Back to the Here and Now, Yeah

* you’ve totally got that song stuck in your head now, don’t you?

So, yeah… It’s been awhile… We had this thing going on – summer, they call it? – and there just hasn’t been much chance to sit down and type. Or clean. Or get organized. Or do anything remotely productive.

But, maybe for the first time ever, you know what? It’s been okay.
Actually, it’s been really, really good.

summer fun accomplished
Missions: accomplished!

If you’ll come a little closer, I’ll tell you something: I didn’t really believe it was possible. I know, I said back in June that I was looking forward to summer, to having the time off from teaching, to taking the break. I know, back in July, that I said I had already become annoyed with how little I was accomplishing, how the lack of routine was jarring. As I wrote both of those posts – as the days of summer ticked off, one by one – I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for School Year Emily to emerge from my sunscreen and bug spray-encrusted shell (butterfly-like, not Sigourney Weaver Alien like, that’s gross), assuming I’d be so done with all of this No Structure nonsense that I’d ignore my children for two hours straight while I attempted to feel human again.

I’ve just never been good at relaxing, at doing nothing. Not ever; even back in elementary school, I would come downstairs in the morning and ask my mom, “What fun thing do you have planned for me today?” (No joke. I was a riot.) But for some reason, this summer was different. I wouldn’t say it came naturally to me – I essentially had to force myself to try to chill out, which I realize is both ironic and oxymoronic – but, by God, I did it.

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Previously, I would have hidden this photo because of my rather, um, unflattering stance. Now, it reminds me of the helluva good time the girls and I had this summer. #GirlPower!

It’s been weeks since the garden was weeded, but every time I thought about doing it, I saw that I’d have to not do something fun with the girls in order to make it happen. This summer, I chose fun. “Reorganize the Art Closet” has been on my To-Do list for three months, but each time I considered taking it on, some (completely foreign, believe me) voice in my head reminded me that there were crossword puzzles sitting in my bag, just waiting for me, and would I really take the time to do crosswords once the school year began? I would not. And so, very uncharacteristically, I did those damn crosswords, dozens of them, and I loved it. Posting here has been sporadic at best, not because I haven’t had anything to say (oh, ho! Come now!). I have probably twenty ideas for blog posts that I really, really want to write… but doing so would have meant less singing with Nick in the dining room after the girls have gone to sleep (we’re totally like Sonny and Cher except not at all), and so – quite to my shock – I opted not to write.

For ten straight weeks, I ignored everything that normally takes up my “spare time” – tidying, editing photos, getting together with friends, exercising, writing, making sure we have enough toilet paper – and focused only on the absolute necessities (food, sleep, wine) and just enjoying the hell out of summer… and what do you know? The world didn’t come tumbling down!

It did start to crack a little at the foundation, however. Don’t get me wrong; it was a blast going with the flow, really taking each day as it came, savoring the moments, for real and not like on a motivational poster. But it was a bit of a battle with myself to HAVE FUN and RELAX DAMN IT, and after 70 days? I’m plumb worn out. I’m tired of damp bathing suits. I’m done with unwashed hair. I’m over not being able to find a single crayon because the freakin’ art closet is completely overflowing with yarn and tangled Christmas pipe cleaners. I’m through with not seeing my friends. I’ve had it with the girls’ epic bickering (to their credit, they were amazing playmates and buddies for the vast majority of summer, but given that they basically haven’t played with anyone else since June, they are sick of one another; believe me, I get it).

back to school2014a
I took this last night because I was so giddy to be have our systems back on track, but looking at it now, all I’m seeing are the piles of shoes beneath the bench,the random Fourth of July decoration lingering above the white boards, the games that are in total disarray… I’m not sure how it’s possible to be so simultaneously on top of things but also messy, but HERE WE ARE.
Omg, tangent – can you even imagine what a hilarious disaster it would be if this were an organizational/ house decoration blog? HAHAHAHA.

This summer, I kicked back with the best of ’em, and I’m so very glad I did, but today? SCHOOL BEGAN TODAY AND I COULD KISS THE GROUND THE CALENDAR WALKS ON. Real life starts again, SIGN ME UP! Sure, it’s only been one day, but already I feel more like School Year Emily. The laundry has been done (times three), the sheets have all been laundered (and the beds done up perty), the towels have been washed and rehung (it was okay that they weren’t really washed all summer because we were out of town so much, right?), and errands have been run. Plus also I exercised and then cancelled out the burned calories by going to Starbucks, so it’s a total win.

