Peeper: What does it mean when you have a period?
Me: That’s when ladies bleed, remember?
Peeper: No, like in a sentence.
Peeper’s been watching the School House Rock DVD and goes around singing all the songs. Today, we were working with her movable alphabet and she wanted to make a sentence using “a explanation mark.” We did, and then she looked at the box of letters/punctuation, and asked, “Where’s the bycom?”
“The bycom! You know – ‘…or a bycom if the feeling’s not as strong.’”
I knew what she meant. Do you?
Lately, I’ve been seeing friends on Facebook post things like this:
I decided that I’ve had enough of this sort of ridiculousness, and posted this.
I’ve had no recent run-ins with the law, my bodily functions are just fine, I have enough toilet paper on hand to supply a small village, and although we would have loved to have given Peeper a little brother or sister, it wasn’t in the cards, and I would never, ever make joke about that.
Looks like it’s that time of year again, and I’m feeling uncooperative, so instead of posting a bogus status update to trick you into a silly “game” that is somehow suppose to increase “awareness” of breast cancer, I’m going to say this:
First of all, in 2014, how are we possibly in need of breast cancer “awareness?” We all know that breast cancer exists. Hell, in a few weeks, the entire grocery store is going to turn pink. We are well aware of breast cancer, and even if we weren’t, a “secret” Facebook game certainly wouldn’t change that.
If you want to post something that might actually help your friends to be more aware of breast cancer, ask if they’ve had mammogram lately, or if they do regular self-exams.
Share links to information about breast cancer risk factors. Here’s one.
Do your research and donate to a charity who is going to use your money smartly and efficiently to make real change. This might be a good place to start.
Or think locally, and find an organization supporting breast cancer patients in your town. If you live near us, here’s a good choice (link to local breast cancer alliance).
Know someone who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer? Call her up and ask what you can do to help her and her family. Can you drop off a meal? Babysit a kid? Make a grocery run?
Am I doing all of these things? Of course not, and don’t expect you to, either. But I am posting this, instead of some silly untruth in the name of “awareness.”
And if I do even one thing on this list, and you do one thing and your friend does one thing, then maybe, together, we’ll actually make a difference.
You are seventy months old today. That is, it’s only two months until you turn six years old, but more immediately, you are starting kindergarten tomorrow!
On the one hand, it’s kind of a non-event for you, since you’re still at Montessori, and with their three-year classes, you’ll be in the same room with the same teachers and most of the same kids, just doing full days instead of half days – and you’re definitely looking forward to “staying for lunch and being an afternoon friend.”
And, it’s also sort of a non-event for me, too, because I know that you’re totally ready to stay all day (you did just fine at the all day summer camp at your school a couple of weeks ago) and totally ready for the more advanced works that you’ll be seeing as a kindergartener. (Well, except maybe for the writing, but your teachers know exactly where you are with that, and will be giving you works at the appropriate level.)
On the other hand.
MAH BAYBEE IS GOING TO KINDERGARTEN!
WHO LET THAT HAPPEN?!?
Ahem. I’m fine. Just had a moment there.
I have no concerns about how you’ll handle it, none at all. It’s just the whole milestoniness of it all. Kindergarten. What the fuck?
I know this is such a cliche’ but it really does seem like just yesterday that you were that tiny little thing in my arms, refusing to nurse, and scaring the hell out of us with your holey little heart.
When I first got involved with MOMS Club, you were almost a year old. I looked at the preschoolers and couldn’t even picture you at their age. Now the preschoolers are “the babies” from whom you hide your good toys when we host playgroup. You are almost always the oldest kid at any club activity we attend. When did you become “the big kid?”
Just two years ago, when you started Mother’s Day Out, I was so worried about how you would handle it, and with good reason – you cried every morning until February. Last year, you just got a bit lip-trembly right before time to go to your brand new classroom at your brand new school.
Tomorrow, I’m pretty sure the only tears will be mine. Well, and maybe Mommy’s. I promise we’ll do our best to wait until you’re out of the car.
Because, I know you will be fine. You are going to totally rock kindergarten. And your teachers are going to be amazed by how much you’ve learned and grown over the summer. Mostly how much more confident you are, and how much more mature.
