Account Balance: -$2.60

We pack a lunch for my kindergarten daughter. There are a couple of reasons for this, the most important being: because we want to. Anyway, into the second week of school, she tells us that she’s been having 3 chocolate milks a day.

Image result for free images chocolate milk

We don’t pack those.

In fact, chocolate milk is rarely an option at our house because if the wind isn’t coming in from the east during a waning crescent moon, it’s not happening. You know what happens to werewolves on a full moon? We feel that. If you give my daughter chocolate milk when she hasn’t had a full night of sleep, no television, and a completely ordinary day, lock. the. doors. I’m serious; it’s about to get ugly.

3 chocolate milks a day.

How?

Apparently, there’s an option for chocolate milk before and after school. Why anyone would want to provide chocolate to brand new kindergartners (or anyone, for that matter) before sending them off to hang with their new teacher is beyond me but I didn’t get a vote in the matter; I wash my hands of it. But 1 + 1 = 2. So how do you get the third milk?

“I get it at lunch.”

Come again?

I freaking love my daughter, ya’ll. Her boldness and her innocence. She just takes a milk. Every. single. day. And it’s totally on us. She’s coming from a daycare where lunch was included. It didn’t even cross my mind to explain hot lunch to her!

So we sit her down and explain the whole process to her. Better late than never, right? And we explain the need to pay for things that aren’t included in day-to-day kindergarten. And accidental stealing. At this point, her eyes get big and she gets that adorable embarrassed, shy smile that kids get when they had no idea they did something bad and aren’t sure if they should be horrified or laugh about it.

I tell her that she can’t take milk anymore unless we pay for it and that we’ll tell her if we put money on her account for hot lunch. She nods and we sort of sweep the whole thing under the rug because honestly, how many days has she done this? I have no idea! The more you ask a kid, the less they know.

Until last night.

Emma and I are going through her bedtime routine and we start looking through the school apps on my phone so she can point out who all of her classmates are in group photos. We talk about her friends and their different personalities and all the things she’s up to lately. And then I open her lunch app for the first time ever. We don’t use it, so there’s no point in looking at it, right? Wrong.

Account balance: -$2.60

Well I’ll be. Here we think she’s done this sneaky thing that we’ve swept neatly under the rug and her purchase history shows 1, 2, 3, 4 chocolate milks within the first 4 days of school with nothing after that.

So I ask more questions and this time she seems to remember a little more clearly.

“Well, I put it in a white bucket. Then I take it.”

I pry a little further and she elaborates.

“I put it in a white bucket. Then I give them a card and I take the milk.”

Ahahaha, I think my kid is stealing from school and all this time she had just put her milk on her house account. Phenomenal. I tell her we have to pay the balance and she asks what will happen it we don’t. I tell her they won’t let her graduate kindergarten if we don’t pay it but I assure her we will.

Then the clever little fox starts putting the pieces together in her head about the purchase and this card that tracks what she takes and this account balance that mom has access to and pays off.

“So…” she says, “Can I start getting chocolate milks again?”

No, love. You can’t.

Not Quite a Midlife Crisis

It’s not often that I write on consecutive days but, as it turns out, yesterday proved to be a very significant day in my life:

The start of my 2/5 life crisis.

I’m using 2/5 because that’s approximately where I am in life using Wikipedia to find the average lifespan in the US. Yes, I Googled it. I’m not old enough for a midlife crisis and yet I can’t shake this feeling that I officially closed out a part (i.e. a group of chapters) of my life yesterday.

Why? Two words:

Kindergarten. Kickoff.

Well, okay. It’s more than two words. It’s the fact that I non-ironically wore mom jeans yesterday (they really do help contain things) and only stopped myself from wearing penny loafers with them (Hello, comfort!) because I have a bewitched full length mirror in my house.

Yes, I’m serious.

Yesterday I caught the glimpse of someone’s mom in the reflection when I walked by. Explain that to me, huh? Who is she? What does she want?

Burn. the. sage.

I saw her and immediately swapped out my penny loafers for some leopard print flats. (You know, because nothing screams “youth” like a 30-something mom of two wearing animal print [**insert eye-roll here**]). It’s not that I have anything against the mom jean-penny loafer combo in particular. It’s just that combined with the words “Kindergarten” and “Kickoff” they take on a life of their own.

Up until this point in life, I’ve felt that I’ve been writing my story. I grew up. I graduated. I started my career. Even when we got married and had kids, I was still the sentence subject. But now my daughter is starting kindergarten in the Fall and I’m acutely aware that I’m becoming the object of her sentences. A character in her story.

And so it begins. The 2/5 life crisis. I don’t know why no one warned me about this. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to act. Is this when I start shopping at Forever 21 or does that come later? I’ve been listening to Billie Eilish on repeat. I think that might be appropriate but I don’t really know. I’m floundering here.