Before long I was laughing so hard I was in tears (really, the only way to experience true laughter) as I began contemplating the difference between my first, second, and even third child compared with little Elizabeth Jane. I clearly remember Ryan's first day of pre-school down to the neatly combed hair, tucked in red and white stripped shirt and even (heaven forbid) matching red tennis shoes. Caroline must have had a neatly pressed smocked dress, curled hair, and a matching bow. And I at least REMEMBERED the day Sophie had her pre-school pictures and sent her to school somewhat presentable. Something mysterious has happened from the first three kids to my last. For one thing, I let Liza wear light-up, character shoes - something that was outlawed for the first three children. I also allow Liza to dress how she pleases, despite Caroline's protests of "Mom, you CAN'T let her out of the house looking like that!!" Finally, I don't get embarrassed by anything Liza says or does in public, even if she annouces quite loudly, "That guy with the green hair is SOOO freaky!" Usually, I just smile and agree with her because she's usually right and because as a child she doesn't feel the restrictions that social etiquette requires of the rest of us.
Unfortunately, I'm now "that" mom in Kindermusik class who, when the teacher asks all the children to get out their homemade boats, gets that blank stare that translates into "what boat?" I suppose it's the fate of all last children, but I don't think they are traumatized by the lack of attention. Just look at Liza - she's by far the most independent, creative, not to mention funniest kid in the house. As for the picture, it looks like we're going to have to wait for the actual printed school pic to come home to see what she wore that day.
But this thought just came to mind: Wednesday was the day I let her do her own hair and I do clearly remember her teacher walking her out to the car after school with her hair combed and the little clippy Liza had originally haphazardly placed in her hair was now in a different place entirely, pulling her bangs out of her face, and I thought to myself: "how nice, her teachers fixed her hair." Now I know why ;-)