A Bumpy Start to School

School started on Wednesday, but it hasn’t been as smooth as I’d hoped it would be. Honestly, this has probably been one of the hardest back-to-school weeks we’ve endured.

The week started with me getting what I thought was a small cold. By Monday evening I could tell it was spiraling into something worse, so I kept drinking lots of water, taking vitamins and supplements, and hoping it would go away. On Tuesday I was feeling run down, but determined to finish getting supplies packed into backpacks and clothing set out so everything would be perfect for the first day of school.

Wednesday started on a high note. The girls were awake, excited, and ready for their first day. And somehow Mira grew from 7 to 14 overnight.

First day of school 2014 No really, why does she look ready for high school?

The bus was even here only a couple of minutes late. I expect that on the first day, as drivers are still getting used to routes and some kids take longer than expected to get onto the bus. Cordy was a little nervous, and as the driver and aide greeted the kids she asked, “Are you nice? Because I had a mean bus helper in first grade and I didn’t like her.” The aide responded, “Oh, I think I’ve been on a bus with you before.” I’m really hoping it wasn’t in first grade…

But the bus pulled away with two happy kids, I settled into a (peaceful!) day of work, with only Cosmo curled up next to me and a whopping sinus headache to endure. I was pretty sure it was a full-blown sinus infection at this point. Even my fatigue couldn’t get me down, especially since there were no calls home from the school during the school day.

Then at 4pm, half an hour after the end of the school day and just as I was starting to wonder if the bus would show on time, I received a call from the school. I expected it to be an update on how Cordy’s first day had gone. Instead, it was her teacher telling me that Cordy and Mira were still at school, as their bus had not shown up yet and the school didn’t know where it was.

Seriously?? I expect first day delays, but when the bus hasn’t shown up to the school 30 minutes after it was due, and no one knows where it is or when to expect it, that’s a problem. I sent Aaron a message quickly and he left work to go pick them up, rather than wait for who knows how long for the bus to arrive.

While waiting, I checked the transportation department’s Twitter feed – which is designed to alert parents to bus routes running late – and despite notices for several other routes, ours wasn’t listed. What good is an alert system if you only provide updates on some of the routes?

When Aaron and the kids got home, the girls looked exhausted. Gone was the excitement of the morning, replaced by sweaty hair and shirts and half-open eyes. They said they’d had a good first day, but it was very hot at school. (No air conditioning in the building, and it was near 90 degrees.) We went through their folders and pulled out the requisite first day stacks of paperwork for me to fill out.

We ordered pizza as a special treat for the first day of school. Mira only ate one little square of pizza, and despite being home in air conditioning, looked really worn out. At one point she asked me, “Do I feel warm?” I placed my hand on her forehead and said, “No, sweetie, you’re cool to the touch. And a little clammy, too.” Half an hour before bedtime, she announced she was going to go to bed because she felt so awful.

But before she could go upstairs, she suddenly clamped her lips tightly together and had that wide-eyed look that all parents quickly recognize – she was about to vomit. Aaron rushed her into the bathroom and they made it just in time. After that excitement, we cleaned her up and, in true Mira fashion, she said “It’s a good thing I only ate one piece of pizza!”

She said she felt better and so we put her to bed. At first I thought her vomiting was probably related to being in the heat all day. Cordy had a 24-hour stomach virus on Saturday, but those tend to have short incubation periods, so Mira would have been sick long before Wednesday, right? I convinced myself that her proclamation of feeling better meant it was a one-time thing.

My assurances fell apart about five minutes later when she started vomiting again. And then 15 minutes after that. And 20 minutes after that. It was clear now that this wasn’t related to the heat. She finally stopped vomiting around 2:30am.

I slept fitfully the rest of the night, waking up with sinus pain and coughing. At 7:15am yesterday, I dragged myself downstairs to help Cordy get ready for school. The second day of school routine wasn’t nearly as cheery. Even though Mira was already on the couch sipping juice and announcing she felt better, I knew she wasn’t able to go to school. So yesterday she spent the day on the couch, watching Phineas and Ferb episodes all day long, while I sat across from her doing my best to get a little work done through the brain fog and exhaustion. I felt bad that Mira had to miss the second day of second grade – what a lousy way to start.

And then at 4:05pm, the phone rang. It was the school, telling me that the bus had just shown up five minutes ago, so to expect Cordy to be home late. 30 minutes late to the school again? And yet again, no notice on the Twitter feed. Oh wait, they updated after I complained to them on Twitter. But they updated 10 minutes AFTER all kids had been dropped off. Thanks for letting us know the bus was on its way back to the depot empty.

Guess who has earned themselves the special honor of being my project this year? I’m utterly fed up with transportation, and it’s only the second day of the school year. I can understand some delays at the start of the year, but their lack of communication and their lack of respect for parents and students is unbelievable. I’ve heard some horrible stories from other parents already, too. Stories that make ours look minor.

The good news is that we’re hopefully ending the week on a positive note. Mira was completely recovered by last night, so she happily went to school today. The bus was on time this morning. And I think I’m finally starting to get over this sinus infection. Now if the bus could make it to the school on time this afternoon, we’ll hopefully have a perfect day to end the week.

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Comments

  1. I hate all of this for you. I can’t believe it’s such a complete mess.

    Hoping Mira feels better by Monday.

  2. MN RN Mom says:

    Poor kids and poor mom – what a way to start the school year! Glad to hear you and Mira are feeling better, hopefully the trend continues in a positive direction. I hate bus nightmares! Hopefully the start to this school year will go better – she starts the day after Labor Day

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