The letter P.

You guys, I fell asleep writing this last night.

I kinda want to leave it how it is because it slowly doesn’t make any sense which is exactly how life goes. I won’t do that to you. I’m re-writing P. And now I have Q to write today too and this is the point where I regret starting this A to Z writing challenge.

I struggled with P yesterday.

P is inappropriate – penis, poop, period, puberty, pimples.

P is boring. Pregnant. Oh, hell no. Pinterest. Meh. Purple. I don’t know. Pancakes! I suck at turning pancakes. There. That’s all I have on pancakes.

I decided to go with the mother of all Ps.

The letter P.

Parenting.

Parenting is a broad subject. I mean, what are we talking about here? Helicopter parenting? Newborn parenting? Teenager parenting? Biological vs. adopted parenting? Mothers vs. fathers? Step parenting? 

I’m not an expert. I’m not an expert at anything really. Even writing – am I an expert? “NO!” shouts every English teacher. I’m definitely not an expert on kids. I have two. I only know my own experience.

Unsolicited parenting advice on the school-age years? Maybe it’s more of a heads-up.

That’s the letter P for you.

  • If you have a daughter, you will need a bonnet. No, not for cutesy pictures when she’s an infant but for school dress-up projects. I don’t know why no one ever told me this – there are times in your kid’s school life that they will need to dress up like a pilgrim, the wax museum project, or a Civil War era woman. There’s always a bonnet and long skirt involved. Start looking now. And get your son a top hat.
  • It’s totally cool that your 2nd grader doesn’t know how to tie shoe laces. I still need to teach Kate. No one from the school has said anything to me about her velcro shoes. We’re cool.
  • Opposite sex parents are heavily favored. If you lost the lottery in passing your sex gene along, the school helps make it all ok. The father-daughter dance. The mother-son Kansas City Royals game. What about the mother-daughter? I’m special too, damnit. Oh! No, I don’t want to volunteer to plan an event.
  • Summer camps are worth every penny. Sure, it’s hard to shell out $400 for a 4-day, half-day camp for two kids but it will feel like a two-week vacation. Start saving money now. These things should have been paid for in February of 2014. The kid’s summer camp is a breath of fresh air in the middle of summer. A glorious Monday through Thursday in half day solitude. Bonus! Your kids will be exhausted.
  • You’ll ugly cry on the first day of Kindergarten. You’re a newbie parent. Us older parents – we get it – it’s a sad day. I give it one year and you, too, will be toasting your kid off to first grade with a coffee in hand, a skip hop back to your car, and the biggest smile on your face that will rival your wedding day.
  • After-school activities might just kill you. Financially and emotionally. Dinners are quick. Weekends are gone. It’s fine. We’re all fine. We totally have a life. I heard some great advice from my ear doctor – what? – cherish the time in the car. It’s really the only time you have trapped in an enclosed space with your school-aged kid. Use it to talk to them and tell them, “in my day, I didn’t have iPods to play with in the car so talk to me.”
  • Don’t you worry. If you have daughters, they will talk to you. And talk. And talk. And talk. WAKE UP! She’s talking again. I don’t have sons so I don’t know if they talk as much but the rumors are they don’t. I could be wrong, maybe it’s school-aged kids in general. My kids won’t shut up. I’m rambling. I’ll stop.
  • Long division will appear in your life again. It’s complete bullshit.
  • Foreign languages start earlier. This may vary from state to state or even district to district. My kids speak Spanish. They started learning Spanish from a girl named Dora in preschool and they never stopped. They know everything I learned in middle school. Middle school teachers no hablan ingles. By high school, my kids will be fluent in yelling at me in Spanish cuss words and I’ll be giving them the blinking Dora stare.
  • By the way, it’s called middle school. If you dare drop the words “junior high” your kids will scream at you. “No one says that anymore, mom! Stop it. That’s embarrassing.”
  • Practice equality with the kids. Your kids will remember. Kids won’t have any memories from before ages 4 or 5. Only you will remember your baby’s first step or your toddler using a plunger to plunge the potty training toilet. The school-aged years are fun because not only do you remember what happened but so do your kids. If you eat lunch at school with daughter number one, daughter number two will find out by recess. She won’t confront you that day. Oh no. She’ll file that shit in her brain. She’ll confront you months later and will threaten to tell her teacher that her mom plays favorites if you don’t eat lunch with her too.
  • Practice creativity because the parent projects are heading your way. Oh, yes. You will have homework such as printing off pictures of the family at midnight or interviewing Google headquarters. The parent at-home projects are 50% of your kid’s grade. The other 50% is to show off your parent skills in the hallway. I saw that on Pinterest, nice try. 
  • Remember that lice is not a medical threat. Lice isn’t a medical threat but it will make you want to set your house on fire because an arson charge is easier to deal with. Stop scratching your head. You’re fine.
  • Get a calendar. The school calendar will become a full time job. You won’t be able to memorize anything; it’s overwhelming. You will spend at least an hour of your life per week filling in spaces. If you let go of the calendar, your crazy mom will show because your life and your kids’ lives will collapse.
  • Dress your kids in something you would wear. My point here is that you will naturally want to make your kids’ lives better than your life at that age. I will never forget the day my junior high math teacher pointed out to the class that I was wearing roman numerals all over my shirt and she was so proud. The class busted out laughing and I’m just going to die right here in that memory.
  • Get a backbone. The insults are coming. You will be called the worst mother ever by your daughter and your daughter doesn’t even know why.
  • “Hi, this is the school nurse calling…” This is how your day gets ruined. Plus a doctor’s bill.
  • You’re always exhausted. Unlike new parents, you sleep through the night undisturbed. Doesn’t matter. You will fall asleep in bed while working on your favorite hobby. Parenting – it’s like magic.

