slow starts

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Today was their first day of "school." We decided they need more socialization, so we’ve enrolled Lucas and Abigail in "developmental mornings," which basically translates to "let’s swap germs!" Two days a week they’ll spend their mornings, and early afternoons, away from Mama, Poppa, and Norma, so they can learn to nap elsewhere. With access to a full gymnastics facility, L&A had best step up their rings routine, or at the very least improve their dismount techniques. I love that there is an entire floor made of springs. It’s basically a trampoline off which it’s impossible to fall. When they aren’t at the gym, they’re at the outside playground or in sign language class. Awesome.

Not so awesome: waking up today after a night of drinking. I’m throwing up a little in my mouth and the room is spinning. I think I blew my nose on the fitted sheet beneath my pillow. It’s morning, and I have major food remorse. At one point in the wee A.M. hours the ladies and I found our way (mind you after consuming a full on dinner) to Katz’s Deli where we ordered and devoured the following:

  • A bagel with cream cheese, lox, and capers
  • Fried pickles, I want to say with ranch dressing
  • Some type of blintz that reminded me of pie filling from a can
  • Potato latkes. I think there were six of them. Those small plastic cups you find at beach snack bars or concerts at Jones Beach or at the fixin’s station at Roy Rogers or Wendy’s or some such establishment were filled with apple sauce and sour cream. At some point, I remember sticking my finger in one and deciding that sour cream could stand on its own as a meal.

"You have to wake up," Phil says.
"No, I really don’t."
"It’s their first day at school. You told the administration that they’d start today."
"So, I’ll untell them."
"You’re not being responsible."
"So what? Who’s going to know? They’ll just start next week instead."
"No, I’m not your parent. I don’t want to be having this conversation."
"That makes two of us." My head is buried under a second pillow to parry the light.
"Come on. They’re not going to miss school just because you feel sick."
"I promise you I won’t miss it either–not even a little bit. Bye, now."
"Get up."
"I hate you."

After an unproductive stare down with the bowl, I found my way into a clean pair of pants, a questionably clean shirt, and even managed a bra. Party.

I handed the car keys to Norma and licked the babies a little. Off to school, with my eyes closed. But when we arrived, I put on my game face. My Mama face. I smiled and kissed and stayed until Abigail warmed up to the room. Lucas shot off, my smiling flirt of a boy, saying "Hi," then waving, then smiling again to each staff member and each child in the room. In contrast, as soon as Little Miss’s feet touched the playroom floor, she grabbed hold of my legs, burying her head in my stance as if she were the one with the hangover. And I loved it. I love their firsts, the coaxing, the letting go. I love encouraging them and making them feel safe enough to let go.

Other children were crying with the good morning goodbyes. Abigail wasn’t crying. She stood, frozen, absorbing. Too scared or fascinated to do anything about it. I stayed long enough to entice her with a doll and a mock-bottle. She fed her baby, and without saying the word "goodbye," I let her know that I’d see her soon. I watched for a while through the small window in the door, and I wondered when in the day she’d realize that I was really gone.



  1. Wow, you seem so self-absorbed and like such a pain in the ass! Hopefully your hubby gets you and allows you to be yourself. Were you really going to allow them to miss school because you were hungover, or are you just bratty like that and get over it quickly? Oy vey!

  2. Lighten up. I think we've all been there. You go out with honorable intentions of one or two glasses of wine with good friends and then it turns into a bottle or two as everyone lets go. It's not that big of a deal. I'm sure Phil has done the same thing, I know my husband has. It's not an everyday or night kind of thing and the important thing is SK paid her penance by getting up and doing right by the kids.

    How nice it must be to be those of you out there who never make a mistake.

  3. Gosh, the comments have been so harsh lately. I find it funny that some readers are so angry and fiercely banging away at their keyboards and firing off judgements…but yet they keep on reading. Just cant help themselves.

  4. I can't tell you how many times I've laid on the floor hungover next to my 2 year old while he plays just so I can get 10 more minutes of "sleep". Who cares if they start school a few days later than planned. They're gonna go to school for the next 18+ years of their life.

    Sylvia, YOU need to get over YOUR self.

  5. Well, this is the stuff I think about when people ask if I want kids. Not "how will I raise them to be just, honest, loving, caring, contributing citizens of the world" but "holy crap, they're gonna mess with my hangovers!" Thanks for letting me know it is possible to do both.

