Part two of a multi-part post. Click here for part one. More tomorrow.
Zachary, properly chastened, was cooperative and quick about drop-off. Frankly, he is never sad to see me go, once I have adjusted his wardrobe to his satisfaction and escorted him over to the activity of his choice. Lilah was snorting like a pug in the Baby Bjorn while I escorted Benjamin to the bathroom, where he made his daily comment about the lovely pink disk that lives in the urinal and that he delights to pee upon.
Unfortunately, the other parents who live near us were not yet at school, and I paced anxiously awaiting the arrival of one or the other. When one arrived, I shanghaied her before she even got in the door. Her elder child leaves school later, so she would have one spare car seat to buckle in Benjamin, and she was happy to drive him home if I didn’t make it back on time.
There is a moment that a stay-at-home parent of more than one child knows all too well. It is the moment after a frantic morning when one or more of the elder children has been deposited at school. Although we hate to admit it, there is incredible relief in having checked him off the list of things to worry about. For me, there is a “one down, one to go” phenomenon between leaving Zach in room one and leaving Ben in room nine. As I leave one and then the other in the presence of his friends and classmates, as they run off with barely a nod back in my direction, I notice a marked increase in the oxygen around me. I call it the Albuterol Effect.
Yes, dropping my sons off at school some mornings feels like using my inhaler during an asthma attack. Judge me if you will, but if you have more than one child, you probably know just how much of a relief it is to know you have a few hours to collect yourself and address the needs of the younger child.