Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"When I found out that Sam had called Cassidy a butt again, I 'bout fell outta the tree I'd climbed."


Yes, we were there today:  One of them in a tree; the other one in time out for name calling.  Okay, so Husband was there ... at preschool pickup.  I was at work cranking out student retention stats because "the state has decided to pull the funding" on all ESL classes, and the VP of the college wants my colleagues and I to come in on Friday and "discuss our options."

Yesterday, Sam called Cassidy a butt.  Today, same thing.  

When I asked him to explain, he just said, "Cassidy knocked my art off the table, so I just called her a butt."  

Which is way better than the standard question "Why did you ... ?"

And standard answer: "Because I did."

Unfortunately, when John discovered this tidbit, he happened to be with his friend Quinn, and their reaction probably sealed the deal for poor Cassidy, who (by the way) has just become a big sister to a little brother.  Irony of ironies.

Let's discuss siblings for a minute, shall we?  

Sometimes I think that all of my problems in life could've been solved if I had had an older sibling to pick on me.  The picking allows children to practice reactions to all sorts of real-life situations (e.g., someone is being mean to you, someone is calling you names, someone is making you feel guilty about something you did, someone has blamed you for something for which the outcome is way above your developmental level of reasoning ability but you must still come up with a reasonable response).  

Clearly, I've had an easy life.

But anywho, I would just like to say I'm still, after 3.5 years, getting accustomed to having two kids, which, by the way -- sorry, I may have said this before -- is WAY more than just double the work. 

Here's the thing about having more than one child:  You cannot just give one of them a box of cereal and say, "Y'all eat breakfast and then get your shoes on."  

The one to which you give the box is going to taunt the other one with the contents of the box.  The other one is going to run to the fridge in retaliation, grab the milk, and play some strong defense.

NO ONE IS GOING TO PUT HIS SHOES ON.

Next, there are chocolate rice krispies all over the floor, and they're both real sorry.

This is when you say something inspirational like, "Y'all are no fun at all.  We cannot even just have breakfast without y'all making me want to double up on my meds."

After that, one of them will get the broom and wave it around in the air, attempting to clean.  This will send you into a worse state because the only allergy you have is to the dust bunnies which camp out on the broom.

Finally, someone will sit on the floor and eat all of the spilled chocolate krispies so that the other players are put out of their misery and can attend to other morning duties.

At some point, all kiss and hug goodbye, and you go to work, where there are more needy people, and a Vice President who is questioning your entire role at the college and who seriously thinks that unleashing about a thousand non-native English speaking immigrants onto English Comp I instructors is going to be beneficial to the college's bottom line.

Note:  I know that this post would be way better with cute, distracting pictures of my angelic children.  But alas, I've been so busy crunching numbers that I haven't had time for that.

One thing that I wish I had documented photographically is the end of John's baseball game last night.  We played a team who had clearly decided that we were their arch enemy.  And the appropriate subject for the verb "decided" is the Grown.Men.Coaches who, upon the winning run, ran onto the field and belly bumped while simultaneously making that, "Wooooooo-Yeahhhhhhhh!" sound that men seem to think is masculine when they do it in honor of an athletic victory.  It's even more macho at a random MONDAY night game in the little-league schedule.  I mean, it's almost  forgivable on Saturdays in May during the championship tournament.  But at this point in the season I fear that it's jealousy, feelings of insubordination, and desire to achieve all of one's long-lost childhood dreams ... incarnate.  

All I could say to my 8-year-old witness to this behavior was, "Their spirited celebrations are nothing but a compliment to your team."  

All he replied was, "Why were they singing?  I really don't think they were any better than us."

Which is really all one needs to know about life -- no one is any better than us.  We are all just trying to win something: the art-on-the-table battle, the fight over chocolate cereal, the war against allergens, the rage against the Brentwood Knights, the machine, or oneself.

So here's where I share some quotes that help me to keep my chin up because sometimes I get all depressed when my job is at stake and the little league team is having a bad week:

  • “April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all passion is really a setup, and we're doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go out there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. ... Come the end of the dark days, I am more than joyful. I'm nuts. ”                               ― Barbara KingsolverAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle


  • "Here are some questions I am constantly noodling over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it's your last, or do you save your money on the chance you'll live 20 more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses? And where do carbohydrates fit into all this? Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in America is so unbelievably delicious? And what about chocolate?" Nora Ephron -- "I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts

  • Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” 
    ― Pema Chödrön 


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