Archive for December, 2007

Random wrap-up

December 28, 2007

I’m glad it’s Christmas vacation. Reagan is getting a break from her bullying situation. Hopefully that will blow over during the holidays. Maybe not, though, since the Tuesday before break the other child struck Reagan at school and we called the police…. I’m hoping that won’t make the situation worse, but fear it might, because the other girl seems to have no remorse or fear of authority.

We had a nice Christmas. The kids mainly got books; Reagan’s list consisted of 22 of them, and I was able to find all but one. Taylor got books plus a few video games.

But onto present day. Last night my husband and daughter were both explosively, projectile vomiting ill. Ugh. And I am an awful nurse. I mainly remained in bed and thought the following:

1. Ick.

2. Can’t you go vomit in the OTHER bathroom?

3. Oh, and while you’re up, how about getting me a drink of cold water. Crushed ice, not cubes, please.

4. And make sure you put on a pair of gloves before you handle the glass; I don’t want to get sick, too.

5. You’re up again? Ugh. Maybe you could just lie on the bathroom floor for awhile? All this getting up and down to upchuck is keeping me awake.

6. Really, again? How big, exactly, is your stomach, that it can hold such quantities of food to rohlf back up?

7. The couch is comfy… and out of earshot, how about giving it a try?

8. How about getting out the lysol and spraying everything down before you infect the rest of us?

9. OMG, all this puking is making me sick….

As you can see, I could NEVER be a doctor or a nurse.

I’m at work now, and frankly relieved to be out of the house of illness. It’s likely my boss will call and let me leave early (day before a holiday) but I’m thinking of asking to stay. Or sneaking into Peoria instead of going home.

I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve. We stay home and have a few friends over. It’s the birthday of my bff’s youngest child so it’s a double celebration for us.

I hope everyone else is enjoying the holidays, too, and thinking up lots of wonderful blog posts to keep me entertained!

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Senior citizen discount…

December 26, 2007

Recently my 7th grade daughter mentioned two girls in her class who are going to a movie one night with two boys a grade older.

It took me a minute to realize she meant on a double date. In 7th grade? Maybe I’m old fashioned, out of touch, but that seems a bit young.

I was glad that she told me, and I could tell by her face after the pronouncement that she was gauging my reaction. A perfect opportunity to reiterate my views on the matter. The lecture conversation went something like this:

“Sweetie, it’s natural for kids your age to start liking others in a romantic way, but I really think 7th grade is a bit young to be going on a date. Right now you should be focused on school, your family and friends. You will have plenty of time in the future to go on dates.”

She seemed satisfied with that, but did say “What about in 4th grade? When you let me go on a double date to see ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat’ with Z.?”

That was different, not because they were in 4th grade, not because they were “just friends.” Rather, because their ‘double date’ consisted of Z., Reagan, and his grandparents.

Now, if a boy asks her to the movies and is bringing his Meemaw and Papaw, well, we’ll consider the request. In fact, maybe that should be our new dating rule, not “You can’t date until you’re 16,” but “You can’t date unless two elderly family members chaperone…”

Crossing my toes…

December 19, 2007

Today my son and his 8th grade class are taking the Constitution test, the exam you must pass to be promoted to 9th grade.

The teacher prepares them very well for the test. There are tons of worksheets, essays and packets of paper for them to fill out and study in the preceding weeks. Plus, he apparently scares the living be-jesus out of them with the threat of retention.

Dire enough warnings that Taylor’s friend B. proclaimed:
“I’ve been studying everyday for two weeks WITHOUT even having the TV on!”

Son of a beach.

December 17, 2007

Taylor just called me at work, his complaint failed the “Are you bleeding from a head wound? Is the house on fire?” test.

Instead it involved foul language, and included Reagan shouting in the background, “I SAID FUDGE!!!!”

And, to think, I got an A in Comp 110 and Comp 111.

