Category Archives: random ramblings

Back to school headaches

It’s back to school time!

Eslyn started Grade 2 on Tuesday, and it was mainly an uneventful day.  The line up bell rang 4 minutes early which resulted in me and the kids running through the field to get her lined up on time.  Luckily I wasn’t the only Mom hauling ass.  We made it in plenty of time before her teacher came to gather the class.  It was kind of funny, in kindergarten and grade 1 all the parents went into the classroom with the kids on the first day.  This year us grade 2 parents kind of milled around wondering whether or not to go in the school.  After all the kids had gone in the doors (grades 1-3 line up at the same doors)  we all drifted in after them.  Most of us stood outside the classroom, peeking our heads in for a second or two to say hi, and greeting the other parents who we recognized (and hooray for me I talked to a few strange moms!  That is HUGE for me!).

All seemed to be going well until about 45 minutes later I got a call from the school.  Of course the first thing I’m thinking is that Eslyn has gotten hurt or is sick.  Instead the secretary, Mrs G.,  was calling to see if Eslyn was home with me. Uhm, no I actually walked her to class.  So they called her classroom and yes indeed she was there.  They apologized for the mistake (the teacher marked absent in the wrong spot) and thanked me for being so calm. Then Mrs. G. said she thought it was weird that she had had to call me if Eslyn actually was absent because I was usually so good about calling in to report her absences.  And that is why I love her school, it’s small enough that the staff know who the parents are and what they are like.

Lexi’s first day of preschool is tomorrow.  Her preschool is in the same school as Eslyn goes to, but instead of walking she gets to take the bus.  I did  have the option of walking her each day but the timing with Eslyn was really crappy.  Lexi starts long enough after Eslyn that we can’t just hang around the school, but if I walked Eslyn everyday and Lexi I’d pretty much have to turn around and walk out the door a few minutes after coming home.  So the bus it is.  I also thought it would give her a few more minutes with her soon to be friends.

The welcome letter from the preschool said that the bus line would be calling us starting on the 27th of August.  So we waited, and waited , and waited some more.  On the Friday I called the preschool, I was told there had been an issue with the computers and the bus company would be calling over the weekend.

The weekend passed and there was still no call.  So today I called the school and was give the number for the bus company.  I called, and after almost 20 minutes on hold I finally got through to a person.  They were really nice and let me know what time Lexi will be picked up.  They also asked if I would like the bus driver to call me to confirm the time, I said sure.

Let me just say the call from said bus driver did not really instill me with confidence.  She went on and on about how she couldn’t actually confirm my pick up time because the last two days she didn’t finish her route until 9:10 and she was supposed to be done at 8:30 and now she had a whole other route to do because of the preschool blah blah blah.  What the fuckity fuck?!

It was not the most reassuring thing to realize that I will be entrusting my 3 year old to someone who hasn’t yet managed to get 12 kids to school on time.  And then there was the fact that she had no idea that school started tomorrow.  Sigh.  At this point I was thinking to my self, this is what I get for being lazy and not wanting to walk in the winter.

So here’s hoping that tomorrow the bus will be on time, and that our bus driver is more together than she seemed on the phone.

Teach your children well. Then tell them to shut up about it.

I’m a big fan of learning.  I believe that kids are little sponges and you can use almost anything as a teachable moment.

This summer I’m teaching Eslyn how to tell time (she really wants to be able to use her Justin Bieber watch). I’m also teacher her how to count money; we’re learning about endangered animals because of the zoo and we’re working on addition and crystals by making rock candy.

Not everything she’s learned this summer has come from home though, her friends have been teacher her a a few things too.  And I am a less than enthusiastic about that.

The first thing her friends have taught her about is sex.  We found this out when we went to the zoo and one of the little girls in her class asked why there was no baby elephants.  Eslyn piped up because there are no boy elephants.  Her classmate then asked me why would you need a boy elephant, to which I replied “Ask your parents”.  Eslyn responded with “I know why” I looked at her and she said “E told me”. When we got home that night I asked what exactly E had told her.  “S-E-X” was her reply.  So we then had to sit down and have a sex talk.  I want her to be educated, but I want her to be educated by ME.  So our talk ended with me telling her that these conversations were between me and her.  Not that there was anything wrong with what we were talking about but most Mom’s and Dad’s think this is something they should talk to their kids about.

