One Week Down, 467 To Go

My big boy started Kindergarten last week. And thus begins the next 13 years of school. Waking up early, staying up late, making friends, and doing homework.  I had a mild breakdown after his meet the teacher night, but so far everything else has been pretty smooth. Except for him vomiting the morning that school started. That wasn’t exactly ‘smooth.’

Here are a few things we’ve learned about in our first week.

  1. The Temptation of Free Breakfast. Our school district offers a free breakfast for any student who wants to eat it. Pretty awesome right? Except – there’s only 15 minutes between the school door opening and teachers picking up in the cafeteria. My super hungry growing boy wanted to do a pattern. “Eat at home, eat at school, eat at home, eat at school, and continue the pattern,” he said. But then it turned into eat at home and again at school, eat at home, eat at home and again at school, eat at school. Free Cinnamon Toast Crunch was just too much for his little body to resist. This would’ve been fine with me, until 3 days in he tells me that he walks himself to class. Which should be false since the teachers pick the students up in the morning. After some questioning, he is insistent that his teacher does not walk him to class, he just knows where his room is. Ugh. I emailed his teacher, and she confirmed that he’d been rollin’ on to class at about 7:55 (10 minutes after everyone else). We have since discontinued the “eat at school” parts of the pattern, and now it’s eat at home and get to class on time, eat at home and get to class on time.
  2. Pete the Cat, the Optimist. Pete the Cat is pretty entertaining. And after Day 1, I was being taught a song about a happy cat who steps in all kinds of crud, seemingly ruining his shoes, but just takes it all in stride. It went something like this. “Pete stepped in a big pile of strawberries. Did he cry? Goodness no! He just sang his song, “I love my red shoes, I love my red shoes…” I feel for poor Pete’s mama. She went out and bought some brand new white shoes, and Pete can’t help but step in every pile of everything he sees. She now has to decide whether to be mad about some shoes or be happy that her kid is so darn easy going. A true conundrum. I’m a little bit like Pete’s mom. As a back to school gift from my mom, we were gifted a brand new pair of Puma shoes. He loooooves them. On the first day, he got them caked in mud putting his bike on the bike rack. But did he cry? Goodness no… he just sang “I love my brown shoes, I love my brown shoes…”
  3. No Amount of Tired Will Make My Kid Nap. It’s true. Both of my older boys stopped napping between 18 months and 2 years. Which is kind of the pits. I hear about 3 and 4 year olds who still take a 1-2 hour snooze every day, and I can’t help but wonder what is up with those kids. Are they running laps every morning? Staying up until midnight? I know it’s likely they’re just nappers, but I can’t help but think I should start some kind of training regimen to wear my boys out each morning (kidding.) In any case, my oldest has never been as tired as he is right now in his first week ever of starting at 6:45 am and going all day every day. I saw some first day pictures of kids passed out in the car on the 5 minute drive from school to home, and I thought maybe he would be so tired he’d need a nap one day. Nope. Not here! But it’s just as well, because lately I’ve been feeling like I am missing out on so much time with him that I’d actually be a little bummed if he came straight home and went to bed.
  4. If I want to know what happens at school, I will need to go there. It’s official. I have an, “I don’t remember,” kid. The kind that you know has never forgotten anything in his life, but suddenly you want to know what went down in P.E. and all he can muster is, “Something with handshakes.” Um, what? I’ll never know what the first day of P.E. activity that was his absolute favorite part of the whole day was. I just have visions of kids running around shaking hands willy nilly. It has gotten better, another day I got that they threw a scarf in the air and had to clap twice before they caught it. And still another day I learned that when on the track one whistle means walk and two means run. But then there’s been conversations like this oneKP: Me and Emma were the 1st ones to move up on the (behavior) chart!
    M: Oh buddy that’s awesome! What did you do to move up?
    KP: I answered the question!
    M: What question?
    KP: Who was it?
    M: Who was what?
    KP: Me!
    M: No, why did she ask who was it?
    KP: Because she couldn’t remember who it was!
    M: Who it was that did what?
    (More confusion and “Who was it?” talk)
    KP: She couldn’t remember who answered the question, and it was me, so I raised my hand!
    M: What question did you answer?
    KP: huh? I told her it was me!
    M: No, what did you know that she couldn’t remember that you knew?
    KP: Oh. I don’t know what I knew.