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P.jpg

I had one job.

“Mom! How could you forget about us?”

“Mommy! We were the last ones at school!”

“Thanks a lot, Mom.”

It happened. I forgot to pick up my kids from school.

Six solid years picking up my kids from school and today is the day I sucked as a mom. I’ve had days where I sleep in and they’re late to school. That’s to be expected of a night owl and owlet children.

But I’m never late picking them up. School is out at 3:40 p.m. and I’m there. If I can’t be there, I arrange for someone else to be there.

There was no arrangement. I rolled into the parking lot at 3:55 p.m. half expecting child protective services to be waiting for me. My reason for forgetting my kids – I was reading a book.

The book is called, “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry: A Novel” by Fredrik Backman.

It’s about a 7-year-old girl, Elsa. Elsa’s grandma is dying. On her deathbed, she asks Elsa to deliver letters for her after she’s gone. Each letter apologizes to people her grandmother wronged.

I was on a waiting list at the library for this book. I waited two months before the library notified me that the book was ready. I picked it up about three weeks ago. Long story, short – I started the book this morning. I realized it’s due back tomorrow. I opened my library app to renew the book and it said I couldn’t  renew. There’s a waitlist and it’s due tomorrow. No exceptions.

“Speed read day” turned into “forgetting about the kids at school day” turned into “the library asked me to tell you they’re sorry for your mom sucking, kids” turned into “I’m sorry I don’t have time to even write this blog post.”

___________

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nanopoblano1

 

Naked Bailey.

Homework: Bailey, the class stuffed pet will be spending a week with each student in the class. This week is your child’s turn to have Bailey. Write a journal entry on Bailey’s adventures with your family. Make sure your child writes in the 3rd person (as if Bailey was talking).

Oh, this will be fun.

My audience: 7-8 year olds.

My objective: Make them laugh.

I hope her teacher isn’t reading this because uh, this was all me. I spread notepads all over the table. I pulled out my calendar to see what was going on for the week. I kicked around ideas out loud with Emma.

Ok, Em. There needs to be a story here. We can’t just ramble what Bailey did with us. This is storytelling. This is what writers do. Bailey is going to have a problem. Bailey needs to fix the problem. Then Bailey is going to be happy to move on to the next house. You’re reading this out loud, right?

Yeah, I will read it to the class.

Ok. Let’s make your friends laugh.

My adventure with Emma began at Emma’s house. I was so excited to learn that we would be going to take pictures with Kate’s mom* because Emma’s family likes taking pictures. CHEESE!

*(not my Kate, but another Kate in Emma’s class)

I saw Emma’s family pick out clothes. I wanted clothes too.

Oh no! Where's my clothes?

Oh no! But where are my clothes?

I begged Emma to take me to PetSmart.

Please, please! Take me to PetSmart!

Please, please! Emma, puh-lease!!! Puppy dog eyes!!!

She said YES! YAY!!!! PetSmart is my favorite.

I'm home!!

I’m home!!

I pulled Emma through the store. I was so excited to try on clothes!

