Back to School

This is the last week of the girls’ summer vacation.  In July. Don’t even get me started.

This year is 9th and 7th. Two different schools, two different school districts, two different break schedules.  Its going to be interesting.

I’m trying to do some things differently this year.

  1. I’m not stressing about getting them back to the “school time” schedule.  Its summer, and school mornings are never going to be easy at the beginning of the year.  Both girls are stressing in their own ways, so letting them burn off their energy and stress while running around outside and sleeping in a little later isn’t going to bother me this year.  The excitement of the first couple days of school will work in their (and my) favor next week.  It helps that my memories of trying to get them back on the school time schedule are filled with frustration, whining, complaining and more frustration.  And never really seemed to help much.
  2. *Most* of the school supplies are coming out of our existing stash.  It finally occurred to me that there is not a 7th grade stash of colored pencils where everyone takes what they need like in kindergarten.  The ones I supply are for my kid to use.  And she can use the ones she’s already broken in.  It is a bonus that she decided that instead of using binders, she wants an accordion file, and I just happened to clean out the one I used for my masters thesis.  Score on re-using a 17 year old office supply!
  3. I am no longer monitoring screen time.  For the next couple days, I choose not to fight that fight (too much).  When school starts, there is not that much time for TV watching (except for K on the bus to school), so… whatevs.
  4. I am not providing a running countdown of how much time they have left and badgering them about how they feel about it.  I don’t know why I’ve done this in the past.  It was annoying, and I knew it at the time.  I’m making an effort not to bug them this year, and they seem to appreciate it.  Although I can’t completely not mention the transition, I try to keep it to questions like, “is there anything special you want for breakfast  that day/week?”
  5. I’m thinking more about how to make the morning routine a little easier on all of us.  This year is going to be interesting, and I want to help them be as autonomous as possible while making sure that everything that needs to happen in the morning actually happens.  Like, on time.  And it is finally dawning on me that this requires more than a wish and a prayer.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly what to do, but I’m working on it.

One of the strangest things about this year is that the girls will go back to school on different days.  That hasn’t happened in 7 years.  Only time will tell if that helps with the feeling of a nice gradual transition or just an extended period of absolute craziness.


In Carpool

In the school carpool line: Called M back to the car to remind her of something. MAJOR eye roll. She *knows* that already.

So… I rolled along side her with the window down, suggested that since we were moving at the same speed, we could talk (more) about sex. HORROR and screams and a little laughter as she told me she hates me. I told her I cracked myself up. She told me I am the WORST and hustled her laughing self into school.

I may be the worst. She may hate me. But I can still make her laugh.

Yesterday Can Go to Hell

Yesterday was a gorgeous day outside.  It was sunny and warm with just enough of a light breeze to keep it from being hot.  It wasn’t even humid.  Beautiful day.

And I got to play tennis.

But I lost.

And then everyone else on the team lost, too

And then a friend showed up to tell us she was moving.  To Germany.

Then a different friend called to say her grandson was going to the hospital because he had split his chin open (he’s ok– stitches and a bunch of bruising, but 100% perfect).

So I went to pick up my friend’s car to keep it safe in my driveway while she was at the hospital with her grandson (and 2 of her daughters and her son-in-law).

Then I went to get groceries.

And backed into the car I was keeping safe in my driveway.

This is actually the 3rd time I’ve done this. It is not funny. So not funny at all.  Well, not to me.  Other people find it HILARIOUS.  And I can see why.  I just can’t get there.

And then, one of my girls looked at me and asked me, “Weren’t you supposed to get a job? What ever happened with that? Why haven’t you?”

And then this morning, the scale said I gained 5 pounds yesterday.

So yesterday can go to hell.


Springtime Snafu

So, spring has been here for a while, and it is wonderful.  My toenails are painted, there are now 6 legs in my home being shaved (at least intermittently), shorts are showing up in the wash, and spectating spring sports requires flip flops instead of parkas .  Flowers are blooming, the bees are happy, and the sun is shining and everyone is a little happier.

It is all wonderful.

Except for the pollen and the sun.

The pollen means that 3 of us have general sinus issues (and the 4th has her days, but doesn’t believe it).  That means 3 Flonase spray bottles every morning, lots of tissues and me having to remind everyone that it is time to take the medicine that will get us through the week without dissolving into a puddle of sinus headache pain and things even less pleasant.

Somehow, this is not making me anyone’s favorite in the morning.

But the sun is the real killer.

Katie and Stagg have his more sun tolerant skin.  He contends that it is the Cherokee in his heritage.  I say it is luck and simply not very fair.  They will turn pink when they’ve been in the sun too long, but almost always, the next day, that pink turns a lovely bronze and the discomfort of the previous day his drowned out by memories of fun in the sun.

Maggie and I have what we call cheap, Irish skin. We tend to think twice about getting the mail at noon in the summer, because that 45 second trip outside could (and has) actually leave us a little pink.  A day at the beach almost always means a deep red burn that lasts for days.  Our memories of beach trips tend to be filled with aloe and trying to strike a balance between avoiding the sun while not making anyone else feel badly that we are avoiding the very thing people go on vacation to enjoy.

So, sunscreen.

It seems so obvious.  We both know that we burn easily, so why wouldn’t we have sunscreen with us at all times?  Mostly, we do.  It is by the door at home so we can grab it before we go out.  I keep some in my car, and Maggie has some in her lacrosse bag just in case we are in too much of a rush when we are leaving.

And, still, we end up burnt.  Even when we sunscreen at 30-45 minute intervals, UV rays sneak through and bite us. I managed to get a sock tan line in the winter. This skin of ours is very cheap and Irish.

Maggie didn’t have her sunscreen in her bag last weekend (we took it out for vacation backup) and didn’t want to ask any of the girls around her to borrow theirs.  She was already pink at the time. So she burned. Hard.

After the second game, Maggie had a deep red/white jersey border stripes on her neck, shoulders and back.  There are very few shirts that can disguise these streaks.  Even more conspicuous is the bright line on her forehead at the top of her goggles.  It is so attractive.

Just what every almost-14-year-old girl dreams of.

Someday, her fears of skin cancer and hatred of sunburn will kick in and she will be better about putting on sunscreen regularly.

And then she will burn a little bit less.