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.

 

Teeny tiny mean girls

Today Eslyn came home from school upset.  She came downstairs obviously covered in my make-up.  when she lied about using it she was sent to her room.  Whenever she gets in trouble she sends us notes, usually saying that she’s sorry or how much she loves us.  Today the notes she sent sown the stairwell made me want to cry.  Her note says “I don’t like myself.  I’m ugly”.  My sweet adorable 7 year old thought she was ugly and needed make-up to feel pretty.

I found her crying in her room, so I sat her down, hugged her tight and asked her why she thought she was ugly.  She finally told me she’s ugly because she looks different from the other kids at school, she looks like a rag doll.  After a few more minutes she admitted that a girl in her class told her she was funny looking and looked like a rag doll.  We’ll call this girl B. (Trust me there are many thing’s the Mamma bear in me wants to call this girl, but it just seems very wrong to say those things about a child).

B is a mean girl.  Do you remember the catty, bitchy girl from high school or perhaps junior high that was constantly acting like queen of the school.  The one who picked on everyone, was usually popular and would even turn on her friends if the mood struck.  Well picture that in a 7 year old and you have B.  I know it sounds horrible of me, but we have been dealing with this girl since Eslyn was in kindergarten, yep kindergarten.

One day Eslyn and B will be best friends. The next day B will decide she doesn’t like Eslyn’s shirt, or the T.V. shows she watches or the lunch she brought; and so she teases her about it.  She’ll call her a baby, say she can’t be friends with her or some of the other girls, teases her and just goes out of her way to make Eslyn feel bed.

It breaks my heart.

Thankfully her teacher knows about this.  She’s talked to us before about how cliquish the girls can be (In grade 1 for fricks sakes!).  She’s talked about personality clashes between the girls and how one girl seemed often behind it.  She didn’t name names, she can’t, but she did nod when Donnie and I looked at each other and said “B”.  We explained that we’ve been dealing with this since kindergarten.  So her teacher keeps an eye out for it and tries to nip it in the bud as much as possible.

We’ve limited the amount of time Eslyn spends with B, there haven’t been any play dates in a while, and I don’t plan on any in the near future, but there’s nothing we can do about school.  We’ve started talking to Eslyn about good friends and not so good friends.  About how she should try to play more with the other girls in her class.  I know she’s a sensitive girl, but I’ve tried to limit just telling her to toughen up, her feelings are valid and real, and I don’t want to trivialize them.  I don’t want her to stop talking to me  I had just hoped that she wouldn’t have to deal with mean girls until she was older.

The most frustrating thing is in a few days the girls will make up and Eslyn will call B one of her best friends again.  And the roller coaster will start all over again.  Is it mean that a little part of me hopes that B will start going to a school closer to her house? Or move away?

Why I should listen to my best friend, and why I won’t.

So the other night I was having a not too nice allergic reaction to something in the air around my house.  It was bad enough that I decided to take some allergy medication.  I was also messaging with my best friend at the time.  I mentioned that I was having a reaction and had taken some Benadryl.  She laughed and mentioned that soon I’d be drooling and fall over asleep.  I didn’t believe her.  I’ve taken Benadryl before, heck I take it all the time in the summer for mosquito bites.

A bit of an aside. It wasn’t until this past summer that I found out that it’s not at all normal for a mosquito bite to still be swollen and itchy a week later.  It turns out I’m allergic to mosquito bites. Lovely.  Add to that the fact that for some insane reason I am extremely appealing to mosquitoes.  It’s like they are all tiny addicts and I am mosquito crack.  Even after nearly bathing in Off I still will get a dozen bites taking Eslyn to school.  So now when I get massively bit I take a Benedryl.  It’s  heaven in tiny pill form.  But apparently I never noticed the drowsy side effects since I was running around after kids and hopped up on caffeine.

So Kristen and I continued on having one of our weird conversations that started out with how we wished we liked wine because a glass of wine would be a nice way to relax and ended up with the certainty that Laughing Cow cheese comes from cows who had wandered into pot fields.  What can I say, it really was a natural flow at the time.

At this point I was starting to get a bit drowsy and my typing was coming across a little drunk.  When I couldn’t remember talking about cheese and cows just a few minutes beforehand I acknowledged that perhaps Kristen was right and the Benadryl was making me a bit drooly and sleepy.  I really should have listened to her at the beginning.

In my defense though she has given my naive self some pretty hilarious bad advice in the past.  I’m kind of a gullible person and a few, okay well 10ish, years ago we were having a nice girls night.  We were watching ER and survivor and pigging out on junk food.  We were eating pop rocks and when my best friend in the world, whom I would trust with my life, said “You should try taking a big mouthful of pop rock then take a bit swig of cola.  It’s really cool, the pop a ton that way” I believed her.  DO NOT EVER TRY THIS.  Oh, I will give her that she’s right, it does make them pop more then normal.  It makes them pop so much that you start to choke and run to the kitchen and they end up coming out your nose, which is almost as painful as the time you had your nose cauterized.  And then they pop in the sink for the next hour or two.  It was a very unpleasant experience.  One that knocked a lot of the gullibility out of me.  It also taught me to be very wary of any advice that my best friend gives while she giggles.  Which can be a lot of it if you’re not careful.

But she was right about the Benadryl.

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.

My daughter sounded like she was choking on a hairball, and it made me so happy!

I know, makes me sound like a horrible mother doesn’t it.  “Hooray my kid sounded like a cat about to throw up, woo hoo!”  But it really was a wonderful thing.  It happened in speech therapy.

This week and last we have been working on the K or hard C sound.  A sound that Lexi cannot make.  At all.  Not in therapy, not in her assessments, not in real life.  Her tongue just does not pull back.  Instead it stays at the front and C’s, K’s and G’s all sound like T’s and D’s.  (You’re all making K and T sounds so you can see where your tongue goes, aren’t you?)  We’ve even tried using a tongue depressor to get  the front of her tongue to stay down and the back pop up.  To no avail.  But today, today she made a sound that really did sound like a cat throwing up a hairball.  PROGRESS!  She made it twice, pretty much by accident, but it’s a start.  It meant her tongue moved towards the back a bit.  So hooray for barfy hairball sounds!

Happy birthday to my big girl.

My oldest turns 7 today.  She seems so big now.  It’s a million miles away from diapers, bottles and strollers.

Seven years goes by so very very fast, and so slowly at the same time.

I love watching the person she is becoming.  She’s sweet, empathetic, a friend to everyone.  She’s a smart little cookie, turning into a bit of a book worm.  She’s obsessed with fashion, barbie and Justin Beiber.  She’s kind, and caring and still oh so little.  She still sleeps with a night light and some nights you can’t see her for the stuffies that cover her bed.

There she is just a few hours old.

And here she is at 7.

And there she is at 7.

Happy Birthday sweetie.

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.