they did it. last wednesday both girls got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, posed for pictures and ran to school where they joined their classmates as members of the new york city public school system. eve is a big time kindergartener and ruthie is a big time pre-k-er. things didn't seem to go as smoothly as last year, which i suppose is natural now that there are two. especially when one of them is ruth, who is going through a real phase right now, the kind of phase that i would think was so crazy and entertaining and absolutely endearing (if slightly alarming) were i an observer.. but as her mother, my head explodes about fifteen times a day.. still, even though ruth is awesomely unpredictable and even though it was completely different than last year, this year's first day was a great day.
after our run to school chip took ruth to register and i jogged hand in hand with eve to kindergarten. the room was hot and crowded. eve was a little nervous, but amazing. no nail biting, no tearing up. a tighter grip on my hand and a shoulder pressed into my leg for a moment and she was off.. cautiously and quietly, but she was off. after all, she is in kindergarten now. "did you like how i listened to you right away and didn't scream when ruth drew all over my arm with marker? it's because i'm in kindergarten." "did you see how i didn't throw a fit when ruth pulled my hair even though it hurt super bad? it's because i'm in kindergarten now."
ruthie got into eve's old class, which we were thrilled about. ecstatic about. especially after the months-long battle i've had with the nyc department of ed just to get her into our zoned school. on day two she got pulled out and put into another class. i wasn't happy (enter: break down in the principal's office) but have since gotten over and embraced the change. ruth was sold the second she got to dress up like a "super cool princess" with the new friend that has her exact same shoes.
midnight the night before school rolled around and i couldn't not make them something for this big day. the stripes were pulled out and i sewed into the wee hours of the morning. their response when i presented the shirts? "do i have to? really? i kind of don't want to." eve took pity on me and my blank stare and after some coercion, ruthie did too (although she will never ever wear the tunic with jeans again, only tights because [exaggerated sigh and attempted eyeroll] "this is a dress mom, not a shirt. look!").
and, off they go. one resolved, the other mostly oblivious, both happy and good and ready to take on the world. as long as you don't make ruthie eat pickles or make eve take more than three bites of chicken (even though she's five).