Next week, I’ll be back to subbing. Our home will (hopefully!) be in better shape, along with my thighs (too far?). The art closet will be sorted through if it kills me. Blogs will be written (maybe even about What We Did This Summer) and photos will be edited and emails will be answered. I might even throw in a crossword or two, if I’m really on the ball.

For now though? These girls have started second and fourth grade (THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS but also HOW DID THEY GET SO OLD??) with hearts full of awesome summer memories (and more than a few bug bites)… and for the first time ever, I can truly say I loved it, right alongside them.

Especially now that they’re back to school, holla!

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The best part of my day

Right before we left for break, the girls’ school had their spring open house. All of the families were invited into the classrooms for the evening to chat with the teachers, see some of the work that our kiddos have been up to, and consume balls of ice cream in the school cafeteria that had been dished out by slightly disgruntled middle schoolers. Highlight of the night, for sure.

(Although this year’s fare came from a local shop – one of our favorites – so when Nick had to leave early, I didn’t exactly complain that I had to eat his ice cream, too. Taking one for the team and all.)

Last year, Nick had been out of town for open house and we’d Skyped to “show” him the girls’ work. While the use of technology was pretty rad, this time around, Annie and Ella were particularly interested in physically showing us all that they’ve been doing, and we spent a good thirty minutes in each of their classrooms poring over the details of every paper, wall hanging, display, and writing sample.

Y’all, these girls’ teachers work hard! From the careful and eye-catching room designs to the stacks of Look What I Can Do! papers on the desks to the way they so clearly knew the students, inside and out – we really lucked out with these ladies. And, hot damn, if our girls haven’t learned a few things this year! It was really something, seeing what had been considered “best work” in September versus where they are now. Enough something, in fact, that I didn’t even mind returning to the classroom after having spent all day in one.

Teachers are the best.
And I’m not talking about myself. Mostly.

My favorite part of the evening, though, was well and truly looking at, reading, taking in the work that the girls were showing us. There were math papers and journal entries, persuasive essays (Ella tried to convince us to get a bunny; her powers of persuasion aren’t strong enough yet), chapter stories, poems, computer essays, illustrations – and every single one of them was a perfect little encapsulation of who our kids are.

To wit, this poem by our still-Potter-obsessed daughter:ella poem

 

There are times when I’ve wondered if it’s too much Harry – if, four months after completing the series, Ella “should” have moved on more than she has… And then those “shoulds” are silenced by the simplest of poems: “a world that makes me smile all the time.” Why on earth would I want to make her leave that place? Amen, kiddo. Well played.

It should also be noted that this poem probably exactly follows the teacher’s directions: neatly written. Careful spacing. Repetitive words. Name, left. Date, right. A topic that she’s interested in, but nothing too flowery or showy, just what needs to be done, but still letting us peek inside a bit. In other words, perfectly, wonderfully Ella.

Annie’s work looks a bit different, and not just because she’s two years younger. Take, for example, this journal entry:
annie journal

Allow me to translate.

The writing prompt is: I just can’t wait until I’m old enough… 

I can’t wait till I’m old enough to get a car because then I can go to the mall and get mini pretzel bites with cheese. I just can’t wait until I’m old enough to get a phone because then I can take a bunch of selflies and I love selfies.

So. To recap: Annie is hungry, confident in her appearance (some might call that vain, but hey, when you’re cute, you’re cute), independent, and interested in the material things of this world. She’s also freakin’ hilarious, honest as hell, and a ridiculously accurate illustrator (please note the crossed legs in the drawing to the left, as well as the girl’s hand approaching her mouth – with pretzel bites, one would assume – which she is clearly delighted to be consuming, given her grin and how she’s closed her eyes with eager anticipation). In other words, perfectly, wonderfully Annie.

They could not be more different. Thank God, because now Nick and I get to experience two kinds of absolutely awesome every single day.

I know I’ve said it already, but these last few weeks balancing work and home have been hard. I think a huge part of that has to do with the fact that I thought I was going to be done before break – I was gearing up, throwing all of my energy into finishing, leaving nothing on the table – and then, BAM. Not done! (My therapist likened it to running a race – all out, full-on, expending all of the power you can muster – only to learn, steps before the finish line, that you need to run a few more miles.) I am just spent.

