So I got up with Emi at 7:20 and helped her get ready to be out the door by 7:55. Natsuki woke up in the middle of this so I also nursed and fed her during this time. At 8, everyone else got up and we had breakfast and then Misaki got ready for school. The two of us walked to the bus stop at 8:55 and just after 9, I was back home and the morning rush was over. Usually this is when I sit down with a cup of coffee and check my e-mail, but today I jumped into the shower in an effort to make myself presentable. I know this is not really necessary but since Natsuki was born I haven't been making much of an effort at all and knowing that is a chance to make a good first impression with a lot of people, I primped. A lot. I put on my fancy Mac make-up, straightened my hair, and spent more than 1 minute picking out my clothes! I should've taken a picture but there was no time.
At 10:40 I was out the door to go to the school with the other moms on my street. As I stepped out the door, they all looked at me in surprise. I didn't ask why but I'm sure they were surprised at my appearance. We walked to the school with our slippers in hand and me with my camera. Just me. My neighbor and I had been talking the day before and she told me that elementary school is different than preschool and that no one brings cameras. Hmm. Obviously that was some sort of big hint. I talked with Chikara and he said that there is too much peer pressure, even between parents, and that if I wanted to take my camera then I should go ahead.
We arrived at school in time for 3rd period and watched the teacher interact with the kids and teach them about the hiragana character "u". He was very energetic and the kids really responded to him. Before we knew it, time was up. All the kids went to watch a video while the teacher talked to the moms. He had to be nervous as there were at least 25 moms and just him. He started off by telling us a little bit about himself. He is 27! Chikara and I are 32 so he's 5 years younger than us. Wow. He has taught at this school for the last 3 years for the 3rd grade, 5th grade and now 1st grade. He told us that for the events they've had in the first two weeks that our kids have behaved appropriately. Cheering for the 5th & 6th graders when they put on a show for them, listening quietly during story time and following instructions when on a school tour. He told us his plan for the next year, etc. In the middle of this, I realized that it was time to pick up Misaki from the bus. I half-ran/half-walked (I am so out of shape!) and made it just on time. She came back to the school with me for the last part.
When it was finished, the three of us walked back home. I fed Natsuki and then left her with Daddy and took the other three to lunch at a local ramen store. As we sat down I realized that I have never ordered ramen by myself. I couldn't remember the name of the ramen I wanted or how to order gyoza so I did my best. The right food came so I guess it was OK. The girls were well behaved, which was good since I was already tired from the morning.
We were home by 2 and I put Sakura and Natsuki down for their afternoon nap. Emi went outside to play and Misaki and I went to the preschool for her open house. I had heard from a friend that the first part was really long and boring so I had planned to go a little late. This year the preschool has made a lot of changes. There is a new principal, a lot of new teachers and a new philosophy. All of it is OK, but one of the changes has me a bit confused. If we want to cancel school lunch for the kids we have to call two days before or we will be charged anyways. What are you supposed to do if you kids get sick suddenly? Do you still have to pay for lunch? Hmm. The only reason I went was to meet Misaki's teacher because she's new so after an hour-and-a-half of talking, they finally let us go to the classroom. Misaki's teacher seems really nice and mature (not old, but really together). She told us that one new thing they're going to do this year is work with the 3rd year kids on their characters. Also, the principal wants the teachers to help the kids work on their manners, especially how they ask questions and respond. This is going to be so good for Misaki. We've been working on this at home so it'll be nice that it is reinforced at school too.
During these two hours, we had to sit on the little chairs that the kids use. My butt hurt so bad and I was really glad when the whole thing was over. As I left I stopped to say "yoroshiku onegaishimasu" to the teacher and she told me I was *pretty*. Although I appreciate this since I spent time in the morning especially to make a good first impression, somehow I was also a little bit offended, although I'm not sure why. I had a strong urge to tell her that I was smart too.
I was home a bit after 4 and while I was nursing Natsuki, I told Chikara all about the day. As I was talking about Emi's teacher, I told Chikara that I really liked him and Misaki piped up and said, "Do you want to kiss him?". We all had a good laugh about that and I clarified that I liked him "as a teacher" for Emi.
By this time I was tired, too tired to make dinner so we went out to a restaurant near us for dinner. They have a new kid's menu so I had to take extra time to pick. One of the new menu items is a "Make Your Own Sandwich" plate for kids. I ordered three and the girls had fun making and eating their sandwiches. When we got home it was 7:30 and the kids were cranky and tired so we went right to getting ready for bed and by 8 all the girls were in their beds. I ran to the store to buy more diapers for Sakura, came home, nursed Natsuki and put her down to sleep. At 9, I made some popcorn, opened my Dr. Pepper and sat down to watch "The Core" on TV. I love Friday nights because they show movies in English on TV. I'm kind of at the mercy of whatever they pick but for the most part it's fairly entertaining which shows how low my standards have become!
It was lovely to fall into bed and I was out within 5 minutes. I had weird dreams about meeting the two comedians of Downtown and trying to take a picture with them. Very weird.
From Monday, Emi & Misaki will be starting school lunches and be in school until the afternoon. My house desperately needs attention and hopefully life will get back to normal, whatever that is!