Oh, not that you can’t pull a good one when you don’t like what we have to say, but you’re also doing things like brushing your teeth all by yourself (sometimes it gets a bit messy), finally going potty alone and actually wiping (usually), saving up your allowance for things you want, talking to strangers politely and appropriately, coming up with your own ideas for little projects and seeing them through, suggesting that we take brownies to “someone who doesn’t have much food,” and just being an all-around awesome kid.
I cannot even begin to make you know how very, very proud I am of you, and how proud I think you should be of yourself.
I love you, kiddo. Have a great first day of kindergarten.
What with my phone and then my other-phone-camera pooping out, plus just being a big ol’ bum, I’ve not actually blogged in ages. Bad, bad blogger.
I just posted several post-dated photos and cute stories, back to my trip to Texas, and as soon as I can get my hands on Shrike’s phone to suck the photos out of it, I’ll add some more, including some from our quicky vacation to Washington, DC.
(Or maybe I already have, depending on when you’re reading this.)
What with the radio silence, you’d think that not much was going on here, but trust me, we’ve got plenty. The biggest things at the moment are:
- Peeper starts kindergarten in three days. What the fuck?
- Next weekend, Shrike and Peeper are going to the beach with Shrike’s family – and I’m not.
- I’m looking for a full time job.
#1, I’ll be talking about plenty in the next couple of days, so I’ll just wait on that.
#2, We’re all pretty excited about. Actually, Shrike’s mom proposed this plan last summer and my answer at the time was “Aw, hell no!” but Peeper is a year older (and six-months-weaned) and Peeper and I are both fine with it now.
This is the same time share we went to when Peeper was almost-two, and stayed in a two-bedroom suite with Shrike’s parents, sister and her two kids. Too many people for that space, and I’m not a particular fan of the beach, and Peeper and I go on trips to Texas to see my family all the time, so I think it would be great to start a tradition of her taking an annual trip with Shrike and her family, too. And of course, the occasional family vacation for just the three of us.
When we made the plan, it was going to be Peeper’s first night away from me, but we actually did that a few weeks ago when I stayed in CapitalCity when taking my teacher certification tests. She did just fine that night, as did I, so I’m not worried at all about this trip.
My biggest worry, to be honest, is Peeper’s hair. Shrike doesn’t braid, and really isn’t too into doing much with it, and it absolutely must be braided for sleeping and swimming, or it will be horribly tangled by the end of a long weekend. The plan is that I will put her in two braids (the most secure ‘do we do) and if our 14-year-old niece can’t braid it (forgot to ask when we saw her the other day), then she’ll just leave it braided. It won’t be pretty by the time they get home, but it’s probably the best option.
I am a little sad that I’ll miss seeing her have beach fun, but not sad enough to want to change the plan.
(I may actually be looking forward to it just a little bit. There may be a plan in the works for Sunday that involve my friends A and T and some wine. Just sayin’)
As to #3, we’ve been going back and forth all summer as to whether or not I would go back to work full time once Peeper’s in school. I put in a few applications back in the spring, and actually had a couple of interviews that didn’t pan out, but I was pretty ambivalent. Then we actually decided that we’d be okay to just keep going with my part time position and web design consulting, so I stopped looking, but then we bought a new toilet and a new clutch for my car, and scheduled a $10,000 mold remediation project for our basement.
So, now we are way farther into our home equity loan than we’re comfortable with, and Mama needs 40 hours of income.
One of the jobs that I interviewed for in the spring was for high school director at Peeper’s school. Long story short, it would’ve been about half facilitating online classes and half other stuff, including community outreach, service learning, etc. It sounded perfect for me, but required high school math certification, which I don’t have.
So, I signed up to take the certification exam, busted my ass studying for it because I remembered very little trig and no calculus, took the exam, and scored two fucking points below the passing score.
I thought about trying the middle school math instead, and maybe science, but then we decided I wasn’t looking for full time yet, so I didn’t.
Then a middle school math and science position opened at Peeper’s school, but it required – you guessed it – middle school science and math certification.