The work part is going fantastically well (if I do say so myself. Which I just did). I’m still loving every moment of teaching, my colleagues have been super, I got a really helpful and glowing review from my administrator (go, me!), and my students seem to dig me. It’s everything else that I just can’t quite get a handle on – piano, the house, the dogs, the kids, seeing friends (ha!), reading, exercise. The pieces just aren’t quite falling into place.

I’d actually been feeling that way prior to open house – maybe because I was really pushing to “finish” the teaching gig? – and had been feeling somewhat guilty. I haven’t been in the girls’ classrooms as often as in the past. I haven’t devoted as much time to talking about their homework. I haven’t had the energy to really chat with them about their lives, not the way I’d like to, anyway.

I basically felt like I was doing it all wrong. Parenting rocks.

Nick and I both marveled at the technology that the girls are using in their classrooms. They have computer lab time each week – that much I knew – and their teachers use SMART boards (which I can now successfully navigate, thank you very much), but I had no idea how much they were using iPads and laptops to do their work, too. One of the things that Annie’s teacher had pulled aside for open house was a computer story that each child had written. Annie just had to log in (holy crap, log in! She’s seven) and pull up her tale, titled something like “My Day At School,” and then we could see it come to life, complete with her own illustrations and text, animated pages turning. It was really cool.

open house
“During math I love to play games with my friends and make patterns.”

We were taken through her whole day – arrival, classwork, specials, lunch – and it was pretty basic, school-related stuff. As such, I was completely unprepared for the final line of her story:
The best part of my day is… walking home with my mom.

And suddenly, I’m wiping away tears and smiling like a watery buffoon and trying to make my way over to the word wall or the reading corner and pretending that I’m not getting teary in the middle of a crowded classroom filled with miniature chairs and an excess of Purell.

So maybe I haven’t done it all wrong. Some things have been less than stellar, sure, and I’m still off-balance (I stayed up crazy-late on Monday night to make brownies for teacher appreciation day… which, I remembered on Tuesday morning, is next Tuesday, not yesterday. Which is probably good, because I tried a new recipe and the brownies tasted like crap and I would have hated for our good name to be sullied by those foul treats). But there’s wonderful in there, too. Lots of it.

It’s also a nice coincidence, because the best part of my day is spending it with these girls and the guy with whom I made them.

Throw in some sweet tea (I just made my first batch yesterday; YUM), and I’ve really got it good.

 

It just doesn’t add up

It finally happened tonight: neither Nick nor I could figure out how to do Ella’s math homework. We’ve heard about this exact circumstance, tales from friends and in the news stories we read about how the Common Core curriculum is being taught and tested in New York state, where the kids bring home work that contains language so foreign to both the parent and the child, bitter frustration boils to the surface… But we’d never truly seen it until this evening.

While it’s no secret that I am bad with The Math (see: Ella and Annie were supposed to be three years apart but they are two years apart instead; oopsie), I did used to be an elementary school teacher. I’ve been responsible for not only understanding but teaching math to second, fifth, and sixth-graders, and, if memory serves, I taught it just fine. Nick was a far better math student than I, and regularly uses math at work; he’s currently taking a Financial Reporting and Analysis course for his MBA and is nailing it. In other words, while we may not always be the brightest bulbs on the tree (although we do sparkle nicely), we should certainly be able to help our third-grader with her math homework.

Except here’s the first thing: this math is stupid.

ella math2a
Circles? Wha?

Why in the world is it helpful to think of 9×4 as 5×4 + 4×4? Is that supposed to make it easier? Because it seems to me that just knowing that 9×4 = 36 is a lot more efficient than using algebra to solve straightforward multiplication problems.

Second, without instructions, it’s really difficult to know what the question is actually asking.

ella math2b
WTF is supposed to go in these blanks??

Here, for example, Ella thought that perhaps she was supposed to divide 36 into two equal groups and add them up. I said that sounded fine, but did she know what 36 divided by two was? Nope. So Nick suggested that perhaps she was supposed to re-phrase the algebraic equation written above – which is what Ella ultimately did – but, as you can see by my note, we have no idea if this is what she was supposed to do.

ella math2
The little “bite” out of the left side of the page? From Ella’s soaking wet hair dripping onto her homework. Lovely.