  5. School Is HARD. On everyone. Mom, dad, brothers… nobody is immune. I kept telling my son this summer how much his life was about to change forever. I knew he’d have a big adjustment coming – getting up early, being away from the house all day for the first time, homework, and being on his best behavior and alert all day. I did not think about the adjustments we’d all be enduring. My 3 and 5 year olds share a room, and this has meant that my 3 year old now wakes up at 6:45 or shortly after on most days. He’s also a no-napper, so he’s been a little (okay a lot) on the grumpy/needy/whiny side this week. He’s also lost his best playmate, which changes up my day considerably! The baby does still nap, but I will rejoice when I can figure out how not to have to wake him up each day for pickup. We’ve had a few days of 15 minute naps before it’s time to head out to get big brother.

Overall we’ve had a good first week, and are starting to see just how busy we’ll be this year between school, homework, soccer, and life. There’ve been a few emotional breakdowns (from a mix of kids and parents!) but we are getting it figured out. There haven’t been any notes home, and we are pretty sure our boy is telling the truth about winning a ‘super student’ award for his class this week! (I’ll know for sure when I see it in the newsletter.) It’s a relief to send a kid off to school and at least know they’re behaving like a respectable human while they’re there. How is your crew holding up after the first week?

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6 Texas Bathroom Bill Improvements – What I’d Like in My Bathroom Bill

I’m from Texas. Texans can agree on a lot of things, like that we have some pretty spectacular Bar-B-Q, rivers, sports, and people here. But if you so much as whisper the words “bathroom bill” in Texas, you’re bound to be met with some strong feelings one way or another.  My husband recently tweeted that his bathroom bill would start with a ban on trough urinals.  I don’t know much about trough urinals except that I want to stay far, far away from them, so I decided to draft a bathroom bill of my own.
6 Things Moms want in a bathroom bill

      1. Mandatory soundproofing of stalls.

        We’ve all been there. You’re in the bathroom with your 2 yr old, chatting away, and it’s finally your turn to pee. You sit down, and he yells, “Mom! Where your penis!?” You remind him (for the millionth time) that you don’t have one, and the conversation is over.  Until he squats down in front of you and yells, “Oh! There you penis!” Wait, what? “No! No penis down there!” And now you’re just hoping the bathroom bill doesn’t pass because you don’t need to be questioned by the bathroom police on account of a loudmouth toddler. What’s that you say? You’ve never been in this position? Okay, well then I ask the same thing I asked a 4th grader who didn’t understand why teachers had their own rest room. “Do you want me hearing your bathroom noises?”

      2. At least one sink should either be lowered or have the option of a pull out step stool.
        Washing Toddler Hands
        It’s super hard to get a photo of this process!

        I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the looks of utter discomfort as I’ve hoisted a kid up to a sink and smashed his body to the counter so he won’t fall so that I can wash his hands that have been touching everything. Kids don’t do a stellar scrubbing job, so I feel like I have to at least help a little! This doesn’t happen at Chick-Fil-A, because they have step stools. And so should everyone.

      3. Purse hooks must be in working order at all times.

        There’s nothing like sitting down for dinner and gazing around the kitchen only to catch a glimpse of your purse on the counter. Cue the flashbacks of your purse on the Joann bathroom floor earlier when you had to choose between wiping and holding your purse because the stall was too tiny to possibly do both at the same time, and there was no freaking purse hook. Just those 2 sad holes where there USED to be a purse hook. Tragic. Because then, instead of enjoying your dinner, you must immediately get up and wipe down the counter so you can stop being tormented by what’s schlepping off of your purse.

      4. Changing tables must be installed in order to pass code inspection.

        Because if you don’t have a changing table, that means I’m going to be changing my kid’s poopy diaper on your floor, booth, counter, or wherever else I can find a flat surface large enough to contain his wiggly behind. And also it hurts my body to have to get down and change that baby. Barry O knew what was up. Put these suckers in the men’s room too, because it is a) sexist to assume that mom must change all diapers and b) ridiculous to assume that dads never take their baby out sans-mom. It DOES happen. Maybe people think we need a bathroom bill to keep dads from sneakin’ into our zone to borrow the changing tables. Problem solved.

