I am sorry to say it, because he is a perfectly good piece of cardboard, but I fucking hate Flat Stanley. For those of you that don't know, Flat Stanley is a character from a book that gets flattened for some reason (I have never read the book) and now gets the pleasure of making parent's lives a complete nightmare for two weeks.
I have decided that I am fundamentally against this project for 3 reasons - 1) Basically, since my kid isn't reminded about the assignment in school, I have to do all the work; 2) Who the hell can remember to cart around a piece of cardboard into the 10,000 things we do in our lives; and 3) Why the FUCK does my kid have homework in Preschool? Don't I at least get reprieve from this crap until Kindergarten?
Honestly, I think I am most angry at myself. Why the hell did I just stress for the last hour, at 9:00 pm on a Sunday night, when my kid has not mentioned this project ONCE. Not once. The only reason we had any pictures was because I saw the damn thing on the counter and threw it in my purse. I am pissed at myself for not forcing my kid to do the work and doing it for her, because I don't want her to get a failing grade. In Preschool. That's fucking neurotic, but true. This will NOT be happening again.
In the meantime, we will be talking to C.C. in the morning and walking her through the Travel Journal that she did absolutely nothing on, so that it isn't a complete surprise to her if the teacher reads stuff out of it. So ya, that happened, and so it begins. I look forward to 12 years of making sure my kid does her own shit...I got my own deadlines.
Tonight we are going to discuss the first of what I can see being a series of posts about signing your kid up for public school. This epic biopic has been conveniently named "Kindergarten Round Up" because, well, that is its actual name. Yes. Yes it is. The open enrollment period for Kindergarten is called a "Round Up". WHY?!? Do you know where my mind goes? It splits between visions of Woody, Buzz and Jessie playing out western scenes from Toy Story and a huge bottle of weed killer that I need to buy to kill all the grass in my backyard. I absolutely DO NOT think of filling out paperwork to put my kid into school. But clearly that is just me, because apparently it has been called this for years.
That being said, Part 1 is all about the adventures in figuring out what the fuck you are actually supposed to do. I still don't know. I have now spoken to several parents, all of which have a slightly different opinion on how this has to go down. I have at least one over-achiever friend, yes, you know who you are, we will call her Overachiever from here on out, that was patient enough to call the school and get some more info. Unlike our daughters that are basically in competition every second of everyday, they in fact are the living definition of Frenimies, I have decided that attempting to compete with Overachiever on the mothering front is an exercise in futility - she would win. She sews costumes, hand makes invitations, is on-point with all homework assignments, and yet is still uber cool and down to earth. I should hate her, but, I just can't - and I hate that. She's awesome, and thank God for her, because she takes the time to figure out what we are supposed to be doing. As you can imagine, I am RARELY the responsible one in relationships. Shout out to you Overachiever - you are the rock.
Anyway, I am thinking the confusion thing may be a strategy by school districts. Perhaps they want you confused, so you screw it up, and thus don't get your kid enrolled. Maybe that is a school overcrowding tactic. I don't know...but I want to know why the hell it has to be so hard?
To me, it should be simple. Kid is of age, kid goes to school. But NO...there is paperwork, immunizations, utility bills, birth certificates, after school care lotteries, etc etc etc. IT'S MADNESS! And like you didn't already feel like an asshole parent all the time already, now they have to have you guessing whether you are going to forget some form and be shunned to the corner begging the school to let your kid get in - even though that is their zoning designated school! I can't imagine the idea of going to a selective private school and begging and praying that your kid gets in. I would give up and move to Canada. I have zero time or tolerance for that nonsense.
Tonight I spent 40 minutes in an online system doing "pre-registration". I then have to figure out when to take said pre-registration work, along with all my additional proof of existence to the school to sign her up. Please note the same website that took my pre-registration, lists the dates for Round Up for LAST SCHOOL YEAR. So ya...they are fucking with us some more. Strategy.
ADHD MOMENT - My husband knows that I can't listen to music with words when I am working or writing, so he was nice enough to leave the room when he felt musical just a few moments ago. But now, he is upstairs, no joke, singing LOUDLY to a Spotify playlist that I can only explain as the Seattle Karaoke Suicide Set. This is the second night in a row. I think he may actually be practicing for the next time we go to Live Band Karaoke. That isn't distracting at all Hubs. Thanks.
In any case, the next step in Kindergarten Round-Up is to determine the dates that I need to physically go to the school. I will keep everyone posted. Overachiever, if you are reading this, I will be texting you for the next 4 days to find out when we need to go. Yes, I will attempt to call the school myself, but I would rather not become the black sheep quite yet - I'm saving that shit for the PTA.
I had a moment of celebration the other day - it lasted 7 minutes. It was perfect, because it happened to be my 40th birthday. It was early morning, Hubs and I were getting ready, and my kids were both playing with each other in my daughter's room.
Nervous at the thought, I kept yelling down the hall to check on them, making sure C.C was keeping an eye on her brother. We are forever discussing the importance of keeping choking hazards out of reach with her, since Piercey puts EVERYTHING in his mouth right now. He fancies little pieces of whatever he can find, and she has shit all over her room. A terrible combination since it's a daily occurrence to find random crap squirled away in his chubby little cheeks. That morning, I would hear the occasional shout out, but only because C.C. (unnecessarily) freaks out when Pierce stands up and falls down. However, when I would ask, I was consistently reassured that everything was fine.
I had a few minutes of pure elation - it was happening - that time that all parents of multiple kids would tell me was why I needed to have two kids. "They will entertain each other" they would say. "Only children cling to you, more is easier," they would add. "Have more, they will take care of each other." they would insist. I pretty much felt they were all full of shit, but once I found out I was preggers with number two - I was pretty much banking on it for my sanity. That morning, I was silently doing the Carlton dance.
So now I am all dolled up - fab dress on for my 40th birthday day at work, hair curled, make-up "on-point" as my friend Ebony would say, and I am ready to go. Suddenly, I hear a scream. "What happened?" I yell as I book it down the hall in a full sprint.
I walk in to discover this...
Yes...that is my son with teal marker all over his - and especially around the mouth area. Yes, that would mean he would have been sucking on a marker for at least several minutes. And no...my daughter didn't think that qualified as behavior she should stop.
So here I am, dressed in gold for a golden birthday, and Hubs and I are simultaneously potato sack holding my son while SCRUBBING his face. I sure as hell hope there is truth in the "Non-Toxic" advertising on kids art supplies. It was...awesome. And proof enough that I cannot rely on my 4.5 year old to be the keeper of her brother, like, at all, ever.
So, sadly, I am back to being convinced that all those parents were full of shit. At least for now. I hold out hope that someday these two kids will become the other's keeper. In the meantime, apparently now I need to add marker pens to my list of things C.C. must keep out of reach. At this rate, we may just need to empty her room until Pierce is 5!
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.