Oy vey, September is a busy time!
It’s been fairly busy around here. IS TOO MUCH! LEMME SUM UP.
- Back to school chaos, Part 1: Stinkerbelle, as you know, started kindergarten at Big Girl School last week. It was chaotic on a number of levels. First off, there was all this palaver prior to school because we met up with some mums in the park who said they had gotten a package in the mail with instructions and whatnot about what to do and when for Going To School. We received no such package, so immediately I went into FREAK OUT MODE. I emailed the school, I called the school, I ran around like Chicken Little. As it turns out, nothing was sent out to kindergarten kids, only to JK kids, of which these mums were parents. AH. Okay then. So we knew we had to show up the first day of school, not staggered-start days but THE ACTUAL FIRST DAY, with a backpack and a lunch and indoor shoes. Which we did.
- Back to school chaos, Part the Second: So, BDH and I walk Stinkerbelle to school on the first day, as instructed. AND IT IS A MADHOUSE. There are people and kids EVERYFUCKINGWHERE. And we have no idea where our daughter is supposed to be amid this chaos, except near a piece of paper stuck to the wall with her teacher’s name on it. Which, as it happens, was NOT where she was to be, but in some lineup we were to know the location of by osmosis. So. We walked her to class, and got her settled, and (because I have been doing so for years) I had packed an “emergency” pair of pants and panties in Stinkerbelle’s backpack which I then put in her cubby with her indoor shoes. And then we left her for the day, with instructions as to where we pick her up at the end of the day. And we went home, where I had a little cry at the OMG I AM LEAVING MY CHILD TO SOMEONE ELSE’S CARE AMID FUCKING CHAOS. And I picked her up after school, and all was fine.
- Back to school chaos, III: The next day, drop off was no less chaotic. There was a chalk mark on the pavement where I assumed That Girl was to line up, where, at the sound of the bell, some strangers came out and walked off with my kid. WHO ARE YOU AND WHY SHOULD I LET YOU WALK OFF WITH MY KID? Seriously, school? Where is her teacher? Who are these people? And then, at the end of the day, when I went to pick her up, she was being dismissed at a DIFFERENT LOCATION ENTIRELY and by ANOTHER COMPLETE STRANGER. Who, I have to say, told me there was “an incident” in which my daughter scratched another child, “but she was crying and upset so I assume it was an accident.” And then she turned away and gave me no more details. WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU, LADY? WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER’S TEACHER?
- Back to school chaos, some more: Stinkerbelle is adjusting to the morning drop off, although from a sensory perspective she is overwhelmed by the sheer number of children, the activity, and the chaos. She just stands with me, in her lineup spot, and waits, and playing children and accompanying parents swirl around her. She still hesitates when a strange woman comes and directs her into the school, because this is not her teacher so why am I expecting her to follow them? This is something I have to address with her, and with the People In Charge.
- Back to school chaos, Part I Have Had Enough Already: Almost every day at dismissal time, I am told about “a little incident”. One day it was that my daughter scratched someone. Another it was that she sat in a toy wheelbarrow and almost tipped and could have banged her head. Another it was she kicked someone. And we are, what, not even 10 days into the school year? So I am beginning to wonder, why the hell are they telling me this? First off, I know my child, and any injury, imagined or otherwise, that is attributed to her by another child is going to be an accident. AN ACCIDENT. She’s not a violent child. She’s been told that kicking and scratching and hitting of any kind is NOT ON, and she follows this rule pretty seriously. And, when we get right to the details — not that it’s an easy task because Stinkerbelle’s delays make it almost impossible to tease any real details out of her without A LOT of grief — it turns out there was an accident or a tumble or whatever while playing. SO WHY ARE THEY TELLING ME THIS? The other issue is that whenever That Girl thinks she has done someone an injury, she begins to cry. She gets VERY upset when she thinks she has hurt someone else, and gets absolutely bereft when she thinks she has earned disapproval. So why, WHY, do they tell me this and cause my child to start crying at the end of the school day? I am beginning to dread home time. If this is going to continue, There Are Going To Be Words. And A Meeting.
