunchbox and thermos. The soft, insulated lunchboxes and flip-top built-in-straw thermos thingamabobs are awfully different from the metal ones I used to carry back in the day. I don’t have a first-day-of-school picture (ahem, mom!), and no one in the family remembers clearly... But I think it was a metal lunchbox with Raggedy Ann modge-podged on the front and I remember that my little bro had a cool domed-top mailbox one at some point. Does anyone else remember what your first lunchbox (or any grade-school one) was decorated with?


They both kept yelling “kindergarten!!!!” at random times today in the family room, bathroom, car, wherever. It was hilarious.DSC_8542LRa

And we made signs for the first day of Kindergarten, and then I almost forgot to get them out. Oops (I was a little frazzled today). They were so proud to decorate them and hold them up “for a peeshur, mama!” I thought it was cute that Ro held hers so she could read it. And Ree was a little vexed by the one-armed coloring. She’s usually dead-on within the lines, but I think the paper kept scooting around on her:DSC_8553LRa

Here’s what they took in their lunchboxes for snack today. I packed a lot since I didn’t know if they’d be starving or not (turns out they weren’t very hungry). They’re in the afternoon Kindergarten, so they eat lunch at home before we go to school, and then have a snack and recess break somewhere in the middle of their three-and-a-half hours of school. Ree picked the bunny egg and Ro picked the bear one. They both ate most of the hardboiled eggs, all of the mini oranges, and only a couple of pretzels and cheese cubes. Oh, and they’re the ones who wanted to have bento boxes. I thought they’d be hard to open and too much of a pain and tried really really hard to sell them on a simple ziploc bag or just one square tupperware container. No dice. They were extremely determined, and even ran to the bento drawer and pulled out what they wanted. Fine, fine... that’s what they got.DSC_8526LRaPSLRa

PS: School Decisions: A whole bunch of folks asked how we made the decisions about whether to start the girls in school this year or next (because the CA cutoff is Dec 2 and they have Oct 6 birthdays) and whether to keep them in the same class. Regarding starting this year: it kind of all came down to Ro and Ree. They were SO ready to go. I think being in preschool and then pre-K for a few mornings a week the past couple of years helped. My mom (who ran Kindergarten admission testing at her school for 17 years) has been telling us that they’ve got the academics, attention span, motor skills, and maturity down pat. The area I want to make sure they’re really well adapted in is the social area, so we’ll be keeping an eye on it. I was always a year younger than my classmates, by the way, and went to college at 17, so I’ve got firsthand experience with being on the young side of the classroom age span. And it never bothered me at all. The other things that helped make the decision were blog commenters, believe it or not. I was kind of agonizing over this and commenters pointed out that I wasn’t making a decision for the rest of their lives. If anything doesn’t work out, we can just have them repeat Kindergarten. There’s no stigma at this age. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about that option before, but it was such a relief! So anyhow, we’re starting them this year, and they’ll turn 5 a little over a month after school starts, and then we’ll watch everything. With the twins in same class vs. different class thing, we had the gut feeling all along that we wanted to keep them together, plus Ro and Ree were adamant that they wanted to be together. Then we talked to a whole bunch of folks and heard that Kindergarten and possibly even first grade are really good grades to keep twins together (because everything is so new and kind of a little scary for them at first) and it’s easier and less traumatic to separate them when they’re a little older and more confident and secure in school. Anyhow, so that’s what we’re doing. Basically we made both decisions for now and will reevaluate both of them at the end of Kindergarten.


  1. WOw, that is pretty neat. I love their colorful outfits! Awesome. That is strange that they get to start so early. Here, (in MO) the kids have to be 5 before August 1st to start K that year.

  2. Mine was a Strawberry Shortcake lunch box.

    I also went to my first day of Kindergarten in a cast. Mine was on my foot though.

  3. It's a big day - one you'll always remember. The kiddos too. Glad you pulled through it and that the girls loved it.

    What a beautiful pair of girls you have! And love the snacks. They're the best!

  4. Anonymous8/18/2010

    Sweet memories created today . . .

  5. Just realized Ro and Ree are not their real names. Why do you not use their real names and are the nicknames anything like the real names?

