Thursday, September 09, 2010

Not Quite Back in the Swing

School started yesterday for both Mathboy and Catgirl. Under normal circumstances, this would be a cause for celebration. But not with my kids, it seems. So far, school seems to give me nothing but trouble and has turned me into a NAG.

Just to be clear: I do not like being a nag.

The end of summer vacation means that the summer assigned reading had to be done and the book reports written. Despite having a good 12 weeks of notice that they would have to do these things, and having their mother reminding (nagging?) them about the reading for weeks, both my kids found themselves rushing to finish at the last minute. Catgirl finished typing the book report Tuesday evening at about 8 p.m. Mathboy finished reading the last book on the bus on the way in to school Wednesday morning. Cutting it close, hm?

The end of summer means catching the bus. The kids need to be downstairs, dressed and ready by 7 a.m. so that they have time to eat breakfast and make sure their backpacks are ready to go. Catgirl's bus comes at 7:20 and Mathboy's is supposed to come at 7:35. This morning, Catgirl was not ready for the bus until about 7:22. The bus was long gone at that point. It probably came a couple of minutes early, but it doesn't matter. There was no way she was going to make it even if it had been on time. Mathboy's bus stopped in front of the house and honked the horn at 7:25. Mathboy had not even gotten his breakfast out of the toaster yet, since he had not gotten downstairs until about 7:20 himself.

I was already tired of yelling and nagging by that time, having resigned myself to the inevitability that I was going to have to drive both kids in this morning. Since Doane starts at 8:15 and OLGC starts at 8:30, I decided to drive Mathboy in first and then swing back to Moorestown to drop off Catgirl. I rounded everyone up along with everything they needed for afterschool activities, and loaded us all in the car. We were on the road around 7:40, eating waffles on the way.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten about the traffic nightmare that Rte. 295 has become. We arrived at Doane at 8:14 (just under the wire). I had to take back roads to get to OLGC because the ramp to get back on 295 in Burlington is currently closed for contruction. I signed Catgirl in at her school at 8:47, almost 20 minutes late for her day.

As we were sitting in traffic, and I was trying really hard not to fume and just accept the lesson of the morning, I asked the kids what we had learned from what happened. I tried not to be a jerk, noting that I learned it might be better to make school lunches the night before rather than in the morning. (I was trying to reduce the sting of the situation by accepting a share of the responsibility, although the immature part of me insists the lunches were not the problem. Said lunches were packed by 6:50 this morning.)

Catgirl was silent, doing her best imitation of a teenager ignoring her mother. To be fair, her attitude may have been exacerbated because she had already lost screen time for 2 days and had been told she could not play or talk to the BFF next door for one day.

Mathboy's answer: "We should listen to Mom."

I was impressed. I didn't realize that Mathboy even knew how to suck up.

In other news, I have acquired the most wonderful household tool, an item that I believe will minimize strife, divisiveness and resentment in the family, and all sorts of problems. I present to you, my new Wonder Tool:
The dishwasher clean/dirty magnet. When you run the dishwasher, you make sure the "clean" side is facing out. After you empty the dishwasher, flip it to make the "dirty" side face out. My dream that there will be no more butter knives in with the clean flatware, no more dirty coffee cups dripping on clean plates, is within my grasp!


I have also finished yet another shawl.
Curatio shawl 1
The Curatio shawl. It's beautiful, it was quick. Perfect vacation knitting.

I love knitting shawls, but I am not so good about actually wearing them. Right now, I have 4 shawls decorating the rocking chair on my side of the bed. It's just silly. I need to figure out a good way to use them if I want to keep knitting them.

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