I remember when preparing the kids for the start of school was practically an Olympic event. You’d get the list of school supplies and head off to your local Big Box store to buy your assigned allotment of glue sticks and whiteboard pens, and if you were supposed to have a magenta with teal striped 2.5″ 3-ring binder for a particular subject, well then, you had best find yourself that exact magenta with teal stripes 2.5″ 3-ring binder OR ELSE. Plus the clothes shopping. LORD. Uniforms, for the uniform years, or just replacement of what’s outgrown (him) and stocking the latest trends (her) before the big day.
Preparation for school this year:
Me: Does anyone want to go shopping for clothes? Do either of you need anything?
Chickadee: I’m busy.
I picked up some loose-leaf binder paper one day when I was getting groceries and they had a B1G1 special at the supermarket. Then I ordered a box of pens and half a dozen spiral notebooks from Target. Later that same week Chickadee deigned to go thrifting with me (first day outfit: procured) and I gave Monkey a haircut. Done! I LOVE HIGH SCHOOL!
I lied, I don’t really love high school. But let me show you why.
Exhibit A: As is my habit, I have used privilege to my nefarious benefit and made a deal with my darling daughter involving my car and her access to it during the school year. Specifically, I agreed to allow her to drive to and from school on days when she has after-school activities (read: just about every damn day) provided that she complete a certain task prior to the start of the school year. (*mumblemumbleearlydecisioncollegeapplicationmumble*) While this plan was in negotiation, I further allowed as to how I would even pay for her campus parking permit, because that’s just how nice I am (and parking permits at their school are cheap). So—being the responsible soul she is—Chickie went in about a week before the first day of school to purchase her parking permit.
Chickie: Here’s my application and a check, I would like to get a parking permit.
Office Lady: Oh, we don’t do those until school starts.
Chickie: Oh. Um. What if I drive on the first day? Do I need a permit?
Office Lady: Yes, you need a permit to park.
Chickie: So… can I get one now, so I have it for the first day?
Office Lady: No, you can’t get it until school starts.
Exhibit B: It would not be the start of a new year without the requisite clusterfuck involving class schedules, and this year it was EVEN MORE EXCITING because just about everyone who worked with my kids last year in support/administration has since moved on to other jobs. It’s the public high school equivalent of “Who’s On First?” all up in here, complete with a half-hour-long “Whatever else we do, Monkey must remain in Class A but you need to figure out a way for him to Complete Class B, possibly as an independent study, even though it’s only offered at the same time as Class A” discussion which immediately led to the administrator in question calling the instructor for Class A and insisting that we’d requested he be withdrawn from said class. (NOPE!) And for an encore, someone decided this year that a graduation requirement which has been on my daughter’s transcript for 2+ years as being completed doesn’t actually count, and so she needs to do it again if she wants to graduate. (Even more NOPE! Calling the superintendent levels of NOPEness!)
We had distant relatives visiting this weekend—distant as in “they live really far away,” not as in “not very closely related”—and it was the kids’ first time meeting a cousin of Otto’s who’s actually much closer to their age (she’s 20, I think). This young woman is delightful, though a bit shy, but she is both a mega-crafter and big into gaming, rendering her irresistible to both kids. Somehow, though, we first got her talking with Monkey about some game they both play, and after that, Chickadee sort of refused to attempt to engage with her. “She’s Monkey’s friend now,” she huffed, because that’s how people work—they can only relate to one person and then they’re all used up. (Sorry, Cousin!)
Sometimes I honestly don’t know if my kids are dysfunctional or if they’re just messing with me.
Please hang on while I drink a bunch more coffee, because my sleep last night was rudely interrupted. Before I can explain why, though, I have to back up.
As I have discussed here at length, Duncan will take a dog toy and bat it around, hike it like a football, and generally roll around chewing on it ad infinitum. Licorice, on the other hand, believes all dog toys are nefarious enemies and must be disemboweled and destroyed as quickly as possible. As a result, we have a few precious stuffed toys which belong to Duncan and are only taken out for him to enjoy under close supervision, because otherwise Licorice will steal them and turn them into rags.
So. We have a bunch of these bees for Duncan, and we took one out for him a few days ago, and he was rolling around and enjoying it, and Licorice was skulking around looking jealous, and maybe we weren’t paying as much attention as we should’ve, but eventually it came to our attention that this very soggy bee toy was missing a wing. A whole, 6″ long (or so) double-layer felt wing. We looked around and found no scraps. Otto was convinced that Duncan ate it. I was convinced that Licorice had gotten it and torn it up in another room. There was no evidence, though, and we simply put the bee away and hoped for the best.
Fast forward to the wee hours of this morning: I was awakened from a peaceful slumber to the not-so-dulcet tones of HORKHORKHORK. Lovely! Duncan was over by our door, yakking up some… foam. Super. We got up, I cleaned it up, we offered him some water. He seemed fine. I had a vague memory of the fear that he’d eaten the bee wing, but SO SILLY, NOT POSSIBLE (see also: wishful thinking!), and he was cheerful, if sleepy. We put him up on the bed with us and tried to go back to sleep. About 30 minutes later: HORKHORKHORK (immediately followed by me thinking WHY DID WE PUT HIM ON THE BED??), just as we were drifting off, and I yelled for Otto to turn on his lamp. As I scrambled around trying to find something—ANYTHING—to slide between Duncan and our quilt, Duncan calmly disgorged THE ENTIRE BEE WING. All in one piece, albeit neatly rolled up and soaked in bile. I still have no idea how he swallowed it in the first place, or how a giant piece of fabric sits in a dog’s stomach for several days before his body decides DO NOT WANT, but this may be the only time in the history of my life as a dog owner that I was THRILLED to behold my dog’s vomit (visions of expensive surgery to remove an intestinal blockage dancing in my head, natch). Good job, Duncan! Now don’t ever do that again!
In other words, nothing exciting is happening here.