      5. Financial support for research and development of a bathroom robot vacuum/mop.

        I feel like this one is self-explanatory. But when I walk in a bathroom with gross floors, I can just hear Phoebe singing, “Sticky Shoes.” Except these sticky shoes are not making me smile. A bathroom robot vacuum would be ideal if it could pick up stray TP and also soak up a mess – that way I don’t have to spend my whole trip convincing the little ones that they are not in charge of that job. I have seen each of my older boys lay down on a bathroom floor. It’d make it easier for me to want to hug them later if there was a bathroom robot vacuum mop hangin’ out too.

      6. Produce literature getting the word out about these awesome chairs!
        Baby bathroom seat
        Just strap your baby in, and take care of business hassle free.

        I’ve only actually gotten to use this one time. It is at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and it was awesome.  I’ve also had to use the bathroom with a baby strapped to my chest in his carrier. This has happened on more than one occasion, but the most notable and also annoying was at a children’s museum. The logistics of this are as hard as they sound. I don’t know how the wildlife preserve took needs of moms into account better than a children’s museum, but I’d like to do my part to spread the word of this baby chair awesomeness.

 

Okay, in the interest of limited government I’m not actually suggesting these things be discussed by our senators – except maybe #4. That one’s a no-brainer to me. But business owners, I’m lookin’ at you! And if you have strong feelings about the actual Texas Bathroom Bill, feel free to share them with your representative. Nobody here can help you, so it’s best if you talk to someone who can. However, I would love to hear what you’d include in your own bathroom bill!

 

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A Little Wild & A Little Strange

A little wild and a little strange… There’s a lot rolled into this little tag line. The first layer of the meaning of this tag line is the face value. We are actually sometimes a LOT wild and a LOT strange (the 5 year old is learning Swedish with his daddy for no real reason in particular, the *almost* 3 year old runs around screaming HA-LE-LU-YAH, the baby is just wild, and there’s too much to type about Dad and Me… but check out @OscarsHead on Instagram for a glimpse into my husband’s hobby) Three boys in the house makes for a little bit of lots of things, but we have no shortage of “wild” and “strange” around here.

A favorite of @OscarsHead

If you sang that tag line, then you probably get me. We are 90’s kids. Nickelodeon kids. Hey Dude kids. “Older” millennials. I recently did a training on strategies for teaching millennials in a college classroom. I don’t think that the creators of the training intended for actual millennials to take the course. It was very meta. I learned a lot about my learning style and study habits. I’ve thrown that word around a lot already (3 times in this paragraph – easy to count, because apparently “millennials” isn’t in the official dictionary of typing on the internet so it’s underlined for me) but what does it even mean? To people older than us, it sometimes means “entitled and no attention span.” To me, it means “not afraid to click that button even though I’m not sure what it does.” In any case, my love of Hey Dude represents that I grew up when the internet was juuuuust starting to get into every home, and my first phone did not take pictures or send unlimited texts. I love me some technology, but still appreciate a good old bike ride.

Big Boy enjoying a bike ride. He says he invented that trick.

I sang that tag line.  I get that from my dad.  We sang a LOT in my house growing up, but not really like sitting around singing whole songs.  More the kind of singing where if somebody says, “Man, it’s really hot in here!” then naturally, there’s only one response.  But we’ll leave that to Nelly. My husband on the other hand always has a song to sing – the whole song kind. I usually don’t mind this and actually kind of enjoy it, except when we’re going on day 27 of the same song.

My mind is like a wild ride. I am one of those “scatterbrained” individuals that rarely finishes project A before heading over to project C for a minute (I had to skip project B because I forgot a few of the things I needed at the store!) I generally finish things when it’s necessary (read: at the last minute) which drives my husband nuts because he generally finishes things when he finds out they need to be done (read: way before they’re on my radar). This blog will almost certainly reflect that. I’ll finish one blog post before I start another, but be prepared to read a new fav Whole 30 recipe one day, and see a DIY project the next!

I hope you’ll join me as I pour out some of the “wild and strange” from our family into this blog. We have enough to go around.

 

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