Friday, August 28, 2009

The First Day of School

I think my husband and I were just as nervous as our son on the first day of school. We were both up before the alarm. Wanting the morning to be special I made his favorite breakfast, sausage patties and blueberry pancakes. Then I made the lunch he had ordered a week ago; PB&J, apples, carrots with dip, and chocolate milk. He was not sure that he wanted to buy milk on the first day.

Our three-year-old who was up with me at 6:30 a.m. was impossible to keep quiet and content by 7:00 a.m. He wanted the pancakes, he wanted a lunchbox, mostly he wanted to wake up his brother. Being too nervous and emotional to use a real parenting technique I gave in quickly. He was happy with Chocolate soy milk in a thermos and cinnamon Goldfish crackers in Tupperware, Thank God.

My son had decided that he wanted to wear khaki shorts and a golf shirt to school. I was so impressed! and unprepared - I was still scrambling to get them clean and dry before 9:00 a.m. As well as getting myself semi-presentable, find our camera and two AA batteries so that I might get a picture or two.

The morning really seemed to be cruising along which should have been a warning for me because normal mornings do not go that smoothly in our house. The Findergartner woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. We all ate and talked then the three-year-old threw a fit. My husband wasn't buying my parenting style and tried to enforce discipline. The 6 year-old and I left.

My big man is scared of going anywhere in our house by himself right now. I am just hoping this phase passes quickly. So we went upstairs together to get dressed. As I sat on his bed while he changed he asked me about college. I can't remember the question I wasn't paying attention really, he's starting first grade not college. But my answer was wrong, all wrong!

"Well you move away for college, you live there and go to school." I said nonchalantly.
"I have to go away? I can't live with you? I have to get myself up and make my own breakfast?" he cried, tears rolling down his face. What did I say? I'm suppose to be crying not him!

I quickly scooped him up and reassured him that he had a long time before he needed to worry about college and when that time came he would gladly move out. I told him that he was only going to first grade and I promised the day would be over before he knew it and I would be there waiting at the door.

He pulled it together quite nicely. Joyfully he gathered his supply bag, backpack, and lunchbox and made silly faces while I tried to get a picture. He hopped in the car and off they went. I stood waving, crying, and thinking how fast they grow-up. I held my baby now three years old and was thankful that he doesn't start pre-school for two weeks.

Someone told me when I was pregnant with him to cherish the time they were inside of you, you always know where they are and what they are doing. Wise words wasted on a first time mom.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This year I have a Findergartner. What is that you might ask? That is what I have been calling my son - whose in the 1st grade. I can't quite get kindergarten out of my head nor can I wrap my hands around 1st grade.

He has been a little nervous the past two weeks. He'll ask a question out of the blue about where he'll eat lunch, how he'll get to school, who his teacher will be and then tell us what he'll be doing. For example; the first thing was lunch, we talked about the cafeteria, getting a tray and eating lunch with his friends. That's when he announced that he would need to pack EVERYDAY. His food Nazis father was more than OK with that but I fought hard for one meal a week - they can get pizza everyday for goodness sake! We were lucky to get it twice a month even during Lent.

I went to a Catholic School where several very old looking ladies came in at 5:00 a.m. and starting cooking lunch. Most of what we were served was homemade by these ladies which is why of course all we wanted was the government issued straight from the freezer pizza.

Then the bus ride came up and he was adamant that he was not riding that bus. Daddy had to take him everyday and I had to pick him up. I have trouble fighting him on the bus ride I hated it myself. When I was in school they didn't assign seats like they do now. Where you sat determined how cool you were and how picked on you would get. Jerry Bertke was relentless and even wrote in my 4th grade year book "To the ugliest little ----" Took me six years and several dates with him to get revenge, I mean get over that.

At his elementary school you are not suppose to find out your teacher until Packet pick-up day. I personally do not understand it because having gone to that very small Catholic school you unfortunately knew exactly who you would have the next year. So not knowing who his teacher would be was the only hurdle left. Until someone left the cat out of the bag. One neighbor saw a class list and the other got the 1st grade teacher that sent out a Welcome letter a month before school.

So much for keeping it secret. All that is left is the first day jitters. I'm just not sure who is more nervous, him or me?

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's with Facebook?

O.k. so if one more person tells me that I have to get on Facebook I am going to scream.

Was it not enough that I was not popular in high school? That I didn't have many friends? That I was just on the outside of the it crowd? That I didn't get invited to parties and had five people at my "sweet sixteen" party because that's all my mom could come up with!

Now you want me to be unpopular in Cyberspace too! Please, give me one place where I can play in the illusion that I have friends. Facebook would be like being nominated for Prom Queen and getting beat- all over again. No thank you!!

My high school experience made the ABC After School Specials look like a joke. If ever there was someone who had good reason to home school their children - considering their school experiences - it's me.