In addition (a pun!) to the problems being stupid and confusing, this homework sheet presented Ella with material she’d never encountered before – in this case, the distributive property – and she was completely stumped as to what to do.

ella math1a
Didn’t I see this in middle school? Maybe not; I’m trying to block a lot of those years out.

I suggested that she “distribute” the numbers equally, drawing an array (New York state parents of elementary school kids – we should totally design a drinking game where we do a shot every time our kids bring home a worksheet with the word array on it. We’d be hammered, but the homework would be a lot more fun), but she turned me down. When I Googled the distributive property, I found myself staring at crazy algebraic properties that surely had nothing to do with this worksheet.

ella math3
Nick did his due diligence to confirm that the distributive property really works as it was advertised; he was satisfied that it did.

With no other options, I finally convinced Ella to use the time-honored method of approaching difficult homework: copying from somewhere else. In this case, I suggested that she copy the weirdo circle thing from the front side of the worksheet (which Ella informed me is a number bond); she reluctantly agreed.

ella math1
engageNY, my butt.

So, see, it’s not that my kid’s not listening, nor that she’s stupid. She could tell me all about arrays (DRINK!) and number bonds, but having never been introduced to the words “distributive property” before, she was – understandably – confused.

And here’s the biggest rub for me: we couldn’t help her. I’m not saying that I wanted to do the worksheet for her (oh, hellz no), but I sure as heck would have liked to at least understood it so we could have helped her understand it for herself. Ella’s teacher has (wisely, I think) requested that our kiddos stop doing homework that they don’t understand before they become frustrated with it, in part so that they don’t reach burn-out level, and in part so that she can see just what they don’t understand and can make sure she teaches it in a way that reaches them. All of that is well and good – truly – but the unsaid reason for having our kids go to her when they don’t understand things is that the New York Common Core assessments (and the worksheets and homework “preparing” kids for the assessments) are designed in such a way that they must be taught just so, using exact language (often literally scripted), with details so precise, the only way to fully comprehend it is to have been in the classroom yourself.

Which seems to be in direct contrast with one of the supposed “key” components of a student’s academic achievements: support from parents (or guardians).

You can read study after study “proving” that one of the strongest bolsters of educational success is a solid school-home connection, and I would absolutely agree. I want to have a solid connection with Ella’s school, with her teacher, with what she’s doing in the classroom. But when she brings home work that makes absolutely no sense, that is baffling to all of us, we cannot help her, and we are essentially written out of the equation (another pun; squee!). And that is just bullshit.

Yep, I said it. It’s bullshit.

Like the many articles I’ve read before, I could tell you how, despite our best efforts, Ella’s sense of frustration did reach burn-out level tonight. How she felt dumb and inadequate and monumentally distressed. And it would be true, and it absolutely broke my heart. But being unable to help her through because we, as her parents, are kept in the dark by a vague (yet, paradoxically, exceedingly specific) curriculum, was what really put me over the edge.

I’ve read the Common Core standards. I think they, themselves, are pretty swell. I’ve got less good to say about the near-constant assessments and tests and “demonstrating (lack of) knowledge” that both Ella and Annie have undergone this year. I don’t even want to get into how asinine and maddening it is that Ella – who has never given two hoots before – is worried about her report card, because she knows that she will be graded on concepts that have not yet been introduced to her. That her teacher tells her it’s okay – expected, even – to receive low marks (because, after all, how many kiddos can do well on material they’ve never seen before?) has not made her feel any better.

ella math
No, this actually wasn’t staged; she’d thrown her pencil down with an angry flourish.

As her parent, I’d love to tell her that I couldn’t care less about how well she does on her report card, so long as she tries her hardest. And I have told her that – Nick and I both have, repeatedly. But, if we can’t even help her with her homework, I don’t know that we’ll be making much headway convincing her that her grades don’t concern us one bit.

I cannot say enough awesome stuff about teachers, nor praise their efforts loudly enough. I loves me some teachers. But parents are a really important part of all of this, and we’ve been effectively shut out of the process. It’s ridiculous, it’s crazy-making, and it’s not ultimately going to help our kids succeed.

Not cool, New York. Not cool at all.

Move over, Jackass

The start of school smells good. I don’t just say this because today was one of the most perfect days, weatherwise, we’ve experienced maybe, like, ever, nor because of the girls’ fresh, clean, new school stuff, all of which comes with its fresh, clean, new smell… New backpacks, new supplies (erasers, I heart you), new clothes, new lunch boxes… Each has its own crisp aroma, un-stained, not yet having taken on the stank of leftover spaghetti or forgotten sneakers.