December 17, 2007

cash advance

Safety

December 17, 2007

Recently I was reading a thread about the mall shootings in Nebraska. The poster was asking if that tragedy has caused you to think twice about going to the mall and if you worry while you are there that something might happen.

I started to write a comment but didn’t post it realizing I sound like an idiot.

I am the least safety conscious person ever.

We don’t lock our house doors, ever. I actually have no idea where a house key might be..

I don’t lock my car doors, either. I even leave it running when I go into our little local grocery store, often with my purse and cell phone on the front passenger’s seat.

When it accompanies me, my purse often sits in a shopping cart, unattended, while I wander farther down the aisle.

I don’t shred anything, just pitch credit card bills/offers right in the trash.

My social security card is in my wallet, right next to my driver’s license and a little paper with all my PIN numbers.

And not only do I do all of the above, but I have a not very anonymous blog in which I write about it….

So, am I an idiot?

I prefer to think of myself as trusting in nature. (Okay, it’s more a combo of trusting and careless.)

Recently, though, I have started to wonder, “Am I doing my kids’ a disservice? Am I setting a poor example?” I want them to like people, to trust people, to be kind and not bitter or suspicious. But I also don’t want them to be victims, as my daughter recently was, when her phone was pick pocketed from her purse during P.E.

We live in a very small town and suffer from safety complacency. Of course, I make my kids buckle up, discourage them from smoking/drinking/drugs, yet, beyond brief reminders of “stranger danger*” during their childhood, I’ve tried so hard to shield them from the evils of the world.

Now I wonder if I’ve done too good of a job, if, like me, they will walk around with rose-tinted glasses, never taking safety precautions that will be necessary at college, living in a larger town, living in an increasingly dangerous** world.

*”Stranger danger” as a message somewhat irks me, as most crimes against children are committed, unfortunately, by people they know.

**I don’t necessarily think the world is more dangerous, just that it may feel so, due to the large amount of publicity “big” cases get and the increasing awareness of the world we have via the internet…

Obama or Clinton?

December 11, 2007

Reagan and her best friend P. just made up from a month long argument. Reagan told me “I’m glad we made up, we both like to read and can talk about books. And politics, we both like to talk about politics.”

Bitch, part 2

December 10, 2007

I should entitle this post “Why B.’s (step)mom is a BITCH.”

Talking to Taylor’s friend B. in the car, we had the following conversation:

B: “When I get my license, will you buy me a nicer car than my dad’s going to?”
Me: (jokingly) “B. I’ll buy you a nicer car if you buy me a nicer house.”
B: “There is a house being built next door to mine.”
Me: “Oh, perfect, then we could be neighbors!”
B: “But what about *C.?” (*C. is the stepmom)
Me: (lying) “She’s always been nice to me; it would be fine.”

B: (turning around and asking Taylor) “You didn’t tell her?”
Taylor responded in the negative and kept his eyes cast down.

B: “C. says you are scum.”

I asked Taylor if she had said this in front of him. He mumbled “Yes.”

Me: “Why does she think that I am ‘scum?'”
B: “Because your house is messy.”

Now, my house is messy. Not “Oprah, I’m a hoarder with 60 tons of trash in my house” messy, but your average “the toilet needs scrubbed, shoes in the entryway, stacks of bills on the dining room table” messy.

I pointed out that C. has never been inside my house.

B: “One time when she picked me up, she saw your table through the window and there was stuff on it, so she says your house is messy.”

Me: (Holding my tongue, wanting to screech BITCH) “Blake, yes, my house is messy, and if C. doesn’t like me because of that, that’s her right. But, she really shouldn’t talk like that in front of you, or Taylor.”

Apparently, this conversation about us being scum happened last weekend, after C. hit B. in front of Taylor. She said B. was trying to embarrass her in front of Taylor, but that it didn’t matter because we are “scum.”

I am, frankly, almost as shocked about this as I was about the actual slapping. How bitter. How unkind.

