I woke up at five o’clock this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Today was the day to register Ferdinand for school in September, and even though I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t think that it was going to be a big deal. I took a shower, made a thermos of coffee and hot milk, spread a big hunk of bread with strawberry jam and butter, stuffed Ferdinand’s immunization schedule, his birth certificate, and a power bill into a brown bag from the wine store with yesterday’s newspaper, and got to the school at about a quarter to eight. The first two parents were in line by 5:15 this morning. Even without the interviews and the tests that some people have to go through to get their kid into Pre-K, some people were very stressed. And the kids were stressed. Kids who never cried were crying, they didn’t want to stay, they didn’t want to go…it was the kind of fear you feel playing musical chairs. Musical chairs is a slow form of torture. Whoever it was that invented musical chairs, is a cousin to the one who invented Pre-K registration. You don’t know if you had the shots when you were supposed to have the shots, if you have enough proof that your child was born, is the child really your child, do you live where you live, and even if you can prove all of that, is there is going to be a chair for you when some sadist stops the music.
The plan was that I would go and wait in line, and my husband would bring Ferdinand right before they opened the doors. Ferdinand didn’t want to come. As they were walking to the school my husband told me Ferdinand said “I don’t want to go to the big kids’ school; I’m not a big kid.” My husband told him, “you don’t have to start today, you just have to sign up.” Ferdinand said, “I think I’m going to be sick in the flowers.”
Not me though, I figured hey, there are only eight people in front of me, everybody waiting in line looks like a very nice person, my kid is getting in, so everything is fine; I’m just going to drink my coffee and crack a few jokes. By the time I got home, I felt physcially ill. Without even realizing it, within the two hours that I was filling out paperwork, holding Ferdinand in front of the school secretary to prove that there was a Ferdinand, and waiting in one line or another, I had entered the emotional purgatory of sending my teeny tiny, wiggling, suckling, tender new born baby boy to public school. My husband had to hold my hand for an hour while I cried in the kitchen. I know it has to be done; but I don’t recommend it.
The only thing to cook tonight in my professional opinon, would be tacos. Tacos will help get him ready for the big world. I can make the fillings, and then Ferdinand can make his own little taco.
If you like your taco shells extra crispy, keep them in a low oven for about five or ten minutes. Saute a finely chopped onion over low/medium heat until they are translucent and softened, about fifteen minutes. Add a little crushed cumin and cayenne pepper. Maybe even some fresh parsley. Add a pound of ground beef, and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl. In additional bowls serve chopped green olives, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, whole milk yogurt or sour cream, sliced avocado with garlic, lime juice and salt, chopped red peppers and even some tiny roasted potatoes or roasted butternut squash. Pumpkin seeds are great sprinkled on top.
Make sundaes for dessert. A kid that is about to start school deserves a sundae.