Friday, September 3, 2010

Week One

While I've been subjecting you to the Alex and Stimey Follies, it's possible you've been wondering how the munchkins are doing at school. It's possible that you're wondering why I haven't mentioned them in days.

Mayhap you've thought to yourself, "Is this IT? Those adorable children all go to school and now I have to listen to this woman yap on and on about all the non-cute things that happen to her and her husband because she doesn't have any awesome kiddie subject matter any more?"

The answer to that is yes. Yes, you do.

But I'll throw you a bone now and again. A small, cute, munchkin-sized rib bone, perhaps. (Aside: The other day, Quinn, who loves ribs, asked if we had to kill people to get the ribs to cook. After we assured him that no, we don't eat people, it occurred to me that the notion of cannibalism certainly hadn't stopped him from eating all the ribs he could find.)

Anyway. How is school going for the wee ones?

Contrary to what you would expect, Sam seems to be having the hardest time adjusting to school. Not in a stressed out, doesn't want to go to school kind of way, but in an exploding when he gets home sort of way.

He's always kind of been like that. He likes to do everything exactly right, so the stress and anxiety of being good and being on his game all day breaks down the second he gets off the bus. Which, you know, great that I'm his safe place and all, but holy crow, I'm tired of being yelled at.

I'm actively seeking ways to help Sam deal with his emotions. Yoga? Meditation? Child psychologist?

On to Jack. Now, I know I'm jinxing everything by saying this, but Jack is a motherfucking rock star. Everyday he gets off the bus and I ask him how school was, and he says, "Awesome." The school hasn't called me once, Jack seems to really like his teacher, and the stumbles that get written about in his communication notebook are getting handled well.

The only problem is that his bus is still really late. Today it arrived nine minutes before school starts and I just about broke my leg doing a happy dance. That is much improved from pick-ups five minutes after school starts (Tuesday and Wednesday) or two minutes before the bell rings (yesterday). I'd call the transportation people, but that would mean I would have to dig his route information out of the pile of crap sitting by my desk.

Oh, and homework? We've only had two nights of (easy) homework thus far, but I seem to have hit on a plan that is working. I set my iPhone timer for 15 minutes (or whatever) and if he finishes before the alarm goes off, he gets to play games on the phone for 15 minutes, plus whatever amount of time is left on the timer. He's been kicking butt. Plus, he had to fill a "personality bag" with five things that show who he is and he actually really participated and thought about it instead of letting me lead.

Really, it's super awesome, but I'm terrified that I'll go soft and happy and then get hit with the be-all end-all death blow of bad behavior or something. So when you speak kindly of Jack's school experience, do so quietly and with stealth.

As for Quinn? Well he is doing great. Evidently his teacher did a magic trick with a goldfish cracker yesterday and Quinn thinks he is a superhero now. He was all emphatic and "My teacher is the best teacher in the whole world!"

That sounded a little bit unlike something Quinn would say, so we asked if his teacher had told him that. Quinn thought for a minute and said, "Hmmmm...Maybe the first day."

Trick to making your young, impressionable kindergarteners think you're awesome? Tell them you're awesome.

Quinn has been my little sidekick/barnacle for so long now, it's kind of weird not having him around all the time. Little reminders of him come up now and again: when I see a dog that Quinn would love to pet, when I see his blanket crumpled on the floor, when I'm refilling a soda cup at 7-11 and the Quinn-sock I didn't see hiding in the bottom bubbles through the ice and soda to the top of the cup.

Seriously though, he's doing great. He successfully bought lunch yesterday and whenever anyone asks him about the bus, he says that it is "SO FUN!" and, yes, those capital letters are there in his words.

Sadly, the bus stop has turned into a scene from a HUAC investigation. The transportation people are cracking down on kids who are technically in the "walk zone" but who take the bus at our bus stop. This guy showed up yesterday with a stern warning and this morning he was there with his florescent vest, his blacklist, his addresses, and his "Do you now or have you ever lived on the other side of that street?"

There was some naming of names. It was kind of horrible. I feel bad for all the kids who are going to have to walk a MILE to school every day because they live 0.15 miles away from me. I'm also waiting for the time when budgets get cut even more and I will have to walk 1.15 miles to school.


The dog is also unduly upset about the whole situation. I am the dog's person and she is always in the same room as me. However, now that all the children are out of the house, she spends school hours forlornly sitting all alone in the living room near the front door. It's a little sad.

There you have it in a nutshell. Week One has been good. I am fairly certain that seconds after clicking "Publish Post" that my phone will ring with a terrible call from the school, but so far so good, no news is good news, knock on wood, and any other happy cliche you can think of.

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