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Padma Lakshmi Talks Emotional First Day of School for Daughter Krishna

All grown-up! Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s only child, Krishna, took off for her first day of school on Wednesday, September 7 — but before stepping foot into first grade, she proved that she’s definitely Mommy’s girl by twinning with the 46-year-old.

“She wanted to match, so we both wore the same thing,” Lakshmi told Us Weekly exclusively later that evening at the U.S. Open in the Flushing neighborhood in Queens. “She is really darling and it’s fun to dress her.”

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Even though the 6-year-old was returning to the same school she went to for kindergarten, Lakshmi says this was far more emotional. “I was like, ‘This is it. This is a really big day. This is the start of your academic career.’ It’s a really big milestone.”

But the spunky tyke — who wore a white pleated dress, black leather jacket and black boots like her mom’s that day — didn’t quite see it the same way. Lakshmi said: “She was just like, ‘Yeah, bye, Mom!’”

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi attends the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express Amex Card Members-Only Event at the 2016 U.S. Open.

Lakshmi — who shares the little girl with venture capitalist Adam Dell — told Us that the moment gave her flashbacks to her own independent days. “It felt like when my mom used to drop me off at the airport to send me back to India! It felt like that.”

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What made it even more difficult for the author — whose newest book, The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs, hits shelves October 4 — was that the working mom was on the go that evening, first with an Emmy Awards fitting and then a visit to the Starwood Preferred Guests–American Express members-only pavilion at the U.S. Open (“It’s a great New York tradition!”), where she enjoyed watching Serena Williams’ quarterfinal match while eating tacos.

Related: PHOTOS: Stars and Their Moms

“I was FaceTiming her on the way here in the car and she was like, ‘Why can’t I come?’” Lakshmi said. “And I was like, ‘This is your bedtime!’ And it’s the first day of school. She’s already on a bad time schedule still from summer. I was very tempted to bring her, especially because I thought she looked so cute!”

But the reality TV host knows where she’s coming from: “Like every parent, I am very biased, but she’s a big part of my life.”

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