Monday, November 30, 2009

pocket change

Ahem. For those of you not in touch with public schools, let me tell you something: they are expensive. Just this week I got a request for (exact words here) "a small amount of $12." And please send $10. because there is a gift shop for shopping after their field trip. Excuse me, but should shopping and school be affiliated?

I also got an email asking for $10. for a class party fund. Odd, last year they collected about the same amount and parents were not told if the amount was fully used, if there was a surplus, or any information about the collected money. And, I don't think fifth graders need Winter Parties. I really don't! Make them stay on task until the verrrry last bell rings like we had it!

In fact, here is the low down of fees asked for in the last month:

$29. soccer coach gift, grade 3
$9. soccer trophy fund, grade 3
$12. aforementioned field trip, grade 3
$20. "minimum suggested" amount for soccer coaches gifts, grade 5
$24. soccer pizza party, grade 5
$30. soccer coaches gift, grade 7
$9. soccer pizza feed, grade 9
$10. soccer coaches gift, grade 9

And now ... our school foundation wants my family to donate $7,500 to help cover school expenses and "do our fair share." Yes, that is really seven-thousand-five hundred-dollars. I don't understand how they can ask this since public schools are free to the public. Yet every year the phone rings & they ask away...first they ask how your kids are doing, if they like the school year, then BAM, do you have 8K to spare?

Go ahead, call me Scrooge. Call me Cheap. Call me concerned that our school asks for money hand over fist, all. year. long. I insanely mentioned to the soccer mom collecting $20. from each of the 15 players seemed a lot, and she politely responded that $20. was the minimum amount she was collecting. Then in a later group email she specifically thanked the parents who gave more than $20! Someone has to bring up the fact that it's just too much money! Readers, what do you think? Have our public schools become too comfortable asking for money?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


My intrepid husband went to Lowe's yesterday to buy another baby gate.

cashier: "Oh, is your granddaughter coming to visit?"
(husband raises an eyebrow at her)
cashier: "Ah, for the dog then!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winco is not for Whiners

Dear Winco:

As a mom of a very active 13 month old, I want to offer my most sincere thank you for placing the large, glass sided box of stuffed animals just beyond the check out aisle. I really appreciated it when checking out with my daughter, who thought the carnival-esque flashing lights were so enthralling she screamed and pointed to the box the entire time I was checking out. For those of you unfamiliar with the Winco experience, you bag your own groceries.

The second Em saw those animals they became the point of her being in the store. I offered her a roma tomato she had wanted earlier in the trip. She took a bite and dropped it, went back to fixating on the large, flashing box of animal joy. Her cries grew so loud that I quickly became that mom in the grocery store trying to control her raging child (now with tomato on face).

Luckily for Emmeline I have experience with this type of tantrum. I placed her on my hip and talked about the foods as I tried to bag them. Momentary success and quiet until ... rip, the bag tore as I lifted it, spilling the contents out. Back in the cart she went, and she promptly again fixated on the red, flashing box of wonder.

Her yelling increased and the store got quieter. That, or she droned out everything else. I got the acute sense people wanted me to pick her up, but I couldn't, because I was frantically bagging my groceries. A young man clearly childless glared at me. The checker informed me she used to shop alone when her kids were little. Good to know,thankyouverymuch.

Luckily I had three 50 dollar bills in my wallet and quickly paid the $149.97 bill. Except the checker didn't have open pennies and, now holding Emmeline who has somewhat quieted but still staring at that red box, I painfully waited for her to s.l.o.w.l.y unwrap a container of pennies. Ugh!

I gave the young, glaring, man the snake eye, and left the store. As we approached the box Emmeline started saying, "Dis, dis, dis" and pointing, leaning her whole body toward the animals just in case I didn't understand. Yeah, I get it honey, you think the box is neat. Let's look. We stopped and talked about the animals, and she giggled with joy.

Completely happy now, we headed to the car. Several bags ripped as I put them in the car, then, tragedy struck as a box of powdered doughnuts fell out. And opened. And not just any box of doughnuts, but one of three boxes for Nolan's class birthday celebration this afternoon. And since the classes are combined, I really do need all three boxes or there won't be enough.

I stared at the white doughnuts. It's been raining, and the asphalt is shiny dark black. The powdered sugar looks a little like snow everywhere. And the doughnuts look bizarre, like they were photo shopped into the scene. I laughed out loud. One lady who was in checkout right after me walked by and stopped. "NO WAY!" "Yeah, can you believe that?" (Cue Emmie protesting from inside the car that I dare talk to someone other than her) "Well, have a good day anyway." "I will, but I really needed those for a classroom party later today." She looked at me again. "ARE YOU GOING BACK IN THERE??????"

I laughed. "No."


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nine Years of Sparkly Eyes and Quick Smiles

My youngest son is nine today. He is an eternally happy child who wakes with enthusiasm and good cheer: "Good morning, Mom!" and a hug. Pure delight.

Happy Birthday Buddy. I love you so much!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When two plus one equals a negative

Dearest readers, some of you have asked how Nolan's math situation is now. Well, it's the same. After a tense three way meeting the long and short of it is this: they agree they needed a wider base to evaluate students; next year they will do better; Nolan has to stay in his current math or else the principal will be hammered by parents demanding their kids be moved, too.

It's not like my son is doomed from this decision, but it still bugs me. It bugs me because if you are an Aggressive Parent your child gets advanced, and if you are a Nice Parent Who Doesn't Want to Offend an Even Nicer Teacher who has Dedicated 16 Years to Public Education, your kid is in easy math. I could have pushed it, and I didn't. I don't know why. Maybe I am tired. Maybe I think he will turn out great even if third grade math is too easy. Maybe I doubted my judgment.

Nolan, I'm sorry.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Make a Tree Hugger

Ahhh ... brings back memories of the spotted owl controversies. Cue Archie Bunker: those were the days ....

I do not immediately agree that this state park needs more trees. Oh well, let's have a field trip and plant more! It's November and still sunny for heaven's sake!


"Was it fecal borne?"

Me, baffled: "What?"

"Was it fecal borne? Through the mouth?"

Me: "What?? No!"

And so began my meeting with our principal after school today. With a start like that, things could only improve.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Be Gone

Evil, thy name is rotovirus. How dare you come to my house again and reek havoc on such a young baby. Inflamed, bleeding, red skin, violent stomach, tears, tears, tears.

Leave. Do not come back.

You are not wanted here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Big Sisters Are Good For, #276

You can borrow their soccer socks when you can't find your own!