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Archive for July, 2009

Here we are at T-minus 16 days for school to start, and Spawn can’t decide on a backpack. 

I know it’s not uppermost in the kid’s mind, as school is the absolute last thing any of us wants to think about at this point.  But there it is. 

(Have I mentioned that I think school starts far too early around here?)  (grumble growl mutter)  (ahem) 

All the school supplies are purchased and ready to go.  I just need something to put them in.  And I can’t get the kid to commit to a backpack. 

This is what my life has come to. 

 

— Mox

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I’ve been working 4-day weeks for over a year now, mainly because my office hasn’t been busy enough to warrant my coming in.  It’s kind of a yay-boo joke, because one day less of work is one day less I get paid, and I get paid so little to begin with that it’s ridiculous. 

It’s nice to have Fridays off, though.  I get a three-day weekend every weekend.  However, Fridays seem to be the days I spend running all over hell’s half acre, doing errands.  Because, don’t you know, everybody else knows I have Friday off, and they’re not shy about asking me to do things for them on that day. 

I know, I know.  I need to learn to say “no” more often.  That’s a consistent goal of mine. 

Another goal of mine is to say “yes” more often, since saying yes to things tends to open up your life a little. 

So you see my quandary. 

~sigh~

Frankly, though, I’d like to have a few Fridays where I have to work a bit, at least half a day.  The money would be nice. 

 

 

— Mox

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In this ever-shrinking world of ours, I guess it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that my mother has received invitations to join Facebook.  I went over to my parents’ house on Sunday and set up her account, helped her to add friends, and put up a profile photo. 

She’s been marveling ever since at how many people she knows on Facebook.  A good many are family, yes, but my mother is such a social gadabout that there are plenty of others, too. 

I suppose it’s a good thing that my FB posting is for the most part G-rated. 

 

— Mox

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Three weeks from today, the schoolhouse door will be flung open, and Spawn will at that point be an incoming third grader. 

Mama is not ready. 

Mama wants to fling a fit.  And since this is my blog and I am Queen ’round these parts, here it is: 

I haven’t even begun to shop for school supplies. 

I need to weed through old uniforms and see what should be replaced. 

I don’t want to have to re-wrap my mind around the second shift of teaching, because I am most definitely NOT a teacher. 

I hate homework. 

I don’t want to get to know/break in a new teacher.  I don’t want to send a check to fund a lunch account for food that my kid will not eat.  I don’t want to do the day-in, day-out lunch packing as an alternative. 

It’s days like this, where I feel doomed by the impending reality of it all, that makes me wonder why on earth I thought it would be a good idea to become someone’s parent. 

Would it be different if I had a kid who loved school, who breezed through without a learning disability or ADHD? 

What I want is another month of hanging loose, going to the pool, and in-general spontaneity. 

Gah.  School starts too damned early in our neck of the woods. 

 

— Mox

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Borrowing.

This is the part where I admit to forcing a bit of my childhood onto Spawn. 

At the school’s used book sale this past spring, I ran across an old copy of Mary Norton’s great book The Borrowers.  I think I might have even squealed when I found it.  As a kid I looooved the Borrowers series.  It played right into my fanciful imagination, just as the Boxcar Children mysteries did.  And at 50 cents, I couldn’t go wrong.  I also bought Black Beauty for the same reason, to add to my shelf of childhood favorites.  The first book on this particular shelf was Charlotte’s Web, which is the first lengthy book I remember reading, on my own, unassigned.  And I read it several times, as I am wont to do with a book I love. 

Spawn is enraptured with the Magic Treehouse series, and we’ve got a good stand of them on the shelf.  They’re pretty good, as children’s books go, especially for sneaking in a bit of edu-ma-cay-shun along with the story.  But after a while the simple plots wear thin on me, because I can always see where they’re headed, and once we finished one of the books, I pulled out The Borrowers

I figured, hey, if I have to read out loud to the kid every night instead of the kid reading it personally, I might as well reread some stuff I particularly remember enjoying.  It’s a convenient excuse, having a kid, to revisit parts of your childhood. 

I started last week reading a chapter a night, and as I read it I realized that the language in it wasn’t the simple stuff that Spawn is used to.  I can read with inflection and tone, and that helps to bring the story alive when the mechanics are a bit wonky.  But Spawn’s a smart kid (says the kid’s mother) and I hoped that the kid would be able to follow the story. 

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried.  Aside from having to explain some of the oddities of British English and/or the era the story is set in, Spawn has taken to the story rather well.  Every night we read a new chapter, and the chapter ends at the perfect point for the kid to wonder “what happens next?” 

It’s difficult to have a child who has a learning disability, in this era of movie adaptations and books on CD, to encourage that child to hunker down with the written word, but I am hoping I can instill just a little bit of curiosity in the kid for such things.  Sometimes you just have to unplug from the world. 

 

— Mox

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Before I became a parent, I was already a recycler.  My husband can attest to the many, many times I’ve retrieved something recyclable that he’s tossed in the trash.  I do this with a dramatic, irritated sigh because I just cannot help myself. 

Now I find myself recycling things in a different way.  When Spawn needed a shoebox for a diorama the kids were making in Zoo Camp, I went into my stash of Things Saved to Be Needed Later and retrieved a shoebox.  When the camp asked for toilet paper rolls, I took them a dozen. 

I save ribbons, stickers, elastic string, glitter, fabric scraps. 

I have a seriously large box of buttons. 

I keep on hand old catalogs, scissors, glue, cardboard. 

I’ve been known to melt old stubby crayons together in a muffin tin to create multi-colored crayons. 

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but motherhood is by necessity inventive. 

 

— Mox

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Last night my husband and I went to a movie.  I seem to remember a long-ago practice called “Date Night” where you did things like go to a movie, but that’s so far back in history I don’t recall much else about it. 

Anyway, we went to a movie.  We saw The Hangover, which was laugh-out-loud funny for the entire length.  After the week I’ve had, I really needed that. 

Walking back to the car, it suddenly occurred to me that when I told my mom what movie we’d seen, she’d want to know if she and Dad would enjoy it.  That’s the point at which I would have to tell her that it had a good bit of, well, language in it.  You know, to sort of discourage them from going, because they would be offended. 

There were a lot of movies I didn’t see as a kid because my parents (read: my mother) wouldn’t let me.  I missed Porky’s the first time it came out.  For the life of me I still don’t know why my mother would never let me go see Grease.  Because I’ve seen it many times since I was a kid, and I don’t know what she found so wrong about it back then.  Probably her 1950’s sensibilities were offended, since after all, she was Class of ’57 and the story depicted teens in the ’50’s.  And of course her generation was not like that at all.  Prim and proper, that was her bunch. 

Come to think of it, there were a lot of books I didn’t read either, because my mother deemed them too titillating for my young mind.  Not that (in retrospect) I missed a whole lot, since my mother favored bodice-rippers and my tastes ran decidedly more toward vampire novels.

At any rate, my generation seems to fling the F-word around quite a bit (including myself, I must admit) and if anything is going to offend my parents’ aging sensibilities, that would be it.  Ergo, The Hangover is not going to entertain them the way it did me. 

It’s come to this — me prescreening movies for my parents, like they did for me when I was a kid.  

 

— Mox

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