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Second Grade

It was rough last year when my daughter was in second grade. While I have the absolute highest respect for anyone that works with children since that shit isn’t easy, my daughter’s teacher and the hummingbird didn’t quite mesh. The bird completely adored her teacher but her teacher seemed to have some harsh things to say about the bird.

We also heard nothing but RAVE REVIEWS about this teacher from every-fucking-body who heard her name. So, I was confused about how she talked about my daughter the way she did.

I don’t mean to make a big deal about it but it still bothers me after over a year. This was one of those unexpected situations I’ve had since being a parent. Of course, every day as a parent deals with unexpected situations.

When we walked into “Mrs. Second Grade’s” classroom for our first parent/teacher conference, I went in expecting nothing less than how cooperative and attentive the hummingbird is.

Wrong.

She dived right in to tell us how the bird takes her time with each task and doesn’t “transition” from task to task as expected.

I’m not making excuses, but kids. move. so. fucking. slow.

So, I was baffled at how annoyed Mrs. Second Grade was. She actually said “Please, tell me how to handle your daughter?”

Oh.

Ok.

What the fuck, lady?

I’m sorry if she takes her time to do things right the first time.

Counting preschool, we’ve heard nothing but positive things and constructive criticism about our daughter which I’ve taken to heart. But never anything so grim sounding, like our kid is a disaster and doesn’t know how to handle my child because she doesn’t always jump to attention.

Yes, she’s as slow as a snail but what kid isn’t? Oh my god, they move like they’re sinking in quicksand. It’s like pulling teeth in the slowest possible way ever when it comes to kids getting ready for school, or going to an activity, or getting dressed, or brushing their teeth… etc.

Yet, this teacher made it seem like that was the strangest thing for a kid my daughter’s age. Sure, I get frustrated on a daily basis with my little snail but I’m around her friends and they also take time to do things. You have to remind them 10 times when it comes to practically anything.

Especially, when a play date comes to an end. We have to give at the very least, 20 minutes to prepare to depart from one another.

Even then, it usually takes an additional 10 minutes to say goodbye.

Anyway, it was very frustrating for the bird’s teacher to be so down on her. I don’t doubt at all that Mrs. Second Grade is a great teacher. I do know, however, that when my husband volunteered at our daughter’s school last year for a handful of teachers, he said that while helping out with the class, Mrs. Second Grade reminds him of the drill Sargent he had in Officer Candidate School.

I know part of it is also the fact that this teacher went straight to the negative things about my then 6 year-old. Seriously, though. She was only 6 years-old.

If I may speak freely, that is such bullshit. A teacher being so hard on a kid at such a young age. When I was six, one of my favorite things was sniffing crayons and wishing they were edible.

My daughter still talks about that teacher with such love and I just hold my tongue.

I have to say it again.

She was just 6 years-old. My aspirations for my kid at that age were not to fart at the dining room table and to wash her hands… WITH SOAP. You have to add the soap part.

The teacher she has now is a much better match, thankfully. I was so nervous about this parent/teacher conference but then I ended up in the hospital so I missed it. What my husband told me was so much different than what we heard three times last year.

The hummingbird is working really hard, too. She’s getting extra help in math. I’m guessing it’s because common core math is such a fucking nightmare. I was even having trouble explaining her second grade math to her and trying to understand what the fuck they’re doing and why they’re making math more difficult than it should be.

The bird also had 4 fucking torturous nights of homework in second grade every week. I know it will just become more work as she gets older but she has less homework in third grade than she did last year. Thank you, sweet baby jebus!

Because if there’s ever a time for yelling and tears for both of you, it’s during your kid’s homework time.

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I Am THAT Kind Of Mother After All

While we were packing up last year for the move into our new house, I found something very interesting that highlighted just how anal retentive detailed I can be, especially when it comes to my child. It was a three page instruction manual for the babysitter we had in California when my daughter was three-years-old. I wanted to die of embarrassment after reading it.

It was very, how would I say it? Hmmm. “Specific” would be a nice way to put it but I’ll go with a bitchy control freak with a generous helping of mad crazy.