    My mom was going to name my twin and me Tymma and Tauva (but named us after our parents and grandparents instead) so we use those as nicknames.

  6. I'm a 40+ year old twin and my sibling and I were never in the same class. I was fine with it. BUT, if I had twins now I would definitely put them in the same class. The homework and projects alone from two separate classes would drive me crazy. It's bad enough with two in two different grades. I know my daughter said the other 6th grade class has WAY more homework than she does. How unfair would it be for the girls to be in separate classes and one had so much more homework while still being in the same grade. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading about their first day. Glad you all survived it. =)

  7. What fun outfits for the first day of Kindergarten!

    From an uneducated source your girls seem super ready for kindergarten!

    Cute signs.

    Tried calling but the answering machine didn't come on so couldn't leave a message. Was thinking of and praying for you today friend.

    How fun for your girlies to be in Kindergarten! Wheee!

  8. Anonymous8/18/2010

    Can't believe I didn't tell you this sooner!! My 3 daughters design a page every year which we use in the "first day of school" pics. Of course, some are taken without the sign. We put their grade, teacher and the date - some are hand crafted, others computer generated,...whatever makes them happy. We take it in the same place outside to check for growth too. A little sad this year when my freshman daughter wanted me to make her sign and took off to school in an older friend's car...sniff, sniff :(

    day 2 or three is not too late to start a tradition. whether you like my idea or not, i wish i would have thought it through sooner!!

  9. Anonymous8/18/2010

    As a former primary teacher it sounds like you made decisions with Ro and Ree and in my opinion that's how it should be. They are more than ready so I imagine it will be smooth sailing through elementary school. They've been well socialized with kids of all ages so I suspect they will be just fine. And, most important, they appear to be very secure so I would anticipate that they will face challenges well.

    Now, how are you doing?

  10. It was a metal KISS box. Yes, that is the one I remember. My mom swears I had a plastic snoopy box but what I wouldn't do to get that KISS box back.
    And I taught 3rd grade last year and had both twins in my room. Loved them. They were awesome kids.

  11. Congrats on making it through their first day in one piece! DH and I are both November babies who started at age 4-- and we're starting Marcie this fall (with a November birthday), too. We have full-day kinder, so I think she'll be exhausted. Also think it's cool you're keeping them together. There are three sets of twins and one set of triplets in our son's grade (of only 65-70 kids), and most of the parents kept their kiddos together in K and 1st. It's been such fun for Casey to have "two best friends" (the two male triplets) and be able to do sleepovers with both them at the same time!

  12. So glad the first day of kindergarten was a success, I remember mommy tears when my first went to K, and of course he loved it. Now it's a celebration- JK.
    Such cute outfits and yummy looking snack.

  13. Thanks for that bit at the end. :)

    First day is now under your belt! They looked so cute with their first day outfits!

  14. Um Mama, one girl has a cast and is now pretty easily identifiable, just saying.

    Yay!!! for kindergarten.

  15. As for my lunch box...it had been an OLD Roy Rogers and Dale Evans metal one. That's the first one I remember...later one I got more "cooler" lunch boxes with better designs on it

    Madeline starts Kindergarten the end of the month and she's very, very excited. She's going to be on the older side but that is what works for her =)

    Great idea about sheets of paper for first day of school pictures, will have to do that and post it...heck, I first have to post photos from summer! It's been quite busy over here *smile*

  16. Thanks for answering all my questions! Here (Ontario) children who are 4 by the end of December start (2 years of) full-day kindergarten in September. And twins are almost always together in kindergarten, unless one is extremely dominant. My questions will be more about how many three-year-olds the teacher has in a group of 26 for the day...

  17. You are such a great mom! And your man is smart to wine and dine you at a nice "weepy-minimizing" lunch.

    I, too, had the Raggedy Ann lunch box. Still have boxloads of Raggedy Ann stuff but since I have 2 boys, they may retire in there.

  18. I'm so old that my first lunchbox was the Flintstones :-) But, no, I didn't learn to write with a chisel and stone tablet . . .

    The girls look adorable in their outfits, and they do seem ready to go. You're right, it's no biggie if you decide you should keep them there another year, but my guess is you won't. And, clearly, they should be together!