The second thing that Eslyn’s friends told her about this summer was religion.  One night I went upstairs to find a note from Eslyn, who had been in  a time out earlier.  It was a lovely note about how I was a mean, mean Mommy.  That part was pretty standard 7 year old stuff.  The next bit though…. in the rest of the note Eslyn said that since I was a mean Mom I was going to go to hell.  And that I was going to burn in hell forever and ever because we don’t got to church so we are evil and bad.

I was stunned.  You see, we don’t go to church. Eslyn has been to one church service in her life, and that was part of a friends wedding.  So I was very curious where she had heard such things. When asked where she had heard such stuff she replied “E”. Yep that’s right, this lovely friend of hers decided that when she found out that we don’t take Eslyn to church to tell her all about hell and how everyone in our family was going to burn there when we die.  She then told Eslyn that if she believed in God then only her Mommy and Daddy would burn in hell.  This one was a little harder to deal with.  I was mad that someone would tell my kid this.  My first instinct was to tell her she was never allowed to play with this girl again because she was a liar.  But instead we had a long talk about how different people have different beliefs and it’s okay if you and your friend don’t believe in the same thing.

So while I think it’s great and very important for parents to teach their kids about their beliefs, or lack there of, and about sex, please tell your children not to share what they’ve learned.  While your nine year old might be ready to learn about the mechanics of sex, your neighbours four year old might not be.

They were trying to help me clean, or kill me. I’m not sure which.

So today while I was cleaning the kitchen I heard the girls in the upstairs bathroom.  They were playing quietly and I, even though I heard the water running,  wasn’t worried.  I figured they were bathing their dolls.

Later in the afternoon I went to step into the shower.  The shower was extremely slippery.  I went flying and almost cracked my head on the soap holder.  That’s when I noticed the two part bars of soap on the shelf and realized the bottom of the tub was coated in soap.

Yup my little darlings had decided to help me and clean the tub, by scrubbing the bottom of the tub with bars of soap.  At least they said they were trying to help me clean.  They might have been secretly plotting to do me harm because I told them no more freezies.  But I like to think they were cleaning, it helps me sleep at night.

My summer bucket list

So we decided this summer to do a staycation.  We decided this because there is so much to do around here, to reduce our carbon foot print, because it’s the hip thing to do because we’re poor.  I know other people do it for better reason’s but we have no choice really.  So this is my summer bucket list.  I figure if we do enough fun almost free stuff they kids won’t realize that they don’t get to go on big fun family vacations. Well at least until they are a little older.  So nothing on our list costs more that $50 to do. (well okay some could cost more if you want them to but we’re cheap, and we have a pass that gets us into city attractions for free and my MIL got us a pass to the science center for Easter so it saves us money).

Summer bucket list

  • go to the zoo
  • go to Fort Edmonton Park
  • go to Muttart Conservatory
  • go to the science center
  • go berry/vegetable picking
  • go camping for one night at the city campground
  • take the girls to the street performers festival
  • take the girls to the heritage festival
  • have a fishing day complete with BBQ at the lake
  • go see the free puppet shows at the library
  • cover the sidewalk in chalk drawing
  • go to the park at least twice a week
  • make oodles of jam
  • run through the sprinkler
  • go garagesaling
  • take the girls to the Capital Ex parade
  • take the girls to the art gallery

We’ve already been to the zoo, so I can cross that off my list.  And the girls will have oodles of fun doing all the other things too.  It’s going to be a fun summer.

Apparently they don’t teach reading comprehension.

I work at a party store.  For the most part I love it, helping people find decorations, blowing up balloons.  For the most part it’s fun.  Sometimes though, oh sometimes people just make me shake my head.

It’s grad season.  We have a whole section of graduation decorations.  The other night two girls came in the store.  They were buying decorations for their friends grad party.  So they are 17 or 18 years old.  They load up on decorations.  Then they pick up one package and bring it over to me.