Just the first page alone is a listing of meal and snack times and the specific foods that should be eaten at these times as well as in what way the food needs to be prepared and cut up.

Grapes need to be cut in half and banana slices cut in fourths because if they’re not, holy shit, there will be hell to pay, apparently.

This shit comes off more as a threat to the babysitter. Poor lady.

On the second page, half of it details what we do to fill the days i.e. trips to the park, different parks, play with her riding fire truck, etc.

Oh my god. I put in very, very specific terms of the activities that my 3 year-old could do during the day, specifying what options she had to choose from.

Talk about me being the helicopter mom from hell.

The second half on the second page details her favorite television shows, The Wiggles, Elmo, Caillou – that little fucker-, Max And Ruby, and what channels they’re on, plus, what time they come on. I put that in there in case of emergencies.

My biggest worry was that after my husband and I would leave our daughter, she was screaming and crying for us and in a tizzy.

In reality, the hummingbird was probably saying “Bye, bitches! No hurry!”

The third page of this absolutely ridiculous and comical instructional for the babysitter are several different sample schedules of play time, nap time, park time, when to change her diaper, what to do if she gets fussy, what if she doesn’t take a nap and on and on.

Oh my fucking god.

I was that crazy, overbearing, control freak of a mother.

I would like to think that I have improved over the years but I still want to know absolutely everything, even if she’s just going to our next door neighbor’s house, which she’s been to hundreds of times.

My mom was like that when I was younger and it embarrassed me so much. Especially when she would ask to speak to my friend’s mom or dad.

I swore I would never be like that.

Well played karma. Well played.

I’d like to think I don’t have this huge stick up my ass and should just chill out from being such a panicked parent but that sucker is in there tight.

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How Slow Can You Go?

I have a very active 8 year-old who can’t sit still for very long. I also found that 8 is the new 12 when it comes to attitude. Oh, man… the attitude is strong with this age.

She runs circles around me and wears me out in an hour. The hummingbird has the energy for gymnastics, soccer, ice skating, and skiing. But, when it comes to her getting ready for bed, holy shit, she goes so slow.

She’ll be bouncing off the walls and I’ll ask her to clean up her room and then, holy shit, she’s way too tired. The bird will be over at her friend Jake’s house next door for two hours and will come bouncing down the driveway but when I tell her she needs to get some homework done. Holy shit, she’s way too tired.

I would think after four years of her being in school that we would have a morning routine down but, holy shit, it’s a rush to the finish line every damn morning and I run around the house getting her to do her morning things like I’m being chased around the house by rabid dogs.

I would ask if this going slow thing when it comes to our kids gets easier as they get older and they actually speed up but I’m sure the answer is holy shit, girl, it gets worse. I imagine there will be more yelling and me still saying “pleeeeeease, hurry up!”

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Go To Bed. Go To Bed. Go To Bed.

By the time my kid was seven years-old, I didn’t think sleep would be an issue for her.

It is.

Fucking fuck.

There’s always some ailment that needs tending to and is causing her to stay awake. Like that invisible scratch on her ankle, or she needs a hangnail cut off, or another good night kiss.

Well, a new bedtime hell has taken over the house and it’s all Bloody Mary’s fault. A classmate of her’s told the hummingbird how if she says Bloody Mary in the mirror three times, she appears.

Now, it’s all about Bloody Mary coming to get her and she’ll get up out of bed three or four times before she falls asleep.

Also, a few weeks ago, we had two power outages a few minutes apart. It was early in the morning and it woke her up.

So, besides Bloody Mary, we have to assure her that if it rains or snows, there’s most likely not going to be a power outage.

It doesn’t matter though. It’s just one more excuse for her to use to try and get out of going to bed. If only she knew that I know ALL of the tricks. But, she seems so sure that she’s pulling one over on me.

Sleep, how I miss you.

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The Reluctant Reader

young-girl-reading-jeanhonore-fragonard

I’ve loved reading as soon as I learned to. I gobble up books but also have this book hangover I go through after each book I read. It can be hard to keep up with my reading with a kid in the house who always wants my attention. I naturally assumed since I loved to read, my dna would make her feel the same.