Now, my dilemma, do I say anything? Her behavior was, obviously, completely inappropriate. However, Taylor rarely (and now, NEVER) goes over to their house. And B. might face some swift and terrible retribution if C. is confronted. B. is Taylor’s best friend, a constant presence in our house, and I would really hate for our house, his refuge, to be withheld. But it’s really, really hard to hold my tongue.

I have come up with one plan. If C. shows up at any of Taylor and B.’s ball games I thought I would sit by her. And be very, very nice. Chat her up. Start a conversation about how difficult it can be to raise teenagers. How sometimes they can be so aggravating that one might feel the urge to slap them, but how, of course, that would be completely inappropriate. Oh, and by, the way, do you know any house cleaners? my house has been rather untidy of late and I really could use some professional help.

Reproduction

December 6, 2007

My daughter’s 7th grade cellular biology class is currently studying sexual reproduction.

Reagan says a lot of the kids ask “really embarrassing questions.”

One girl’s question:
“Mr. G. when they look at the baby in a sonogram how do they tell if it’s a boy or a girl?”

The teachers response (blushing): “Uhhhh… they look to see if it has ‘girl parts’ or ‘boy parts.'”

(Sadly when I was pregnant with Taylor, one of Chris’s friends asked the same question; he was twenty-five at the time.)

The next girl asked:
“So what if the baby has both girl parts and boy parts?”

Reagan can’t remember what the teacher replied, but I doubt he used the word “hermaphrodite” in the answer.

There was also a question about homosexuality. The teacher’s response: “It’s when a boy feels like a girl or a girl feels like a boy.”

Um, no, that would be transsexual.

I really like this particular teacher. He’s engaging, enthusiastic, intelligent and really likes children. However, he does seem ill-equipped to handle sex ed questions, questions that curious children will likely ask when doing a unit on sexual reproduction, despite the teacher’s attempts to keep the class focused on the cellular level.

Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising. I had a Biology teacher at *ICC that covered the male sex organs, totally skipped their female counterparts, moved on to sexually transmitted diseases but had never heard of the human papilloma virus (hpv), the most common STD. He taught, oddly, a Biology class at ICC and automotive repairs at another college; hopefully he was more comfortable teaching about carburetors than clitorises, valves than vaginas.

*I’m not impugning ICC, I actually LOVED ICC and had some of the best teachers there, this particular teacher, however, was a dud. Seriously, before our first test (covering three chapters, all essay) I asked “Are there any particular topics that we should focus on in preparing for the test?” and he responded “Ms. J_______, if I’ve MENTIONED something in class, it’s important, so you should know it for the test.” (Shit, he would lecture the entire class, no overhead, no powerpoint, just lecture the entire class period, so I had, like 100 pages of notes for the first test.)

Bullying

December 5, 2007

Yesterday I wrote about my daughter’s phone theft.

Today things are worse. While at school yesterday the girl that stole the phone, Miranda, threatened to punch Reagan in the face. She also told everyone that Reagan lost the phone and is lying, blaming it on her.

Sides are being drawn between who believes Reagan and who believes the thief.

Unfortunately in middle school the reasoning isn’t all that logical. None of the kids are thinking, “What motivation would Reagan have to lie?” or “Why would she blame Miranda when they were friends?” or noting the fact that Miranda has been in trouble over various incidents ever since she came to the school and that Reagan has never been in trouble.

It is breaking my heart to see the aftermath my daughter is dealing with. She did nothing wrong. And while I do believe the majority of kids believe her, there are still the ones that are saying things to her like “Why are you lying about Miranda?”

And, she is having to deal with a bullying situation, with a girl that is older, bigger and way tougher than her.

I have called and talked to the principal about it. I also called the girl’s grandmother, who apologized and said that Miranda has had a hard life; that her mother is in jail. (I wanted to ask, “for stealing?”) But basically her attitude was “what can I do?”

As childishly whiny as it sounds, my inner voice keeps wailing “It’s just not fair.”