    Oh, and congrats for making it through a meal at Katz without getting hit on by the owner. That one is FOND of the ladies!

  6. i think you will look back on this post someday and be happy that you have (had) such balance in your life. a great night of nice food and true friends followed by an "encouraging" husband and two beautiful children making their way into an independent routine, successfully. it all sounds pretty great to me.

  7. You totally snuck out, didnt you? :)

    Abigail will adjust. Mine was like that too. I think if a child is used to getting so much attention they are overwhelmed seeing other children receive attention. They're not as secure in who they are, but they learn how to calm themselves and soothe themselves, and gain more confidence in just who they are. She'll be bossing the kids around in no time, I bet. I love that Lucas is so friendly. That made me smile.

  8. Haha! I have been there a few times myself.

    I hope you don't let comments like the first one here get to you. People need to get the sticks of their vagina and realize that we are all not perfect human beings and sometimes have selfish moments, that doesn't make you any less of a good parent. And I think you are an outstanding parent, even hungover and not wanting to take them to school. :-)

  9. Sylvia:
    You sound like you could use a drink or 2 yourself.

    I think this post would have been much better if the ring was worked into it. I love when the crazies come out to play.

  10. I have to echo the other posts as well. Good for you for being human and trying to achieve balance in your life. It's a diservice to your children to act like you are a perfect individual – I like your parenting style!

  11. "sticks out of their vagina"…my oh my, i have NOW heard it all. . .

    sk may be a bit much, but you do have to give her credit for "putting it out there", although i could have done without the "throwing up in my mouth part". tmi. but then, i should retract that comment, b/c isn't that what this site is really about, tmi. otherwise, why would ppl bother to read…

    ppl keep coming back to this site b/c sometimes the shits really good and sometimes its like a carwreck…you just gotta look. and sk is making it in the big time because of that. how does that make her diff. from the way movie stars, celebs, et al live it? it really doesn't, no? yes? maybe?

    i often wonder how much embleishment goes on here. sometimes, i really think that sk tells it like it is, and at times a little more, b/c who wants to read a fucking boring blog?

    i could do without all the super size ass kissing that goes on from a lot of the usual supsects that respond, but hey, EVERYONE has the right to their own opinion. i just can't stand that when sk says something that others don't like that people can be SO fucking harsh, which unleashes the aforementioned super sized ass kissing brigade.

    but hey, i digress…i'm just hear to kill a few mintues each day, so its all fucking fun and games…(until somebody gets hurt, that is).

  12. I don't even have to be hungover to not want to take my kids to school, not want to go to work, not want to shower, get dressed…. etc…. we all have those days.

  13. Was there a reason why Phil couldn't go? Or you both go together?

    From SK- Phil runs a hedge fund and well…

  14. 1. Is there a Katz's deli in Austin?

    2. FRIED PICKLES???? Holy crap. With ranch, at that. Good god, man. That sounds utterly phenomenal, and I'm not even drunk.

    3. I realized, too late, that my little guy could use some part-time instruction and socialization, only to find that all "Toddler Groups" in LA are FULL. Now I need to get on a wait-list to get into a Toddler Group, so that we can have the privilege of being on the "priority wait list" for the preschool class next year. What if I opt out? What if I refuse to play this ridiculous, wait-list for preschool, "blow the headmaster and your son MIGHT have a prayer of getting in" game? I think (shh.. big secret) NOTHING will happen to him, but I'm told by my colleagues that he won't have a prayer of getting into Harvard with a laissez-faire mother like me. Sigh. Help.

  15. Oh god, at least you took them. My 1st, I was to hung over to take to kindegarten "round up" he never was a good student. (he did manage to graduate last spring) my other 2 are 4.0 students and guess what, I managed to get them to their round ups. A mothers' guilt that has haunted me for years. (hee hee) Just because your a mummy doesn't mean life is over!!!!

  16. OMG at least you put on clean clothes and a bra. I have driven my kids to school in my pajamas and a trench coat. All the while my son tells me if I get pulled over he will laugh hysterically. But now my "baby" can drive himself to school, now I'm the one getting clingy as he talks about going to college and moving out.