My Kindergarten teacher didn't even like me. Gee wonder if she is still alive maybe she could look me up and harass me about not being able to tell time some more. Or maybe the dance teacher I had for ten years could tease me about not knowing my right from my left. Then there is the School nurse that I saw everyday for seven years of Catholic school. She could ask if I am finally over my "faking it" and getting a life. Let's not forget the High School Guidance Counselor who laughed his butt off when I told him I was going to college. He told me to find a rich old man, get married, and take the money because I would never make it. I am sure he'd like a little confirmation.

Nope! Facebook is not for me. I like being only semi-cyber savvy and totally incognito.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Driving at 15?

So in several of our great states someone had the brilliant idea to let teenagers get their driving permit at 15 1/2. I am not sure who in their right mind thought that would be a good idea, but they are dumb.

Teenagers are dumb. I know this first hand because I was one. A teenager - and a dumb one. We have a friend who is going through this now with her son who will turn 16 in December. He is so upset because she won't pay out all the money necessary for him to take the test, get the lessons and insurance immediately. Now she has never refused to let him get a Drivers License, just that she is not going to shell out the money at 15 1/2.

Just this morning, as I turned out of our neighborhood I was almost struck twice as two teenagers, each driving an SUV, pulling out of the park across the street both thought that they had the right of way. They were making a left hand turn! I know it's been 25 years since my Drivers Education but when do you ever have the right of way making a left hand turn? NEVER!

Without getting into a lot of detail about just HOW dumb I was - that would surely prompt a call from my parents (YOU DID WHAT!) and possibly indict me on several counts of vehicular stupidity. I think that letting a teenager loose in a car is like letting a three year-old loose in a Toys R Us. It's raging hormones behind the wheel of a one ton assault weapon. Wait that's a pregnant mom in a mini-van.

Suffice it to say, I am really against letting children get behind the wheel of a car any sooner then they already do and if I knew who the idiot was that proposed the legislation I'd put out an APD on him - All Pregnant Drivers Alert!

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Baaacck!

We all survived vacation, mostly intact. The plan was to start out by 6 a.m. on a Friday morning. So we put the kids to bed and hurried to finish packing the car, and put the kids back to bed, and finish cleaning the house, and put the kids back to bed, and you get the picture. It was after midnight when we finally laid down and set the alarm clock. Little did we know we wouldn't need it. At 2:30 a.m. my three year-old climbed in bed with me - he was on fire! Perfect we knew someone had to get sick right?

After some Motrin and a message for the Dr.'s office we went back to sleep for a few more hours before we headed out for vacation via the Doctor's office, the pharmacy, and the bank. Instead of 6 a.m. it was more like 10 a.m.. But we are on vacation, we are not in a hurry, we don't need to be in Colorado until Sunday because that's when we are expected, at some one elses house where we will be staying.

All I heard for the first four hours of the trip - "We are four hours behind schedule!"
"No" I kept trying to say lovingly, "We are a day ahead of schedule. She is not expecting us until Sunday. If you showed up at my house an entire day early, I'd have to kill you." This did not get through that thick Greek skull. The other thing he had trouble hearing, which I knew would be a problem was, "Please stop we have to Pee!" We made it to Kansas City, Kansas on the first day tired, hungry, and eyes balls floating.

The three-year-old has acquired the knick-name Little Pooper. There are several reasons, his disposition, his tantrums, and his lack of appropriate potty skills. The first leg of the trip went well because he was too doped up on Motrin and dehydrated from the fever to be a problem. Day two however, a different story. After the third pair of underwear and pants by 10 a.m. I tried to convince him to wear a diaper just for the car ride. NO WAY! Maybe I could?

I just tried to keep my voice from shrieking at this point as I no longer gently persuaded my husband to stop more frequently or perhaps all together because - "We are not expected to show up today!!!!!!!" We were in Colorado by 6 p.m. Imagine how well the rest of the vacation went with my level of input.

I think what the boys will remember the most is Star Wars, Hotel pools, and room service. Thanks to a very generous friend the boys watched the Star Wars trilogy on the way out to Colorado and the way back. I have just two words for our friend - THANK YOU!!

Actually the biggest hit of the car ride was the Car Bingo game which everyone got into even my husband who at times had to be reminded to keep his eyes on the road. He also really got into finding a licence plate from every state and since he did all the driving (once again demonstrating my lack of control here) we only had nine states left to find. We also had plenty of Library books to read and listen to on CD. Those came in very handy when I had to crawl into the front seat to fix Mrs. Tomtom (the GPS) because my husband was convinced she did not know where she was going.

Several people have asked why in the world we would drive for two days, don't ask me quite yet, I'm still trying to figure that out. Will I ever do it again - well if I ever want to take a vacation I can afford I guess that I will have to. At least we have Car Bingo!!