Yes, yesterday was the most blessed day of the year; my two older children went back to school.
Now, I do love my kids and enjoy being with them, but this summer could be summarized as "Pool Days From the Edge." Seriously, if I had not been so self-conscious about the NINE pounds I gained between 4th of July and last week, I probably would have been in jail for running naked through the streets of my small town whilst pulling out my hair by the handful. I guess that's one reason to be thankful my pants are too tight.
The three offspring could not get along, and I felt powerless to do anything that would remedy that. I have to say that I do not know how homeschool moms deal with that much togetherness. Maybe they are better women, better mothers, more social, more patient, less moody, on Prozac or Xanax or a "liquid lunch" or all three... I don't know, but I need a little time to myself, and the summer does not provide much of that. And now, it is marvelously quiet in my home. I love that. Bonus is upstairs playing Wii. Mr. Incredible is off trying to make the sale of a lifetime (keep your fingers crossed and cross your toes, too). And I am enjoying my second cup of coffee in SILENCE. And all I can hear is the blissful sound of raindrops and my fingers clicking on the keyboard. Yay!
By all accounts, the first day of school was a resounding success for both Miss Proper and RNR Princess. Miss Proper sat with all her elementary school besties at lunch. RNR sat with her buddy from last year, who is the little brother of one of Miss Proper's besties, and they made imaginary bubbles that they named Bob and Joe. Ummm, yeah... As long as she was having fun... I asked questions to try to understand this game a little better, but that's the whole game. Apparently, this child is as easily amused as her mother.
So, some of you have heard me gripe about this in person, but you are going to hear it again. It was the first day of school, and I should have spent the afternoon learning all about what happened on the first day of second grade or hearing all about who ate lunch with whom over at the middle school. And then, I should have had a moment to blog about the first day of school on that day.
I had homework.
An essay about what I remember about the second grade. And this is important why? Who cares that Mrs. Werbach was a kind woman who wore rust plaid suits? Who cares that I donned a hooded snowsuit, snow boots, a ski cap, mittens and a scarf ala Randy Parker in A Christmas Story to walk to and from school? Have you heard of the blizzard of '78? I was in second grade living in St. Charles, Illinois wading through mountains of snow in hot pursuit of the first available stall in the girl's restroom at Davis Elementary. It was only two blocks, but as anyone who has bundled up within an inch of her life knows, you have to pee like crazy as soon as you get into all that cold weather garb. And if you took everything off at home to go, you would be late for school. You just have to hold it and hope you don't pee in your snowsuit before you get to school because it will instantaneously freeze on your permanently creased polyester pants and gald your inner thighs like nobody's business. Trust me; I know.
There was so much snow that year that I could have walked right out of my second story bedroom window and slid down the street. For some people that was the only way they could get out of their homes. It was such a historic, horrendous winter that people are still wearing t-shirts that say "I survived the blizzard of '78!" thirty-two years later.
Second grade was cold. The classroom was cold. The coatroom was wet. My boots and mittens were still wet when I put them back on at the end of the day. There was lots of whining in Mrs. Werbach's room. There are few things in this world more pitiful than a cold, wet, polyester-clad eight year old who is supposed to be doing math.
In second grade my then-best-friend, Claudine Marquis, contracted pneumonia, and I had to walk to school alone for about a month while she recovered. Then, we moved to Houston, Texas, and my teacher's name was Mrs. Russell. She wore enormous glasses. During my second week at my new school we had a "disaster drill" that turned out to be a real tornado. I huddled under a school desk weeping while alarm bells rang all over the school. It was terrifying.
Blizzards and tornadoes. Moving. Peeing in your snowsuit. Is that really what second graders need to hear about? I think not. The submitted version will be greatly edited.
And so, I spent my afternoon doing homework while my second grader watched television. And I'm bitter because the excitement of the first day of school was sucked out by this asinine assignment. I have already been to school. In fact, I went to school for twenty-two years straight with no breaks. I have undergraduate degrees in English literature and sociology plus a graduate degree in sociology. I even have an additional year of coursework toward my Ph.D. I don't need to do more homework because I WORK IN MY HOME EVERY DAY. Argh. If I wanted more homework, I would go back to school to be a librarian. Call me crazy, but I'm just wondering how me writing an essay is going to help my child learn.
I'm done ranting now.
I love my child, and I don't want her to suffer the consequence of sitting out at recess because her mother disagrees with her teacher's pedagogical slant, so I have to go finish my homework. And if I don't get an A, I'm really going to be ticked off.