Beyond that, however, there’s still the geeky kid in me who always loved the start of school each year, and that kid sits eagerly beside the teacher in me, who met the beginning of each September with equal parts trepidation and exhilaration. Yes, the year holds the possibility of something dreadful, of birds pooping on your head while you wait in line to go inside from recess (first grade, true story; Sarah Tallman was kind enough to help get the poop out of my hair while everyone else laughed), of classmates who are tyrants hiding behind polo shirts and jeggings, of parents who think that little Junior deserves special treatment and plays the not my child card every. single. time. But there’s also the promise of new friends, of clean notebooks and smooth desks, of games at recess and giggles during library, of field trips and science experiments, of fall and cinnamon and hay rides.

A month in, school begins to take on the metallic, pungent smell of tiny, sweaty bodies who defy logic and seem to need deodorant, despite being only eight. But the start of school? Those first, unblemished, ripe-with-promise weeks? They smell great.

Each year, as the girls begin school, I try to do something special for them – a fun first day breakfast, a treat when they come home, a dinner of their choosing, notes in their backpacks – something to make this day stand apart from the other 179 days of the school calendar. This year, with the (very) recent loss of my much-adored father-in-law (there will be more to say on this in coming weeks – I promised Bill it would be so – but right now, I need to wait and process and grieve, and think about just what I’d like to write), I have had to cut myself a break and be patient with my lack of focus… but I still want to be doing these special things. Not for any grander purpose, not because of any outside pressure, not even because of expectations that I may have inadvertently raised in my children, but simply because they make me happy.

And, I’m learning, that’s a pretty damn good reason for doing most things.

Except watching Real Housewives (of Anywhere). Or wearing Uggs year-round. Or preferring dark chocolate to milk. There are rules, people.

I’m also learning what I can and cannot do, and I’m learning to be okay with it. Which isn’t such a novel concept, except I recently read two seemingly opposing blog posts and found myself agreeing with basically everything they both said. Which means… thinking. And growing. And learning. Or something. And all that jazz.

First, I read this post, and loved it not only because “Pinterest Bitches” is a fabulous phrase and they worked “explosive diarrhea” into their narrative, but also because, hell yes! Crazytown! A stitched-together pencil caddy? “Yay school” and a little globe? Have we all gone insane?? Reading that post made me feel instantly better about getting the time wrong for Ella’s meet-the-teacher day, and going to Target yesterday in biker shorts and a dirty Zumba t-shirt.

But then I read this post today. Michelle had me with “braless in the drop off lane”(and also made me feel a little like maybe she was stalking me with the whole, Does Emily pause before posting about finally, finally having her depression under control because she knows there are other moms still struggling? thing), but also got my attention by mentioning, despite her house never being company-ready, that she does throw “Pinterest worthy” parties… both of which sounded awfully familiar. (Not because the parties I throw are necessarily Pinterest worthy, but because I, um, did post photos here specifically so I could put them on Pinterest.)

So… It seems that the Pinterest Bitch would be… me.

Conundrum, no?

The more I’ve thought about it, however, the more I’ve decided that the dichotomy not only makes sense… it’s okay. It’s good, even. It’s just me; it’s who I am. It hurts no one (except myself, when I stay up too late making Looney Tunes birthday cakes or getting pancake batter ready to go for the first day of school). It’s a bit nutty, but that’s fine. It makes me happy.

And it’s high time that I reconcile what I can and cannot do, and become okay with it. Or, as Michelle puts it, it’s high time that I “quit being a jackass” to myself.

I can make cute first-day-of-school breakfasts with pancakes shaped like school buses and the girls’ current grade numbers. first day breakfast
Don’t worry; Annie eventually received more than 1 cut-up strawberry. We are all about equity in this house.

I can make brownies for when the girls come home from school, with their newly-begun grade levels powdered-sugared onto them.first day brownies
Notice how these are the corners? I ate the gooey middle piece. It was delicious.

I can send my kids off to school, and welcome them home from their first day, with a bang (a bang that is created with the help of boxed mixes from Wegmans, but a bang nonetheless), and they love it, and I love it, and it’s just the way it goes. I cannot, however, manage to keep our fridge and cupboards stocked with actual necessary food, so when my kids request a sandwich with pepperoni and cheese, they’re going to get some pepperoni and a torn-up cheese stick instead.
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Yep. Real lunch from last year. Super proud moment.