Over here, over here!

They’re over here, over here! Come on, Emma!

I couldn’t decide which shirt to get.

Am I a girl?

Am I a girl?

Or a boy?  Hut, hut! RUFF!

Or a boy?
Hut, hut! RUFF!

I picked out a green shirt because it is my favorite color. Do you like my shirt?

Oh Kermie.

Oh Kermie.

I’m ready for my big photoshoot!

I met Kate’s mom. I was so glad I was not NAKED!

Kate's mom!

I made the family portraits! These memories will last forever. Yessss!

Emma’s family looked beautiful. I am so happy I am in Emma’s family pictures.

Oh look, our Kate is actually smiling!

I love CHEESE!!

Now back to school. I hope I will be with one of you guys next! Love, Bailey.

Emma, how did your presentation go? Did the class laugh?

Mom! Ha! Yes, they all laughed! I said the word NAKED!

Emma plays hooky.

Hi, this is the school nurse calling. I have Emma here with me and she’s not feeling well.

Oh crap. Well, this is never a good phone call.

Emma got sick today. Just a tiny bit in her hand. Then a tiny bit on her desk a few minutes later. She doesn’t have a fever. It’s up to you whether or not you want to take her home. It might have been more coughing up something than throw up.

Ah! Ok I’ll pick her up.

She may just need to rest for a little bit then bring her back if she feels ok. Emma said she had a Poptart for breakfast. Maybe that just didn’t settle well.

Geez, Emma! Way to call me out on the Poptart! I hope she didn’t say it was a Smores Poptart. It’s not an every day breakfast choice of mine but the morning was a little hectic minus a husband and our electricity mysteriously going out. Not to mention, I wasn’t thinking clearly because my coffee machine was not working due to the lack of electricity.

Mom of the year choses Smores Poptarts for breakfast! Holla!

I rushed up to the school to pick up Emma. I had a dentist appointment scheduled 30 minutes later. Scott was gone. My mom didn’t answer her phone. No one was available last minute. I drove off with Emma wondering what I should do.

I look back at Emma and she gives me this face:

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Then she busts open her backpack and pulls out her afternoon snack and eats it.

Hey! What are you doing?!

I’m really hungry, Mom. I feel a little better.

Uh…do you want me to get you a Sprite or something? I have to go to the dentist. Do you feel ok to sit and watch?

Yes, I want Sprite. I’ll go to dentist with you. Can I get a toy?

I drove through McDonalds. I ordered Emma a Sprite.

Mom, can I have pancakes?

WHAT?! Emma! You are NOT sick!

I’m really hungry!

She got the narrow slit eyes from me. You’re going back to school after my dentist appointment.

Emma giggles her way through my teeth cleaning. I thought she was coloring. She was really playing with a halloween picture app on my phone.

The evidence I found later that night:

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photo-1

 

Emma scored a few toys from my dentist for being “sick” before we left.

Due to the time, I had to immediately pick up Kate from preschool. Kate’s teacher saw Emma in the car and asked me if Emma was sick.

Uh, well…Ha. Yeah, the school nurse called…

Kate’s teacher laughs. Oh, well she must not be too sick if she’s eating pancakes!

Emma was back at school before noon.

Hello 1st grade! Hello fat season.

Today was an eventful day. Emma started 1st grade. This is the real deal. She’s not just 6, she’s school-age. We are a little bit further on the road to Manhattan, Kansas.

Today also kicks off my fat season. Also known as the Halloween candy is out.

This morning went as expected:

Around midnight or so, I spent 15 minutes trying to figure out where the freakin’ alarm is on my iPhone. I ended up telling Siri to wake me up. Which in turn, Scott called me the laziest person ever. Just in the mornings, Pook.

You would think I would get my body used to waking up early the week prior. Go to bed early with the kids, wake up early. Uh, yeah. No. That never happens.

So I woke up grunting. I went on a foggy morning rampage to Scott about complete nonsense: Why do schools make kids wake up so freakin’ early? There should be optional late starts. Will you please drop off Emma on your way to work? I still look tired with makeup on. Should I wear PJs or change into clothes? I should probably get dressed for first day, huh? After that I’ll break the ice with PJs. 

I walked Emma to school on time. I even had some spare time to take a few pictures to add to the Facebook feed of kiddies on their first day of school. Emma jumped right to her seat and waved goodbye to Kate and me. There are no tears on the road to Manhattan. Only smiles and waves … and rolling of eyes when I blew kisses at her.