- The Note Tote: Stinkerbelle’s teacher has a bag for each child in which she sends home paperwork for parents. It is called the Note Tote. And it’s a good communication tool. We have been positively BOMBARDED by paperwork since last week. But the irony of it is, some of this paperwork? Would have been useful to us BEFORE SCHOOL BEGAN. Things like “what she needs to have in her cubby” and the idea of “inside shoes” and a myriad of other things would have been great information to have to help us prepare for school, NOT to scramble around and try to remedy after the fact.
- The First of Many Sick Days: That Girl has been in school since last Tuesday, and already she has been off school with a cold for two days. It’s fine. I mean, it’s not fine that she’s missing school so soon but on the other hand, it’s kindergarten and it’s been insane and who the hell really cares. She’s going to get sick, because the other kids are going to get sick. One of the things that is going to suck, though, is that Stinkerbelle’s classroom is one of the designated classrooms for the Before School and After School programs, so parents who need to do early drop off (7 am – 8:30) and late pick-up (3:15 – 6 pm) can drop their kids off and pick them up according to their work schedule. Which means, that many kids are touching the stuff in Stinkerbelle’s classroom, and that means that many more potentially sick kids are spreading their germs about the place. So, it’s going to be a hell of a year for sicknesses, I am betting.
- Back to Work: I went to the office for the first time yesterday, which involved a LOT of rehearsal with Stinkerbelle. She needs routine and structure to help her cope with the chaos around her, and this was our first big deviation. First off, it was the first time I was dropping her off by car, which meant lots of questions. Secondly, I had to remind her over and over again where I would be, so she would know where I was in case of emergency and not worry. And thirdly, it meant reassuring her that even though I would be away during the day, I would still come for her at the end of the day, just like normal. She did alright.
- Life goes on elsewhere: Not everything has been concerned with back to school, thankfully. I’ve been trying to take advantage of my newfound “freedom” between 9:00 and 3:00 to get things done around the house. I have more time to work, if only my boss would give me work to do. There are house projects to be done. I have been cooking and baking for That Girl’s and BDH’s lunches. Today? I TOOK A WALK. A walk, out around the neighbourhood. For exercise. I KNOW.
- The cost of getting screwed, contractors’ edition: One of the house things that has been waiting to be done was to get a piece of fascia that had fallen off in springtime put back on our house. A 12-foot long piece that belongs 3 storeys up, that our shit-ass builder’s contractor had attached with TWO FINISHING NAILS. When it first fell off, we tried to fix it ourselves, but our ladder is nowhere near long enough, which meant the only way to access it would have been to climb out on the roof and hang over the side. And I did not want BDH or myself falling off the roof from 3 storeys up. So we started contacting people, PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE, to come do what would probably be an easy 15 minute job. Do you think we could find ONE PERSON to come do this? OH NO WE COULD NOT. Until BDH finally found someone who knew someone who works in the same city as BDH’s office who MIGHT be able to get to it. But he never confirmed a time, or gave us a quote, or anything. Just a maybe. Until this van shows up today, unannounced, with two guys to fix our fascia. HOORAY! I was so excited! BDH was so happy! It took them 15 minutes to fix! AND THEN THEY WANTED TO CHARGE US 300 BUCKS. I think the guy thought it was shady that his boss wanted to charge so much for so little work, so he got on the phone with him. And in the end they didn’t charge us 300. BUT THEY CHARGED US 200 + HST. Assholes. And the thing is? It’s done. We needed the work done, and they did it, and it was our fault for not getting a quote. But still. NOBODY ELSE WOULD DO IT. And thus, the cost of doing business for 15 minutes is 226 bucks. I think I am going to start an eavestroughing business.
- And, a late addition to the fun…: Our dishwasher is leaking. AGAIN. And warping the kickplates on the cupboards. I HATE YOU, DISHWASHER, AND ALWAYS HAVE. YOU WILL BE REPLACED. Because that’s what we need today, is to spend more money on this house of sticks we live in.