    I'm actually a little bummed that Ting Ting can't start this year. She's been in a great preschool and can already write all her letters and even spell some words, and most of her classmates start this year. But I know I'll be a mess when she does -- I'll have to have Lance follow Tuba Dad's example and take me to lunch.

    Enjoy these precious firsts!

  19. There is 10 months between my youngest two, so they are very much like twins. They grew up doing everything together, and while they were little, they didnt understand the age difference and everyone thought they were twins anyways, so they just told people they were twins. Even the school thought they were twins, despite the paperwork showing two very different birthdays/birth years!

    We kept them in the same class for Kindergarten, first grade, and then seperated the two for second and this year for third. It's worked out great! It helped them adjust to school better, if they needed help, the other was there to help with things like projects or homework or whatnot. This year and last it's been nice as they are able to go their own way, do their own thing, and kinda learn who they are, how they want to do things, etc, without the other in the way or saying "no, it's like this!". It is amazing watching them grow up into little people with their own likes, desires, friends, etc. I hate that they are growing up so fast, but I am so very proud of the way they are growing up, very happy, strong, smart kids! :)

    Your girls are gorgeous and adorable, and I appreciate you having this blog for us all to follow along with! Keeping them in my thoughts and prayers!

  20. We used this stuff over our daughter's cast when it got dirty or she wanted to change the color. It sticks to itself, so no pins or tape. It's called Coban. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002BUOZRQ/ref=asc_df_B002BUOZRQ1210629?smid=A2VSTQ09J8RDTA&tag=nextag-hpc-mp01-delta-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=B002BUOZRQ

  21. We went through the same thing at our house. Sara makes our school's cut off by about 1 week (our cut off is September 1st...aren't these arbitrary dates hilarious, causing so much grief?). We got the same Pre-K feedback about readiness, and then finally, her teacher got through to me (because I really wanted her to go, but EVERYONE else in my life was freaking out), and she said, "Lori, the last thing we want in Kindergarten is a bored Sara. Can you imagine how inconveniently creative she could become?" Um...OH GOSH.

    So Tuesday is our day...get the Merlot ready! Congrats to Ro and Ree!

  22. They are going to do great in kindergarten. After I saw them reading to you recently, I would have been concerned if you had waited another year to start. It's not girls that could use more time at home (usually), it's boys. I've had so many "little" boys in fourth grade just not ready for the rigor. They needed that extra year, but the lure of free daycare was too much for their parents. Oh, well. :P

    The only thing I remember about my lunch boxes was the smell. Yuck.

  23. Congratulations on Ro and Ree's first day! I love the outfits. Where did you get them?

  24. Glad to hear things went well! Our girl won't start until next year because of the cut-off. Here it is Sept. 1, and her birthday is in December. She will be in pre-K, though. And the first lunch box for me...Wonder Woman. For my girls, Hello Kitty for the oldest, and Dora the Explorer for little sis who is going to 3 year old preschool this year. :-)

  25. Youre such a great mom, M3! xo I had ((so)) many lunchboxes - and oh how I wish I had pictures of them! It was totally a part of the back to school ritual to get a new one. I think that I had Snoopy at one time, Ziggy and Welcome Back Kotter. So many others.

  26. yes I have those awful first day pictures from my youth and I do remember my first lunch box, Hong Kong Fuey and guess what I still have it. It is up on top of my cabinets in my kitchen. My baby starts Kindergarten on Monday and my other baby starts 6th grade. They do grow up way to fast. I'm not ready!

  27. Well, Tuesday was my oldest daughter's LAST first day of school ever. She's a senior. And I know that from where you are, that doesn't sound nearly as hard on the heart as sending her off to kindergarten, but...it really is. I feel like she should still be a little girl, instead of asking to borrow my van to drive to school. So I had to work hard to keep the tears at bay myself. :-)

    The girls looked absolutely adorable. Loved their outfits, as always. Glad they had fun! And I can picture my metal lunch box, but I can't for the life of me remember what was on it.

  28. Sounds like they had a great first day. I think you made a great decision on sending them to school it sounds like they were ready. I have a 6 yr old in first this year, and I agree, kinder and first are the harder years. I have noticed the kids that were in her kinder class (I'm friends with one of the moms)are all having a hard time adjusting from kinder to first. I have a 3rd grader also and have really seen her grow this year.

