This time to the Center of Puppetry Arts. Can’t wait to see Benjamin’s and Bella’s faces when they see those huge puppets floating across the stage. I wanted to ride the bus with them, but they are out of seats since both K and 1st graders are going. Now comes the anxiety, I’m not allowed to car pool the kids so the next best thing is to follow the bus. Oh well at least they will be on the same one. I guess I have to let go and let them experience it with their classmates, ugh when can I stop worrying about my kids, from what I hear NEVER! The trip is scheduled for next Tuesday, can’t wait to share that experience!
So on to multiplication…I remember learning it in fourth grade, my oldest is in the 3rd and they are pushing it hard. He has to finish 100 problems in 5 minutes by December 17th or he will not be able to participate the multiplication party. He’s already told me that he just can’t do it that fast. What to do? Well we’ve been doing flash cards, tic tac toe, tables, multiplication card games. He knows them verbally, it’s writing on paper that screws him up. I see him stressing big time, so I pulled him aside and said it’s okay. It’s okay if you don’t make it to the party…all you can do is do your best. What I also wanted to say “don’t worry that’s what calculators are for” LOL…just need to keep sending him positive vibes and continue helping.
So I’m at the doc’s office (psychiatrist) just waiting to be seen (for anxiety). I swear I feel like my visits are always less than 15 minutes yet my wait is usually an hour, why is that? So I stop reading the WEBMD magazine and start looking around the room. Patient one full on beard and is wrapped tightly with an old blanket. He totally reaks of cigarettes, but seemed very content as he snuggled with his torn blanket. I turn to another patient who looks pissed..really pissed, he’s tapping an envelope on his knee, like he was fanning himself or something. His lips were pinched together so tightly I really felt that he was about explode. Finally patient number 3… the talker. He keeps talking about his life in California, how much it sucked out there. Then he starts talking about his mother at that point his brother put his hand on his knee “okay that’s enough, calm down”. “Lily?” YES! Finally out of the waiting room :-).
So with relatives in town, I decided to take all the older kids to see Disney’s Christmas Carol. The kids were very excited and so was I. After sitting through the previews and passing out the treats from Halloween, every child was ready, trader jo bbq chips in one cup holder and a bottle of water in the other. The first scene was apparently Marley’s dead body in a coffin. His mouth was hanging open, very realistic. The kids all covered their faces and gasped. We continued to watch, but by the first ghost (which was Marley) all the kids began covering their entire faces under their jackets. I decided then that it was time to leave. I walked over to customer service and shared our story and he gave me a complete refund…who would’ve thunk it!!! Anyway the movie looked incredible. The characters looked so real especially Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, this might be a date night movie for me and Jeff.
My children both participated in the Upward program for flag football and cheerleading. It is a religious based program. I think its sweet that the kids do a little prayer during half time. I like the program because it really draws children within our community. So it’s a way for me to meet parents of children who attend our elementary school. My husband and I do not attend a church but we consider ourselves spiritual. Anyway at the end of the season every child received a little bible. Bella was very happy with hers. She started carrying it in purse. This morning I see her quitely in the kitchen, holding the little bible with one hand and the other with her favorite fuzzy pen. I walk up, “Bella whatcha doing”? She looks up with a huge grin “I’m circling all of my site words”. I walked away to “spy” on her and she continued for about 10 minutes…I think to myself, should I stop her? Nah, I don’t think any god would be upset.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday..no gifts to stress about and food– that’s the part I love best. In my family we have 7 adults and 6 kids (with 1 in the oven). This year we have 2 cousins and their families coming from NYC (can I get a Jay Z / Alicia Keys Empire State moment) and from LA. That brings the total to 11 adults and 8 children. Needless to say, I’m nerveous…yep can’t even spell that correctly..that’s how nervous I am. Everyone has a place to sleep from top floor to the family room and maybe a few in the dining room. I’m so excited and scared at the same time..What the *#%* everything will be fine I just have to take it as it comes, which is totally not me. The next stressor, when do I buy a turkey? I have no room in the freezer and I’m really afraid that the grocery store will run out. Reserve a turkey? that’s the advice from Jeff..can you really reserve a turkey? Seems hilarious to me “hey butcher boy, reserve that big frozen bird. More to come….
So by now you know that I’m a mother of 3. I usually handle all school related activities so that Jeff doesn’t have to take time off of work, but this day..no way am I going to eat 3 lunches!!! I guess I could just sit, but what’s the fun in that? I think the kids get a big kick when they see their parents participating in something from their everyday routines. Thank god we have teachers that are cool with the whole twin thing. Bella’s teacher allowed her to have lunch with Benjamin’s class so Dad got to eat with both of them. I had lunch with the big guy Joseph and boy did he tend to all of my needs..”mom you need a fork, oh mom let me get that for you, mom you want to try some school ketchup?” I was so proud of him…I sat with him and we chatted and laughed..this is what I am most thankful for..a healthy, happy family (sniffles sniffles).
