Grade 1.

My biggest girl starts grade 1 today. (That’s what they say, in Canada, grade 1. Not first grade. I get corrected every time I slip up and say first grade. “You mean grade 1, Mama?” Sigh. Yes, my little Canadienne. Yes.)

Which brings up a question I’ve been pondering. Do you call them a grader one-er? Or do you still say first grader? Or is there something else? HELP ME IN MY CONFUSION, CANADIANS.

Anyways. I asked Fiona the other day how she felt about starting grade 1. Was she excited?

“Well, Mumma. I’m a little bit excited and I’m a little bit nervous.”
“Oh, yeah? Why?”
“Well. I’m excited for three recesses. But I’m a bit nervous about homework.”

You and me both, kiddo. There’s a reason I chose not to homeschool. But we’ll get through it. I’m sure it won’t be that bad. Yet.

So here she is, my first grader, my grade one-er, my almost-six year old, my independently-minded dresser, all ready to head back to school.


When we went to the store last week to pick out first day of school outfits, Fiona was quite drawn to this purple shirt covered in purple unicorns, because PURPLE and UNICORNS so really why look for anything else, since clearly this shirt was perfection. I grabbed a pair of dark navy jeggings to go with it. Super cute and on trend. But then the other day as we were folding clothes and checking to see which pants had been outgrown over the summer, she came across the pair with the silver stars. SPARKLY silver stars.

“Oh, Mumma!” she gasped.

“These are PERFECT because I want my outfit to be MAGICAL.”


The plaid shirt (which just so happened to be last year‘s first day outfit) was added at the last minute because she was cold, but since it has so many colors, it too was deemed magical enough for today’s outfit.

This morning’s requested hairdo was “two braids going into one”, a style that I’m still getting the hang of. But it was ultimately approved, and we moved on to lunchbox negotiations. I’d packed a lunch in her ridiculously adorable froggie lunchbag. But she was concerned that it wasn’t big enough to keep her crackers from getting crushed, and so she said, “Oh! I know a bigger lunchbox! That blue one, that used to have the picture of Mickey Mouse on it!”

You guys. That was MY lunchbox in first grade. The nostalgia, it kills me.

So we moved all the lunch fixin’s over into that one, I snuck in a note and a sticker, and it was off to the bus stop.

(I totally expect her to realize within a day or two that the latch on that 25-year-old lunchbox isn’t exactly the strongest and the chances of her entire lunch ending up on the floor are actually quite high, and hopefully she’ll let me get her something a bit more current.

edited to add: Holy crap, I found it on ebay. I’m super tempted. Even if the description is in all caps. “LUNCH BOX IN INCREDIBLE CONDITION. LOOKS LIKE RARELY USED IT USED AT ALL. PHOTO GREAT CONDITION. THERMOS AND INSIDE NEAR MINT.NEVER SEEN ONE LOOK THIS NEW.”)

Once we got to the bus stop I put away my camera because I didn’t want to be that mom. But then, because SURPRISE I am that mom and I can’t squelch it, I pulled out my phone and kept taking pictures. (Also because I was bored since we got to the bus stop stupid early.)

Finally, the bus arrived, and it was hugs and kisses all around, and off she went.

And it’s been so quiet all day.


She gets home at 3:40. I can’t wait to hear all about her day.