Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Baaaa-aaak!

Wow, I haven't been here in what feels like forever! I can't wait to read all of your blogs to see what you've been up to! We were really busy this past week, and the kids got a lot of great games for Christmas, so we literally spent the entire week either going somewhere fun or playing games. It was nice, and the kids got along well (I asked Santa for better-behaved children, but I didn't think he'd actually BRING THEM!!!! Thanks, Santa!!! I will never doubt you again!), and things were mellow for the first holiday I can remember.

I have heard not word one from my SIL Kathy about those carseat buntings. DH dropped those and a $50 B&N gift card for our college-age niece off last week, and for all I know, they threw them straight in the trash. Kathy didn't open the box while DH was there, because she had a sleeping baby on her chest (actually, she and her husband didn't even answer the door when he knocked, so he walked right in rather than wait), and the box could still be sitting on the floor. Also, at 18, our niece is too old to not say thank-you herself. I am not one to expect thank-you cards from people in general, but if you've gotten a gift and haven't seen or talked to the person, a call or card or email is in order. I will never, repeat, NEVER go to any trouble for them again. Period. From now on, they will be getting notes saying, '$X has been donated in your name to Heifer International, thank you for your support.' At least that way, I will feel like my money and time have been spent wisely. I'm not kidding. The babies will get presents from us because they're children. Actually, I feel better already knowing that I have a solution.

This morning I was going through Josie's backpack (I know, bad mom, I should have done that, oh, 12 days ago) and noticed that 1) her grades went down again, probably pre-holiday excitement, and 2) that her teacher knocked her down a full letter grade on her oral presentation for her book report because she talked to someone during someone else's report. There was a total of 17 points, and she took away two for talking, which knocked her from an A to a low B. WHAT?!?! I was *pissed*! So, I wrote: 'This is ridiculous. Her work is her work, and deserves the grade she earns. If she needs to be punished, then punish her.' I may regret having written this tomorrow, when I have to see her in person. Or, NOT. I do not believe in taking away from someone's earned grades, allowance, or priviledges because of other behavior. Things can be denied in the future, but not taken away from the past. You cannot negate the past. If that was the case, the school should be allowed to dock Mrs. Teacher's pay by the cost of the aide she needs in order to manage the classroom, since she's not enough of a professional to do it herself. (I didn't say that part. But I wanted to.) If that happens again, I will go straight to the principal's office. In fact, I may anyway, depending on the response I get, since it affects her grades.

I made a decision over break - I allowed Josie to quit the violin. She really wasn't enjoying the lessons, because the entire group had to be at the same point in order to move forward, and she's already about a semester ahead of everyone else because she can read music and picks up things pretty quickly. He wasn't even letting them use the bow, for heaven's sake - they had to pluck a the strings, which didn't sound like music at all, and for a child who is used to making actual music, it was maddening. So, since she's already doing piano and will soon be adding the organ, and it was taking away from classroom time anyway, I let her quit, and am saving myself the aggravation of having to nag her to practice, not to mention the $35 a month. I have never had to nag her to play the piano (in fact, I sometimes have to ask her to stop), so I figured, she really doesn't like it, and there's no point in forcing the issue. My SIL Jen has a flute somewhere, and I told Josie that next year she can maybe do that, if she wants.

Patrick's 6th birthday is on the 14th. SIX. That, my friends, is the end of little kid-dom. He is a Big Kid. Holy crapola. I told him that I'll take him and some of his friends to the movies, and for his present we'll take him to a place here in town that lets you build remote-control cars from the ground up using little 'bays' in the store and a choice of bodies, tires, sounds, and extras like flashing lights, tow hitches, etc. Having his birthday so close to Xmas is tough because he doesn't really have time to think of other things that he wants, so I'm going to tell people to get him gift cards if they can't think of anything else. He loves to shop, and we can save it for later on when he sees something he would really like. Maybe one to Game Stop, so he can get a few used games for his DS or something.

Finally, here are a few Patrick quotes for the past week:

On opening a Children's Place box under the tree:
"WHAT?!?! You got me CLOTHES?? FOR CHRISTMAS?!?! What are you, CRAZY?!"

On taking Children's Musinex:
"That. Tasted. Like. LEAVES." (this leaves me wondering, how many leaves has the boy eaten?)


creative kerfuffle said...

dear lord i can't BELIEVE josie's teacher?! really, how can she still be allowed to teach????
and the SIL? i think your solution is a good one.
(i'm glad you're back btw)
and the medicine tastes like leaves? toooooo funny. and yes, it does make you wonder how many he's eaten. my kids always say spinach tastes like grass so i wonder about them as well : )

AndreAnna said...

Sometimes I think teacher's and other professionals get their rocks off on pulling some role of power just for fun every now and then.

You said it way better than I would have; there most likely would have been a trucker vocabulary word.

I hope my kids are musical, although if they follow after me, it may be a lost dream.

LoriD said...

Welcome back... happy new year!

I'm glad you responded to the teacher the way you did. There shouldn't be academic sanctions for non-academic offenses.

Do you think you SIL is suffering from PPD, or is she always inconsiderate and the babies are just giving her an excuse to be that way?

Kristin.... said...

I can't wait for it to be time for the kids to take music lessons! Can.not. wait. :)
Josie's teacher need a smack. Good for you for letting her have it.
You were missed! Glad you had a good vacation!

Astarte said...

Hey Lori - No, she's always been that way. One November, my MIL and I found their Xmas presents from the year before still in the bags, sitting next to their front door. They had been opened, stuffed back in the bags to transport home, and never put away.

d e v a n said...

Welcome back! Your SIL! URK!

Swistle said...

I love the charity-donation solution for ungrateful recipients. LOVE.

Susiewearsthepants said...

I would be ticked off too. I think you should mention it. Keri told me once that school pizza tastes like cardboard sprinkled with rotten cheese. Cardboard? Has she been sampling cardboard boxes behind my back? I know just what you mean about the birthday close to Christmas. My daughter's birthday is Dec 19th.

Marie Green said...

My twins turn 6 on the 23rd. Not sure what we are doing for their party yet... Glad you are back! And Josie's teacher is amazing on so many levels.

Cherish said...

I missed you!

Sherendipity said...

Your SIL is a scream! I think I might smack her if she were mine.
Also, good for you for speaking out to that teacher.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

That's funny about what Patrick said about mucinex. Miss A hated the liquid, but loves the redi-melt form. And I know what to ask Santa for next year- well-behaved kids!