    Good luck to Ro and Ree. Hope they have a good rest of the week. :-)


  29. Anonymous8/19/2010

    M3, I can't BELIEVE they are going to kindergarten! I think that as for social issues, the fact that they are twins is going to give them some social leverege and that it was a great choice if they were academically ready (which they clearly are. I mean. come on, those smarties are reading!)

    I did just AGAIN watch the video of you telling your parents about the referal and every time, every single time, I cry at your mom's reaction!

  30. My first lunchbox was a brown paper bag!!! Waaaa! 7 kids- no money for lunch boxes I guess. LiLi now has 2. Making up for lost memories of my own I guess.

    You are soooo lucky with the cut off date of Dec 2!!! Our state move it back (AGAIN!!!) and now it is something like Aug 1st!!! LiLi would have made it with the old date but instead had to wait another year. She was one of the oldest in her grade.

    It really makes no difference the age by the time they get to 4th, 5th and 6th grade. You can't tell the age but rather what parents worked with them when they were younger.

  31. Anonymous8/19/2010

    This is all so neat. You seem like such a fun mom who has amazing well-rounded kids! Something to be proud of, for sure!
    I had a Holly Hobby metal lunchbox and cried every day of the first month of Kindergarten!

  32. Rainbow Bright (or however it was spelled) was my favorite and I had her on everything I owned. ;)

    I believe your girls are probably ahead of the game even though they are younger. My Little Miss is Aug 17 and my niece is Sep 25 (So just turned 4 and almost 4). The cut-off for us is last day of Aug. My niece has attended a private preschool and is actually ahead of my daughter skill-wise, but they will have to fight next year if they want her in Kindergarten. I think the whole thing is a little silly. ;)

    And btw, I love the girls' outfits and their lunchboxes! ;)

  33. Anonymous8/19/2010

    You know, I wonder how much longer I was going to be checking your blog before I realized my kid is the same age as yours! (He *just* had his 5th birthday this week.)

    Our decision is to keep him at preschool another year as he arrived here just a year and a half ago from Taiwan - and I think the extra year of language acquistion is going to be in his best interest. That, and big changes are still very scary to him.

  34. I love those double compartment insulated lunch boxes - one for warm and one for cold. Can't believe their K is only 3.5 hours, my girls go for 6.25 hrs per day. As Anonymous pointed out, twins have a built-in social advantage. Everyone wants to know them and they always have a partner/friend/sidekick. When my two were babies, a stranger lady said to them, "Look at you two smilin' away, and you're going to grow up smilin' too because everyone's always smilin' at you." Looks like everyone's been smilin' at Ro and Ree too.

  35. Kindergarten? A broken arm? Wow! I have a lot of catching up to do! :) We have been so busy my blog reading has been suffering... the girls look adorable by the way. The boys are starting pre-school in Sep and my mama heat is having a hard time. Kindergarten may be the death of me....

  36. Anonymous8/19/2010

    I had a plastic yellow Scooby-Doo lunchpail, with the yellow thermos inside!

    Lisa V

  37. So fun for the girls! At our school, you have to be 5 before August 1st for Kindergarten, so our little August baby is in PreK tho he's already 5 :-)

  38. Catching up! I am so happy that the break is healing and I love the pink cast. Sounds like a great first day at Kindergarten. How is that possible? I remember you receiving your referral call like it was yesterday.

    Keep smilin!

  39. Don't recall my first day of Kindergarten, but I do remember going to a flower shop and insisting on wearing my flowered dress for the occasion.

    The first lunchbox I can remember was in about 4th grade and I had a (ahem!) Partridge Family lunchbox (BIGGEST crush on David Cassidy).

    As far as the girls being ready, you know them far better than anyone and if you judge by their ready-ness then I think you're on the right track. Nothing at this age is permanent. I homeschooled Peter for the first 3 years and we both decided that regular school works best for him and me after he was going to a class once a week through the homeschool group and he enjoyed learning with other kids.