School bus pancakes. Cheese stick sandwiches. Pretty much me in a nutshell.

I can send my girls to school each day with a joke in their lunch boxes (or a joke told over the phone)…
first day joke
Ellen” and her Facebook page FTW!

… But I cannot organize the papers in the kitchen – nor manage to replace the window shade that’s been broken for at least two years – to save my soul.

messy papers
I know you’re jealous. Just keepin’ it real.

I can make number signs the night before and pose my adorable children in front of the house on their first day…

ella first day 3rd
HOLY CRAP, she has gotten so absurdly old.

… But, for the life of me, I cannot get ahold of the weeds that are overtaking every spare space in our garden, in the yard, and on the sidewalk.
annie first day 1st
The foot-tall “bushes” to the left, in front of the bricks? Yeah. Weeds. Every last one.

It used to be that both sides of this coin bothered and embarrassed me. I didn’t want to admit that I studied hair blogs so that I could send the girls off to school with cute and fancy ‘dos, because that somehow felt like something I should be ashamed of – as though admitting it would somehow be showing off, or trying to put other non-hairdo-ing parents down, or saying that I had too much time on my hands, or making a judgement one way or another.

And yet, I also didn’t want to admit that the third seat of the car is so filled with dog fur, we cannot have people ride there without producing a towel for them to sit on. That was also something to be ashamed of, an admission that I cannot keep everything together, that I let some things go.

But lately – and quite uncharacteristically – I’ve been going easy on myself. I’ve come to realize that I don’t always have it all together (a shocker, I know, I know), not even in a scattered sort of way, and that’s okay. I’ve certainly never felt that I’m Super Mom, but I’m coming to see that my priorities are just that — my priorities — and that automatically makes them different from everyone else’s… but it doesn’t make them bad or wrong, nor something to be bothered by or ashamed of.

Again, to paraphrase Michelle (can you tell I really liked her post?!), I’m being a good parent. I’m loving my kids. I’m doing the best I can.

And it makes me happy.

I’m going to scour Pinterest for ideas and then send my girls to school with Halloween-themed Bento boxes – because it makes me smile – and doing so says nothing about anyone else who thinks that Bento boxes are as absurd as The Real Housewives. It says only that I like them, and that’s okay.

I’m never going to knit the girls a scarf, nor make them fabulous scrapbooks, nor send them to school with stitched-together pencil caddies, because that’s just not my bag… which is also okay. And I will always have a perpetually messy stovetop, because making Halloween-themed Bento boxes takes priority over stovetop scrubbing (plus also, hello ADHD), and that says nothing about people who do prize a gleaming kitchen. It only says that I don’t, and that’s okay, too.

Some things I can do.
Others, I can’t.
Or maybe I just don’t. Either way, it’s okay.

I’m going to give myself more of a break, cut myself a little more slack, and allow life to slowly come back together, without rushing it or being impatient with myself when I need to take a little more time. I’m going to do the things that make me happy, and worry far less about the things that don’t (except for, like, mowing the lawn and paying bills, because when I let those slide, it doesn’t work so well), and I’m going to stop apologizing for both. And I’m going to encourage everyone around me to do the very same.

In short, I’m going to quit being a jackass to myself.

Or WORSE, Expelled

Walking home last week…

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So, how was your day, lovey?

“Great, Mommy! We got to meet the first grade teachers today!”

Oh, that sounds like fun!

“It was! All of the teachers are really nice.”

That’s good. Because you’ll have one of them.

“I know.”

Unless you flunk.

“What’s that?”

Only kidding. So, anyway, you met the first grade teachers?

“Yes! And also we played a game where we were robbers.”

What kind of game is this?

“You know, where some kids are the robbers and stuff.”

Are there cops?

“No. Just robbers.”

Um, okay. So you’re all just thieves?

“Well, some of us are good guys.”

Did you get arrested?

“Mommy! We’re not really stealing anything!”

Well, that’s a relief. ‘Cause stealing’s, like, illegal and stuff.

“I know. It’s bad to steal.”

Indeed. In real life, you could go to jail.

“Or even to the principal’s office.”

Oh, my little Hermione, I do believe you need to sort out your priorities.