The night before the first day of school

Maly starts her Parent’s Morning Out tomorrow morning. For me, it’s somewhat of a reality check…

“Okay, Mr. Janicek. We’ve given you and your wife two years and four months to instill morals, values, respect, common courtesy and long division in your daughter. You can leave the rest up to us now. We’re the Public Professionals.”

“Aye aye! Wait, did you say ‘long division’?”

“That’s correct.”

“But she skips the number four when she counts.”

We’ll fix that.”

I’m really kind of nervous. While a heart string is being pulled, another string is being severed as this is one of many times where I’m just going to have to let go a little bit.

One of the getting-ready-for-school milestones occurred last week when I decided it was time for Maly to graduate to a big girl bed. This meant converting her crib into a day bed. I’ll admit it: there were a few tears shed. What 2-year-old girl wouldn’t cry when her dad bursts into her room at 3 a.m. with a roaring chainsaw after deciding it was baby bed reconstruction time! Oh boy, that was fun!

I’m kidding. The chainsaw will wait until she’s at least in junior high and has 6 of her friends over for a sleepover.

The big girl bed has allowed for more freedom. She no longer has to scale the 4-foot barrier to get in and out of her crib. She can now roam about freely. She’s an all-out free-range toddler. This makes bedtime a little tedious as of late. As I type this, I can hear her in her room playing. She should have been asleep half an hour ago. This means that while she’s at school tomorrow, she’ll probably groggy, forget that her shape is a green circle, the other kids will laugh at her and she’ll come home with a meth addiction and want to immerse herself “emo” music.

So tomorrow is my baby’s first day of school. The scene that stands out most in my mind is from that old, old story that my great grandfather told me, which was passed down to him from his great, great grandfather. The one of the fabled clownfish, Nemo. It’s Nemo’s first day of school and, excitedly, he wakes up extra early, rushes in to the anemone where his dad is sleeping soundly and wakes him abruptly by announcing, “FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!! FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!” Fish could speak back then, so I’m told. Nemo was so excited to go to school so he could learn about the world around him and make new friends. Nemo’s dad, Marlin, was reluctant and wanted his son to stay back so Nemo could be safe and protected. Nemo eventually proved to his dad that he could handle things on his own. Marlin always regretted not pulling the old chainsaw during a slumber party gag.

Part of me wants to keep my daughter in the anemone so she’ll be safe. The other part is confident that we’ve done well as parents and she’ll do fine in school from this point forward. The other part of me realizes that I’m going to have to brush up on my long division because going forward, I’m nervously awaiting the questions that are going to be asked of me.


“Yeah, Sugar.”

“How do you determine the square root of a number?”

“Well, now, you see, honey, when two numbers love each other very, very much, and have committed to a lifetime of togetherness…”




Ahh. Yes, well, you see, there’s this very rare tree in the jungles of Aboriginioniumium that the indigenous tribespeople call the Equidistantsided Box Bush. This plant has a very complex root system that essentially mirrors its above ground counterpart. The root system is shaped kind of like a square, if you will. And you see, this “square root” is harvested in the late Spring when the Abluetoothoniumsmum people celebrate the togetherness and the lifetime commitment of the two numbers that have taken a vow before the…”


One Reply to “The night before the first day of school”

  1. How precious. It reminds me of my concerns when you were in your two’s. You didn’t want to go to day care “all day, all day, all day and all day”. Remember the story of what you said to me? So I enrolled you into another school and had no more complaints and that is when you started to branch out with all your new friends that have come and gone which has helped influence you to become the person you are today. Of course your parents and especially your Dad, had a little bit of the influence along the way. Oh yeah, you also learned a lot while in your classes at school! Be happy with the challenge Maly with take you through. She is a part of her parents and will do well. Mom Janicek

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