Oh, how wrong I was. Asking her to read and having her actually do it is like pulling teeth. Once she gets started reading, she’ll sometimes get into it. Or, if I suggest reading to her, she whines nooooooo. I love reading her the Ramona Quimby books and she’ll independently read the Princess Posey books which I highly suggest since oh my god she actually reads them, thank you sweet baby jeebus, but again, getting her started up in reading is the biggest pain in the ass.

Here are the stages I’ve gone through with my reluctant reader.

Stage one: You need to read for ten minutes. Yes. Yes. No, you’re not going to see if Samantha is home. You’re going to read. Yes. Yes! Please go and read. Please? Just read. 10 minutes. That’s all I ask. Read. Read now. I got you several different books to choose from at the library today. Maybe you just haven’t found the books that you find interesting yet. So, please go read. Yes! Read! Go!

Stage two: Would you like me to read to you? Why not? Well, let’s have you read to me. Why not? Please? Let’s just sit down and you can read to me for only 10 minutes. You need to ready every day. Yes, you do. Yes. Please read now. Why not, Well, I’m sorry that you have a scratch on your ankle but that doesn’t mean you can’t read. No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. Please, hummingbird. Just read to me for five minutes then. Five minutes! No, it’s not that long. Okay, how about this. You can have a cookie after dinner. Okay, ice cream then. Yes, you can have chocolate sauce but then you have to read for ten minutes. You don’t want chocolate sauce then? Oh, you do. Then, yes, read for 10 minutes. Please just read now. Please!

Stage three: Okay, it’s time to read. We have two hours before dinner. Why don’t read for 20 minutes to yourself while I read too. Why not? No, you can’t watch PAW Patrol. It’s time to read. No. There’s no PAW Patrol while we read. The television is going off. There. Please read. Whichever book you want. There must be something you’d like to read in our library book bag. You picked out all the books. Please, pick something and read. Then, I’ll pick. Here. Okay, then you pick something now. Please, hummingbird. That looks good. Okay, you have twently minutes. No, I said for twenty minutes. Not ten. Twenty. Hummingbird, it’s only for twenty minutes. I’m not asking you to jump off a cliff. Twenty minutes and then you’ll be done for the day. Okay, how about if you read for twenty minutes and you can watch PAW Patrol. No. You can’t watch two. Just one for twenty minutes of reading. Fine, thirty minutes of reading and then you can watch two PAW Patrol’s. No, you can’t watch three. Only two if you read for thirty minutes. Okay. Thank you.

Stage four: Read! Yes! Now! Please, read now! I don’t care if you don’t want to. READ!

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Bedtime

6. Tell your kid almost every night that they need to drink less water so they don’t have to get up to be 3 or four times within an hour after bedtime. Then, easily forget to have your kid drink less because you’re trying to get them to hurry up with their bath or shower and they’re moving slower than slugs.

5. Go back and forth on what qualifies as pajamas, She has a drawer full of jammies, yet that’s too easy. She’ll want to wear one of her day shirts with her pajama bottoms but I know that’s one of her favorite shirts to wear to school and summer camp but she wants to wear it NOW! I have to pick my battles so I either quickly give in or tell her to change into a pajama top and that’s that.

4, When you say one hug and then I’m going, stick with it. Then once you get out in the hallway, feel like shit for denying your kid one more hug and go back, but this is the last time! Yeah, right.

3. We start the bedtime routine about an hour and a half before bedtime but even if it’s a little earlier or later, she never gets to bed on time. I’m so over it that I will basically do whatever will keep her in her bed so she’ll finally get to sleep.

2. That can sometimes require me to leave all the nights on upstairs. We have this thing about leaving ights on when we’re not in a room, but after over two hours of your kid fighting bedtime, I’ll be desperate.

1. She’s finally in bed and seemingly asleep so I get out some snacks and prepare to watch UnReal or Teen Mom when I hear her little voice from upstairs saying Mom? Mooom? I’m scared! What’s that noise from the t.v.? Are you eating something?

Shit!

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

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