Oh, the joy of a long weekend! The sleeping in! The holiday food! The family togetherness!
The quiet implosion when you attempt to return to your previous schedule!
[And hey, speaking of schedules, I realized yesterday that it had been over a week since my MRI adventure and I hadn’t heard a thing, so I called my doctor to inquire. They informed me that they haven’t received the report, yet, but will call when they do. Fine. I was almost content to assume “no news is good news” from that, buuuuuut then in the mail I got an official-looking letter letting me know that my mammogram yielded abnormal results and would require further investigation and please call right away. Not the MRI, mind you. But the mammogram. You know, the mammogram I had TWO MONTHS AGO? I told Otto to put this on my tombstone: “We just got a letter back about her MRI.”]
Anyway, it’s back to the daily grind around here. Once I had children I understood why they call it a GRIND.
Chickadee is doing a biography project for school on Laura Ingalls Wilder. Of course. Given the chance to do anything vaguely historical and biographical, she always chooses Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Except when half the girls in her class have chosen Wilder, in which case she decides she’s a dead ringer for Rosa Parks.)
This project was assigned before the break, and of course she did no work on it over the long weekend. Oh, I reminded her of it a couple of times. I may have gently suggested she get to work. Each time she demurred, pointing out that she DIDN’T HAVE ANY POSTERBOARD. As if I should understand that without posterboard, learning and productivity was simply impossible.
Otto picked up the damn posterboard for her on Monday. And then we sat down to go over what she needed to do, and she actually has a pretty good outline and plan, but given all of the requirements of the project, she of course latched on to the ONE thing that would simultaneously take the most time and be the least important: She spent the better part of the evening drawing a picture of Ms. Wilder.
Now, FINE, I can see the value in this as part of the project, sure. Perhaps a representation of the clothing worn back in her time period? The difference in hair style, even? But no. My daughter spent an hour sketching an enormous face with two braids dangling down behind it.
“Did you want to, uh, draw ALL of her?” I asked. “You know, to show the clothing?”
“No,” she replied, “then the kids in the back won’t be able to see it very well.” She continued to bend over the floating head. She sat up and scrutinized it. “The eyes are too high,” she declared, and bent to erasing them.
And then I became speechless with frustration and subsequently died. I’d say it’s too bad I won’t be around to help her finish the project, but with or without my help I suspect it’s gonna be a large hunk of posterboard sporting a disembodied head that could be just about anyone whose eyes have been VERY CAREFULLY placed.
She got a bit more done yesterday, and this morning at breakfast I informed her that we are FINISHING HER PROJECT tonight because it’s due Friday and Thursday is our busy afternoon. She agreed with great enthusiasm… enthusiasm which I predict will last until two minutes after she walks in the door this afternoon and discovers that I expect her to actually, you know, WORK ON IT.
As for Monkey, we’ve reached a critical juncture in the hair-growing-out process. Up until the kids went back to school, his shaggy mop was still short(ish) enough that I was essentially cutting bangs for him. As his insistence on growing it LONG continues, I have stopped trimming, because the only thing that’s going to look dorkier than a scrawny little boy with long hair is a scrawny little boy with long hair and bangs like a girl. We (and by “we” I mean “I”) decided that if he truly wanted to keep growing it, we’d grow out the bangs as well.
In theory, someday it’ll all be long enough for a ponytail, which I will then force him to wear to school, because GOOD LORD BOY, STOP SHAKING ALL OF YOUR HAIR INTO YOUR EYES.
If he was a girl, this is the point where we’d use barrettes every day to keep the hair in front out of his eyes. I obviously cannot do that with him (or, I guess I COULD, if I always wanted to tape a BEAT ME UP, I’M A PANSY sign on his back), so we’re working on finding ways to keep his line of sight clear during this follicularly challenging time.
This morning, I slicked the hair above his forehead back with a touch of hair gel. JUST A TOUCH. I didn’t want to send him to school all crunchy. But I also hear tell that his teacher has threatened to cut his hair, and desperate times call for desperate measures.
This past weekend Otto and I were digging through some photos from the past year, getting ready to put together our annual Here You Go Grandparents, It’s A Calendar Featuring Goofy Pictures Of Your Grandchildren gift, and I was struck by how YOUNG Monkey looks in those photos from less than a year ago, when his hair was still short. Now he looks older. Now he looks like a hippie-dippy folk singer who’s been shrunken down to half his size and forced to repeat the second grade. And I’m just not sure that hair gel fits into that whole vibe, frankly. (Nor was he amused by my suggestion that the next time he doesn’t know an answer in class, he simply respond, “The answer my friends / Is blowing in the wind.”)
Of course, I may just be focusing on his hair because it’s less aggravating than anything else school-related, like how Monkey got into trouble yesterday for kicking a table in computer class. I don’t condone the kicking (or the loss of control that precipitated it), but he asked the teacher to please repeat some directions and she told him “No, you’re old enough to listen.” And you know, yes, he IS old enough to listen, but he is also basically incapable of multitasking in a noisy room, and OH YEAH, it’s WRITTEN INTO HIS 504 ACCOMMODATIONS that he is to be allowed repetition of directions when necessary. So, THANKS COMPUTER TEACHER, for not only ignoring his 504 Plan but also shaming him in front of the entire class while doing so! AWESOME!
As upset as I am with him for kicking the table, a small part of me wishes he’d kicked the stupid TEACHER.
So. Yes. We’re back to school. And it’s ALL KINDS OF GREAT! I sure am going to be sad when winter break rolls around.
In three and a half weeks.
Not that I’m counting.