  40. Yeah on a great first day!! Adorable little girls and cute little bentos. Hope that every day goes as well.

  41. Anonymous8/19/2010

    I had a David Cassidy binder in 3rd grade so the last comment made me smile. I had a new metal lunch box every year, but my favorite was a plastic one with Snoopy that was dome shaped. It looked like I thought a lunch box should look. I LOVE the Hello Kitty one. Where did you find it? Target, I hope! Glad you made it through the day. My son had his (last ever!)first day of nursing school. I SHOULD'VE gotten a picture.

  42. Happy first day of kindergarten Ro and Ree!

    Thanks for posting that last bit - I am still undecided. Our schools have a cut off of Sept 30th and Naomi's bday is Oct. 21. She is almost 4 and knows all her letters, can write her name and other small words. I'm just wondering about the social side.

    I remember I had an orage Scooby-do lunch box - with a thermos with a glass liner that would shatter when you dropped it. :o)

  43. wow, what a big day! It does seem like they are ready to start K. Our cutoff is Dec 31 and my daughter's birthday is Dec 29 so she is always the youngest by far in school (and also camp, sports, etc as everything here goes by year of birth). She will be starting grade 1 this fall and had no problems at all in K.

  44. Glad the twins has a good day. Miss Talicee, our Hubei Hottie, will start on Monday. She too is young. Will be 5 Oct. 3rd. She is also ready for school. Having 3 older brothers has helped her out a lot. You sound so much like me. I started school when I was 4. Was the youngest in class. Graduated and went off to college at 17. Did not bother me either. Glad there is someone else out there that is like me. I feel the same way with Kindergarten. If it does not work out, then we will pull her and start over next year. Have a great school year.

  45. Bug starts next week and will be one of the youngest in his class. Agian, he is ready academically- and I worry socially.

    he is starting to get scared, but we have a stay-cation through Tuesday to just hang out as a family and reinforce that it will be OK.

    Love the lunch boxes and I need to fnd bento boxes- where do you get them?

    Love and hugs,

  46. I am a little teary that the girls went off to Kindergarten! It seems like yesterday that you and Tuba Dad came home with your beauties! Oh the adventures that lie ahead for you guys...life is GOOD! Hugs to you my friend!

    I so don't remember my first lunchpail! Isn't that awful!?!

  47. I never comment but read constantly. (I have a DD who is 4.5 from China and DS 2yr old from Korea).

    This post is the one that made me do it.

    My DD is turning 5 in Dec and misses the Michigan cut-off by 2 days...but she is in a private school this year so off to K she goes! But I relate to the gravity of this day! They are no longer all yours! Oh boy!

    But, that's not my point. I teach 15-16 year olds and I always struggle with how parents are literally peeking in the windows the first year and but when parent-teacher conferences come around to meet me...crickets chirping!!! So, PLEASE, remember this in 11 years (and everyone else reading), they need you just as much if not more in their teen years. Please, peek in the windows then too! : )

    Also, wanted to tell you that when I am having one of THOSE days, I peek in on your world. Your blog is a joy to read and I do appreciate it.

    I know you read a ton but if you are interested, we are www.whallofchina.blogspot.com

    And can Weela adopt me too and make me so PJ's???

    Thank you for sharing your world with us!

  48. I love reading your blog. My twins are almost exactly a year younger than yours. It's fun to look ahead and see what we'll be doing at this time next year. Oregon has a Sept.1 cut off so we have to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get them to start school next year. It's great that you had that option. We were thinking the same thing, having them repeat if necessary. The girls looks so darling on their first day of school!

  49. The whole cutoff date for school is such a weird thing - where we are now it's December 31, which seems quite common here in Canada, but when I was growing up (different city but same province, it was March 1 (and is still that way there)!! As in you could be four for the majority of your kindergarten year! Crazy.

  50. Anonymous8/25/2010

    Memories! Good ones! I am not sure about Kindergarten, but I had a lunchbox with Charlies Angels on it! Loved that thing, wish I knew where it was!! I just know that Ro and Ree will have a wonderful year in Kindergarten!!! Enjoy each new year and the memories they bring, because all too soon it passes. My baby is leaving on Saturday for college and I am finding it harder than I thought to handle him leaving! I tried to get the dorm room next to him for myself, but the school said no!! And he wont even hear of me homeschooling him for his college classes. I tell ya, kids these days... LOL...
    Cuz Tammy from Texas!!