The second part of Tuesday’s field trip was to the firestation. As we got off the school bus we were greeted by 3 fire fighters and of course the big, shiny, cherry red truck, all shiny and dressed up for the visit. I thought wonderful, the kids were immediately engaged, but perhaps I thought too soon. As we walked in we were directed to sit in a semi circle facing the left side of the fire truck. The first fighter began talking about fire safety, where to go and what to /not do in case of a fire. He got into great verbal detail, like if there’s a fire and you are in your room and you feel the door is hot stay away from the door and open your window and stick your head and yell “help”! I’m thinking.. hmm I don’t think my kid can open our windows.. they are not so easy, heck I have problems with them too. Then he asked the second fire fighter to put on her gear, including a mask that looked like something from Aliens (the movie with Sigourny Weaver) and cranked on the oxygen tank which sounded like Darth Vader. The kids were then directed to come up and touch the mask. I thought this was a good visual for the kids, taking away some fears if they are approached by one of these guys in a real situation. The kids woo’d and ahhh’d. The final speaker was the fire truck engineer. He started off great, removing the ladder which kind of reminded me of a transformer toy. Then he started talking about every piece of the equipment. He talked and talked and talked. The kids were starting to yawn, the teachers started taking pictures of themselves and kept thinking…need more buttons to be pushed perhaps turning on the siren to wake us up. Finally, the kids got to take turns going through the fire truck..with 30 + kids it literally was walk on through keep moving, don’t touch. At the end we received the tour of the firestation, we saw where they slept, their kitchen and game room. I was waiting to see the pole..no pole??? That’s right they all have everything on 1st floor..bummer! Apparently they ran out of hats and badge stickers which made my son so so sad. Okay back to school!
A field trip to Publix (grocery) and the Fire station (I’ll talk about the Fire Station in my next post) didn’t sound like too much fun. But I volunteered to go and help out. I go at least 2-3 times a week to Publix what could my children possibly learn? First stop, get your plastic bag for all the goodies that publix had for us. We started in the pharmacy and this lady had 2 large prescription bottles. She asked for volunteers and then asked the first child to try and open the cap off of the bottle. Too hard. Then she asked the other child to do the same with the other bottle…too easy. The big lesson… Your parents want us to provide them with the hard opener so that you kids can’t get in them. Goody bag treat #1: A publix coloring book and a small box of crayons (these are free items that Publix has to the public in their customer service counter). Onto my favorite the bakery. Well actually we did a loop and allowed the other class to go to the bakery while we pressed our hands against the deli window, mmm all that meat! We saw what ham was then moved back into the bakery where a lady was ready to ice a cake. She quickly iced the cake (she pulled it out of the freezer and actually I asked where these cakes were baked and she said at Publix’s main warehouse). This was a little disappointing to me as I though all cakes were made on site. Oh well, she showed us how to make roses out of frosting, the kids woo’d and ahhh’d for about a minute and then onward, treat #2 a free cookie (which they offer on a daily basis with folks that have kids). Our next stop was produce, the produce manager climbed up a step ladder and decided to show children “rain”..seriously? My children know that that is not rain, but he kept on with ” look kids its raining, its raining right here on all these vegetables…” more woos and ahhhs, treat #3 an unwashed apple. Next stop, the butcher section, “get your hands off those coolers, haven’t you kids heard of salmonella?” The kids stood and watched a man butcher a whole chicken, instead of woos and ahhs there were yuck and yuck!! But the butcher kept on going, dangling a thigh, showing us the split breast and he even pulled out the innards pack and said to the kids..this is for gravy, thank good ness we didn’t receive treat #4 from him. Moving on to the final destination—DAIRY. Not much to say except “do you kids like yogurt?” At that point each child received the final treat — 1 string cheese. I’m not really sure if the kids had fun or not, I guess I’ll ask them later tonight.
What I hate more than the kids being sick is when I get sick. I can’t breathe, my chest is tight and just feel completely out of sorts. Options, I can suffer through it and apply all the home remedies from ancient china or I can hit the doc in a box and get some drugs for a quick fix. Options, options… hmm I think I am going to wait another day and let the wisdom of my ancestors cure this nasty cold. I’ll give them a day and if they can’t fix it, on to the doc in a box, fair enough I think.
I often try to remember what the hell I did when I was in 3rd grade trying to do homework. Help from Mom or Dad — uhhh NOPE! First my Mom barely spoke English and Dad, well his English was of stuff you would find in a Chinese to English, or vice versa, dictionary. Basically it was do your homework, come home with good grades step back, fix your pig tails, stand up straight and smile. If I came home with the old “S” for satisfactory instead of “E”, for excellent, I might as well pack my sleeping bag and camp back at the school. Seriously I’m guiding homework for 2 kindergarteners and a 3rd grader and my head is absolutely spinning…I actually have centers in my house.
And the icing on the cake today — phone call from 3rd grader’s teacher, “Mrs. P, this is Mrs. C, your son is doing a lot of day dreaming in class and refuses to finish his center work”. Oh holy hell, maybe because he’s sitting in my center crying while I’m crying “can’t you just write something, please write something, anything..write “I” come on!!!
And the sprinkles on top of the icing? I get to go to his center tomorrow morning and figure out what the deal is. All this whining is of course just me…whining and of course I will do what a good mother ought to do and stand by her child, but there’s that child in me saying what the &%@#$!!! I bet my parents never saw a center in their lives.