  17. I was momentarily hung up on the bagels, lox, cream cheese and capers. Wait, I think I still am….

    I love to read your writing about your children. You obviously love them so. And they are precious little muffins.

    "… licked the babies off a little." I had to read that line like four times because it kept making me laugh.

  18. Yum. Katz's deli! I remember being in there when I was nine months pregnant w/ my duo. I went to the bathroom and walked through that place with a freakin' 4 foot tail of toilet paper stuck to my shoe. One of the counter workers there tapped me on the shoulder to tell me. I tried to get it off but my balance was, well, not good. He held my arm and I lifted my foot to get it and said, "I'll do it."
    So sweet.
    Who says New Yorkers ain't nice???
    We always have to bring pastrami sandwiches back to the other side of the river when we go there.
    I'm wondering, when you read some of the really harsh posters, do you bust out laughing and yell to Phil across the room, "Hey, you've GOT to hear this one!" Somehow, I picture you doing that. I picture you guys making all kinds of squeaky mock voices and having lots of inside jokes about it all. :)

  19. I never had a latke, but am sure to try one now. My mom told me about my first day in kindergarten (no pre-anything stuff here, but I started at 2,5 years old), as soon as she put me down I just took off running to play with the other kids. Didn't have a word or look to spare for my mom, while she stood bawling at the gate. My brother was the crying clinger. Has nothing to do with how they turn out, now I'm actually more introvert than he is.

  20. Share this with the beans when they have kids of their own. They will grow up thinking their mom has everything together, and when they see this they will realize no one is perfect. And it will feel so reassuring.

  21. sounds like a fun night with the girls! i mean, i have those bad mornings too, but i give big big kudos to you for getting the little chickens up getting them off to school, all with momma face on!

  22. Oh how I feel your hangover pain today. I didn't have to get up to take any little ones to school, but I did have to drag myself into the office. Funny how sometimes happy hour can turn into hours. How was Mulberry?

  23. Oh how I feel your hangover pain today. I didn't have to get up to take any little ones to school, but I did have to drag myself into the office. Funny how sometimes happy hour can turn into hours. How was Mulberry?

  24. OMG. I just found Greek Tragedy and I love you, Stephanie Klein. And I loved this post and most of the comments. As a fairly new mommy (Little Miss just turned a year) who works full time and watches Little Miss cry every morning I have to leave her with the sitter, it feels soo soo soo good to remember that we are not alone. And my lil' bit of wine headache on a Friday morning reminds me I'm still an asshole sometimes who forgets when to say when. And my kid aint damaged. Love it.

  25. I don't even have kids and I didn't drink last night, but today I woke up with the overwhelming urge to quit my job, stay in bed, and not take a shower. But… I did what had to be done. And here I am, a few hours later, and its another great day at work. My co-workers rock, I'm showered and fresh, and life is good. Those first few minutes of peeling your eyes apart and leaving an oh-so-warm bed absolutly suck sometimes! So, that being said, I'm sure those feelings don't disappear simply because you are a mom now. It's life. It happens. Thanks for writing about it.

  26. I wish I had a video of my little one's first day. tears. Now she runs to the school. Go figure.

  27. I'm glad you got up and through the hangover. Memories like that are worth the initial sting of sickness.

  28. It's Friday and that means happy hour in Buckhead. Can't wait till you come to Atlanta. Have a great weekend SK.

  29. When Dawson started preschool last week, he didn't even cry. I did. I cried for reasons I can't even explain. Firsts are amazing, but they are hard for me to grasp, too.

    Sounds like L&A are doing just fine. What a big step!

  30. I love this post. But, what's with the negative commentors? Puhleeze. It's called being human. I infer that the ones that are the most judgmental have the most to hide.

  31. I would love to see pictures from that wedding? Is it your black haired friend? She was always so stunning… please, if you have them? I'm sure you took fantastic shots.

  32. Nothing but empathy from this corner.

    After a couple of mornings like yours, I learned that it's all about pre-planning. If one of us (husband or I) wanted to party with friends, the next day's responsibilities fell to the other. It worked.

    When your kids enter their teens they'll sleep 'til 3:00 p.m. and your sense of freedom will return. When mine were little, it seemed that every long-time mother insisted on telling me, wistfully, just how quickly kids grow and how they are suddenly – poof! – out of your life.

    Now I get it.

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