Isn’t she a doll face?

While Emma was at school, Kate and I went grocery shopping. I turned down the final aisle. I stopped dead in my tracks:

I could hear angels singing. Or maybe they were demons.

Halloween candy!!

Shut. It. Up.

Well, that woke me up. High fives to our grocery store for having Halloween candy out in August! I resisted today. But I’m comforted to know it’s out and waiting for me to cave. I very well know September/October is my fat season due to my Halloween candy weakness. I know, I know – sugar is the devil. It’s unhealthy. I don’t know what to say. I’m just weak. I swear I’ll up my weights at the gym or something.

I like to stay up late, sleep in, bitch about mornings and eat candy. I’m a real winner on this post, huh.

I did end the day walking home a very excited little 1st grader. Who “can’t wait to wake up early tomorrow”…

Who’s rolling their eyes now, kid?

 

Bumper sticker.

I was picking up Emma from school one day. One of those 100+ days the first week of school. I’m behind this minivan and I spot this:

"I'm only speeding cause I really have to poop."

I really do think this bumper sticker was made for me. If it wasn’t so hot out, I would have started chiseling this off her car and put it on mine.

I would totally rock this. Can I be more of an embarrassing mom to Emma and Kate? No, don’t think so.

Way to jump the gun, Emma.

Really, Emma? 30?

We are a good 6 months away. 183ish days. No need for the big 3-0 yet.

The other kids put their moms where between the ages of 12 and 17. True, my kid is the most accurate. Let’s round down, Em. Round down.


Brought to you by the letter V.

Emma has show and tell on Friday.
This week’s theme is “something that starts with a V”

Could there be a harder letter? X, maybe?

I sent a mass text to my immediate family for some help.  This is what I get back:

Vacuum
Violin
Victoria Secret Fashion Show
Valentine = ME (my sister, Jessica)
Heidi’s Vase (Heidi is my parent’s dead dog.  I know…it’s an urn, not a vase. Nice try. And gross.)
Vibrator
Vino
Vodka
Victoria, posh spice doll
Veal
Vaccine
Vicks Vapor Rub
Vehicle
Vagina
Viagra
Vaseline

I couldn’t stop laughing with each text.  I would picture Emma with each one and showing her class.
I think we’re going to go with a veil…I’m sure I can find one somewhere in this princess toy mess.

If not, I’m going to go with my brother’s suggestion and just bring “something purple and call it violet.  But nothing K-State b/c K-State purple is a certain color and it’s not violet. Let’s not confuse the class.”

Park Pictures

This day…oh I’m ready for it to be over.
It was nice today.  Cloudy and cooler…low 80s maybe? Nice little breeze.

Being a history dork, I have been wanting to see some historical stuff around Gardner ever since we moved here.  Scott refuses “to hang out with the other 80 year olds”.  He won’t go with me.  I think anything historical is fascinating, especially where we live.

I decided to bring Emma and Kate to an old historic school.  The Lanesfield Historic School is about 5 minutes away from our house.  I looked up directions, got the girls and left.  We got a little lost–typical me, being it’s only 5 minutes away.  But I found it and…it’s closed on Mondays.  Egh!

So I took the girls to a huge park near our house, we always come here when it’s nice out.  It’s the best park I’ve been to around this area.  It’s huge.  It has tons of stuff for kids Emma’s age and kids Kate’s age.  There are also a lot places to take pictures. (The website pictures doesn’t do it justice)

So that’s what we did.  The girls loved it.

p.s. I can’t help but wonder where this blonde hair business came from? I mean, really, is the Mexican hair gene that easy to destroy?

Oh, but it doesn’t end there.  My unlock/lock button on my keys broke or the battery died or something.  It decided not to unlock as we were getting ready to leave. Oh yes.  I left my cell phone, the diaper bag, our water, our cookies from the gas station, all in there.  I had to chase one of the other moms down and pray that Scott answered his phone from an unknown number.  He did.  He left work early to go home and get my other key at home then come to the park.  After about 20 minutes after numerous clicking of my keys, I saw my lights flash.  It opened. I ran like hell to open the door and call Scott back.
I’m glad it wasn’t 90 degrees or raining.  We made it home.
Then tonight, poor poor Kate got her nose smashed.  See next blog post.  Please compare the pictures of Kate here with the next one.
As I said…I’m happy this day is finally over.