Girls:Do you have this in any other name?

Me: Uhm, what do you mean any other name?

Girls:  Well we like the decorations but our friends name isn’t Brian.

Me:  No, it doesn’t actually say ‘Brian’s Grad Party” you can personalize it.

Girls: Oh! So we can put whatever name we want on it?

Me: Yes.

Because the “Personalize it” is in tiny,  tiny unreadable letters. Oh wait, no it’s not.

I know I shouldn’t laugh.  It’s kind of mean of me.  But for heaven’s sakes actually read the darned packaging before you ask questions.  I just walked away shaking my head trying not to giggle.

 

Resistance is futile, and so is voting for the left in Alberta.

Tomorrow is election day in Alberta.  It looks like after 41 years the conservatives will no longer be in power.  Usually this is something that would make me quite happy.  However, there a very very good chance that if the conservatives are ousted it will be by the Wildrose party.  This scares me.  (In case you haven’t figured it out yet my political views are pretty liberal and in fact I am a staunch NDP supporter)

I personally find their party platform to be vague and undefined.  They say they plan to “ensure conscience rights for marriage commissioners and health professionals.”  Coming from a right wing political party I wonder what this means.  Will this give marriage commissioners the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.  Will catholic health care providers be able to say “Sorry I’m not going to prescribe birth control because it is against my beliefs”.  Will it become the same as some Catholic hospitals in the states where they will not perform a D&C on a woman having a miscarriage because they believe it’s the same as an abortion.  This is also a party who, when it was found out that one of it’s members running for election posted a very anti gay blog, did nothing about it.  The leader of party admitted that she knew about this candidates personal and political views but doesn’t think that a person’s religious or personal views have a bearing on their politics. EXCUSE ME?  The very basis of ones political views usually lies in their personal beliefs.  I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, against the death penalty.  I believe in social programs to give a hand up and I’m all for gun control.  With personal views like that I would never call myself a conservative.  If I were a politician I would align myself with a party that holds the same beliefs.

That aside I believe that their election platforms are financially irresponsible.  They have promised everyone in Alberta $300 a year from oil revenue.  That would cost the province just over 1 billion dollars a year.  That is money that could be used for education, or health care, or helping low income families or seniors.  I see it as a blatant attempt to try and buy the votes of the working class.  But then again I’m biased, and more than a little cynical.

There has been a movement here in Alberta to convince those of us who normally vote liberal or NDP (which is admittedly a pretty futile practice, but one I still do) to vote for the PC’s.  The idea is to keep the Wildrose out of power.  It’s kind of a keep the devil you know kind of deal.  It does sound appealing for half a milli-second.  But I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I have never voted conservative in my life and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  Do I want the Wildrose in power? No.  But I don’t want the PC’s in power either.  I hold on to the hope that one day the balance of power will shift from the right to the left. I mean look at the last federal election, the NDP became the official opposition, something people never expected to happen. So tomorrow I will go and cast my vote, even if the party I vote for has no hope of winning.

I need a crystal ball.

So I have to decide tonight whether or not to enroll Lexi in the ABC Headstart program.  Basically it’s a preschool program that has a huge language focus and most of the kids enrolled will also have speech issues.  I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about the program and I really think that Lexi would love to go to school 4 days a week.

Then why the hesitation?  Why haven’t I picked up the phone and started the registration process?

Simple answer, I’m afraid of losing the help she’s getting now.

you see her vocabulary is great, it’s the letter sounds she has trouble with, and right now she’s getting help with exactly that. What I’m afraid of is putting her in a class with 15 other kids is she won’t get the exact type of help she needs.  On the other hand there is a speech language pathologist (SLP) there two out of the four days, that’s got to be a good thing right?

But do the kids get individualized attention?  Small group therapy?  Will she get pulled out if she needs more help?

I’m waiting to hear from the SLP that works on site, but she’s not in until Wednesday or Thursday, and I have to enroll Lexi tomorrow.  And I have to give her current SLP my decision on Wednesday at group.

So heads or tails?  Yes or no?

I need a crystal ball.