The afternoon was going to be long.
The boy fell asleep on the walk home from the girl's school after a busy morning spent "volunteering". I wondered how much help I was actually being to the teacher as I chased after the boy and tried to get him to play quietly while the kindergarten kids sat in a circle on the carpet drawing letters on chalkboard tablets. I managed to set out the snacks, clean up the snacks and use the hot glue gun to stick bits of coniferous trees to the hibernation dens being made out of tissue boxes.
I definitely got more out of the morning then the teacher got out of me.
I saw the girl in her classroom, met her classmates and watched her interact with her teacher. I put faces to the names and images to the things she talks about at home. I left feeling confident that she loves her school.
I also left exhausted. Shortly after we arrived at school the boy came to me crying. Tired he said. So am I, I wanted to say, so am I. He was lucky enough to fall asleep on the way home in the stroller. As I carried his snowsuit clad body into the house, laying him down in the hallway to remove his outerwear before carrying him upstairs to bed, I wished I could crawl under the warm covers with him.
Instead it was cooking with the girl, reading stories and listening to audio books. The boy woke from his early nap shortly after noon and then the second part of the day began.
We had snacks. Read more books. The kids had a picnic in the living room. The girl decided she didn't like the cranberries she begged me to let her eat and spat them out onto the kitchen table. Then I heated them up with water and sugar and she devoured eight crackers topped with the warm red sauce.
In the middle of the afternoon I sat on my bed watching the kids run back and forth down the hallway wearing long pieces of fabric pulled from the cupboard and tied like capes around their necks. It made me forget my tiredness, the long afternoon I was only halfway through. All I could do was stop and laugh.