Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Things Kids Write

"I think my mom is funny when she tutes stinkely"--*I'd Never*;)

Genevieve has an honest heart and an honest face and so it's often easy to know how's she's feeling and if she's telling the truth or not. So when she stepped off the bus an afternoon three months or so ago, I knew something was wrong. And sure enough she hemmed an hawed before it came out that she had gotten in trouble for something. The rest came out in bits and pieces drawn out by careful questioning.

The trouble was her spelling homework. One of her activities is to use her spelling words in a sentence that she makes up. I try to be as hands off as possible with homework so that I'm not caught in the trap of doing it myself or having to nudge her along every step of the way, but I guess the night before I was too hands off. I checked through the homework and saw the offending sentence and decided against making her change it because I rationalized that I was getting to worked up over nothing. The sentence was this, "Behave or else I will kill you". My initial apprehension with her sentence, was my fear that someone would think Russ or I actually said that in our normal disciplining routine. I thought, "Here I go again being crazy and worried about what people will think. I really need to stop that. She's just being a kid". I suggested that she might want to change the sentence, but she was stubborn and wanted it to stay and I was tired and wanted to be done so I let it slide.

Her teacher had a talk with her, the principal had a talk with her and I was scared out of my mind with the thought of parent teacher conferences in a couple of weeks. I was so embarrassed. My child got in trouble. My child talked to the principal. I could have prevented this and I didn't. Every day when I would open her folder, I was scared to see the offending homework. I was scared for a phone call or a reprimanding note. And when the violent piece of homework made it's ominous appearance, I could hardly bare to look at it. I know I should have saved it for a laugh in the future, but the poor thing was promptly shredded. And it's only taken me three months to be able to laugh and share. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All Work and No Play

Up until this year I had successfully avoided kid birthday parties for my children. They looked like a lot of work and stress. And guess what? They are. I spent days driving back and forth between Micheal's, Target, Costco and the dreaded Walmart. I cut, glued and crafted my non-crafty brain crazy. But if I was going to do this thing, I was going to do it right. I was going to do it like my mom does it. If you didn't know, my mom, Karen Stewart, taught Aunt Martha everything she knows. When the day of the party arrived, I was still in a frenzy with all the things that still needed to come together before I was ready for that first guest to arrive. Russ and I were running around and still finishing pinning up the banner when 11:00 popped up on the microwave. Of course someone was very prompt. Darn on-time people. The little girl and her mom were very sweet, but after five or ten minutes of pleasantries I realized the mom is not leaving, no one else has arrived and the crayon coloring activity was quickly losing its appeal. I cannot have parents sitting around watching me when I've never done this before, when I still feel like everything is not quite perfect. The parents are supposed to leave when their kids are five and go to preschool half day, five days a week. Now I've got a prompt and a very protective parent shattering my already frail nerves. Thirty minutes after the first guest/parent arrived, the rest of the attendees arrive in rapid succession. And soon I realize that mom #1 was the rule and not the exception. I've now got a house full of gabbing, scrutinizing parents to attend to and their not alone. They've brought the whole family. I don't have enough lunch, party favors, cupcakes, straws, silverware, plates, napkins or plans for these unexpecteds. I'm flustered, anxious and nervous. Things worked out, but the whole two hours felt like someone was spinning me about blindfolded while I tried to set my best china. And guess what? I'm doing it all over again. Gen turns seven in nineteen days and I've got to keep things fair. Hopefully, after I carefully freehand and construct a giant replica of Hello Kitty's face for a pin-the-tale on the donkey game, a parent doesn't ask if Hannah made that.   
I was so proud of my free-hand, Hello Kitty Cardboard cut-out, but apparently it looks like my five year old created it.
The Cupcakes

Hannah's Actual Birthday