I couldn’t get it done in time for that job, but I did take those exams – a three part middle grades “core” (pedagogy, English/history and math/science), then the math and science exams. That’s when I stayed overnight in CapitalCity, because I tested one evening and the next morning, and it’s an hour away.
So, where are we now?
I’ve applied with some local school districts, but they started school today, so nothing’s happening there. I’ve applied for a position at a nearby college that would be great money, but is a stretch as to whether I’m qualified – and given that it’s been a week with no word, I’m guessing they don’t think I am. I think I’ve sent some resumes for web design work, but nothing there.
I do, however, have a strong possibility, as – get this – director at a learning center. The same “brand” as where I worked before, but this is the local center, which has a different owner from where I worked before.
I interviewed there on Wednesday, and today I got a call-back for a “final panel interview” on Friday. That all sounds quite promising, if we can make it work with our life.
It’s about five minutes from our house, which is great, but I suspect the money will be similar to where I was before (not great, but better than part time, so…) and the hours may be an issue, because they teach until 6 pm Monday – Thursday. We have some ideas about how to handle the Peeper logistics, just have to figure out the details.
Meanwhile, classes started today at the college where I tutor. I work about half my regular hours this week, doing prep work, class introductions and tutoring for walk-ins, and my regular schedule will start next week. Kind of hard to get real into the introductions and preparations when I don’t know if I might be leaving soon. My boss knows that I’m looking, and that I had an interview last week. I’ll give her a heads-up about Friday’s interview, so she’s not surprised if I show up Tuesday with my two-weeks notice in hand.
Or, maybe this one won’t pan out either, and we’ll just keep on keeping on for now.
Time will tell.
Peeper taking pictures with Shrike’s camera. She was just trying to get it to take a photo of something while she was peeing. She said, “At least it’s not taking a selfie of me going to the bathroom!”
We were eating leftover cheatin’ chicken & dumplings for lunch, and Shrike asked if she could take some for lunch. I said, “please do – I’ve already had it a couple of times.”
Peeper suggested that, “We could donated it!”
We explained that the shelter really needs more than a couple of servings of leftovers, but maybe some time, we’ll make a pan of something just for them.
Peeper’s been bugging me to make brownies for more than a week now. We decided to skip the farmers market today because of rain, and we’re missing our falafel and the brownie that she always gets for “breakfast” while we’re there, so I caved on the brownie baking, then we had the following conversation:
Me: Do you think that you, Mommy and I need a whole pan of brownies just for ourselves?”
Peeper: No (there might have been a ? at the end of that)
Me: Maybe we should share them. Who could we share them with?
(I was thinking maybe we’d send some to work with Shrike or ask her to drop some off to her Pappy on her way.)
Peeper: I know! We can donate them to somebody who doesn’t have enough food to eat!
So, I made a quick phone call to confirm that it was okay, we baked a double recipe, took out a few for ourselves, and packed up the rest to take to the homeless shelter.
While they were cooling, I posted about it on Facebook, to brag on my super-kind kid, and a friend commented that “So cool!! I didn’t know you could do that. I have a huge pan of cookie dough brownies to share if you want to swing by on your way!”
So, we took them an almost-double recipe of chocolate brownies with fudge icing, a big pan of cookie dough brownies, and almost five pounds of tomatoes from our garden.
But, let me tell you a bit about the friend who added the cookie dough brownies. She’s just the nicest person, has four kids, from second grade to four months, and in a couple of days she’ll have her next-to-last treatment of chemotherapy, for the breast cancer that was diagnosed while she was pregnant. She had a mastectomy at 30 weeks pregnant, was induced at 37 weeks, in order to start chemo sooner, delivered vaginally, then hemorrhaged and had an emergency hysterectomy. But, you know, no big deal, just baking some brownies and donating them to the homeless shelter.
It’s pretty hard to complain about much in my life, when I see things like that happening to people like her.
While playing in the hose and mud, Peeper asked me, “Mama, since you teach [tutor] phys-ology, do you know why my fingers get wrinkly in the water?
Why, yes, honey. Actually, I do.