05 January 2009

Back to School blues

How was your back to school situation? I know some people were snowed in and didn't end up with kids back to school today. Here's my morning, in a nutshell. And people wonder why I say I need the break of them being gone, after a long vacation? Grinning madly. I DO love my kids.

Our roads are an ice rink situation. We had an ice storm last night. School is in, MA being MA, so I braved my kids to school on ice. But... We'll skip me putting my oldest's hood back on her coat, because she couldn't figure out where the snaps were, hidden beneath a decorative flap...and we'll skip me threatening both girls into blow-drying their hair in ten degree weather...

I was speeding the older two through getting ready, because Monday means chorus practice for the older two...one of four chorus days between three kids that I keep track of. I mentioned THREE TIMES that we were hurrying for chorus.

Tamer, smart enough to realize that the kids were (to pardon the pun, considering the state of the roads) skating on thin ice with me, grabbed the boy and ran him through 'where is practice'... Where is your coat? Where are your gloves? Where is your back pack? Ooops... No back pack. Knowing I'd lose my patience, if he waited to the last minute to start looking, Tamer informed boy that he had 15 minutes to find said pack.

When ten minutes passed without success, I unlocked the vehicles for him to check them...no pack. Tamer and I started scouting the house. No pack. Frustrated, I asked BOY what in the world he did with it. At that point, he postulated that he'd left it at the elementary school, while he was picking up the youngest on the last day before break (a HALF day, due to a blizzard). I told him I'd call the elementary school to see if anyone turned it in, and I loaded the older two in the van, just in time to half-slide them to chorus practice.

Only...huh... The administration was there, but only one student in sight in a 50 or so person chorus? Not right. While I was musing, the boy suggested they'd delayed school. No, not possible. We have an electronic alert system that calls each parent and teacher, in case of delay or cancellation...or early dismissal.

Then the oldest pipes up with: "There is no chorus today."
Mom: "What? Why didn't you mention that?"
Kid: "I...uh... I thought he knew." (passing the buck to the younger sibling...politics in motion)
Mom: "Your brother was sick before school let out. How would he KNOW anything about it?"
Kid: "Well, there won't be chorus, until Mr. T runs auditions again."
Mom: "Again? He's done that."
Kid: "For kids who are new. He doesn't let anyone join mid-season. Once we do the winter concerts, he does auditions for the new kids who want to join for the spring concerts."
Mom: "And how long does this last?" (working on re-writing my daily schedule to accommodate)
Kid: "I don't know. Two or three weeks, maybe."

I looked at the clock and realized the kids were a full half hour early for a regular school day. If I drove them home, we'd end up out of the car for 5 minutes then back in. The heck with that. "Okay. We're going up the hill to look for the back pack. If it's not there, he didn't leave it there...or the teachers saw it and took it in to lost and found. If we don't find it, I'll call later."

Up we went, and sure enough, there was the pack...outside. It had lived through two blizzards and an ice storm. It was completely crusted in ice. But, everything inside seemed to have survived. I dropped them back off at school, with orders to beat the ice off the pack, BEFORE it could melt and wet everything inside... "But don't beat it on the school building." It doesn't hurt to point these things out to kids, you know. "You never told me not to eat the daisies. You never told me not to put my head through the chair legs." Yeah, I know what the movie is all about.

So, I headed home...and came across my oldest's best friend...coatless and gloveless (as usual), picking her way over the ice toward the school. I stopped and offered her a ride. I have permission from her mother to give her rides, because the kid is going to catch pneumonia, otherwise.

All of the sudden, I realized she was not carrying a diorama for English class. The only reason (beside the ice) that I drove the oldest was that she had her diorama and accompanying book report to carry in.

Mom: "Don't you have a diorama?"
Kid: "I haven't started it yet."
Mom: "Isn't it due today?"
Kid: "Yeah. I'll bring it in tomorrow."
Mom: (biting my tongue, because it's not MY kid) "Sure. A lot of kids will probably bring it tomorrow. They always forget when something is due the day after vacation." (but they lose half a score for it...but hey!...I'm giving her benefit of the doubt that she forgot)
Kid: "Yep. A lot of people will forget, so she won't know I didn't do it."

I dropped her off then went home to my least troublesome and youngest child...who was ready early...with everything, up to the school on time...no problems.

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