Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I heard a quiet scratchy scratch sound in my pillowcase the other night. In a single motion I jumped out of bed, turned out my pillow and deposited a big bug into the toilet. I was sure it was a massive bed bug and that the whole house was infested. A befuddled Tim got up to inspect. He and I silently watched the bug swimming around gracefully in the urine-filled toilet, Tim muttering, "I promise you; it's a water bug!" Because he loves me, he googled "bed bugs." Bed bugs have transparent heads and are the size of a grain of rice. This thing was an inch long. Doesn't the world know that I'm too high strung for bugs in my pillow case?

Sleep has been an issue. Jack Peter started kindergarten on September 13. He has Mrs. O'Brien, and he loves every minute of it, but the mornings are insane because he has to be there by 8:25. My food obsession has been in check for a while because everyone's been eating. I'm back to force-feeding him breakfast like a foie-gras-goose and obsessing about his untouched lunch boxes.
They give him chocolate milk every day; they don't even have real milk. How can I compete with chocolate milk? I'd have to come in with mussels or lamb chops, and that's not going to happen.

He's about 7 inches shorter than most of the boys in his class. "You HAVE to eat!!! Don't you want to be as big as Caspar, Rex, Jerrod and Ty Hiem???" I ask.
He could care less. The first week of school he was his table captain and the boys line leader, so his Napoleon complex was in full force. He'd come home in the evenings with a full assessment of who had cried and for how long, who got time-outs, and who got "caught being good" slips. I asked him who are his new friends, picking out random names: "What about Jeremiah or Ty Hiem?"

"I'M NOT FRIENDS WITH TY-HIEM!!!! He can't READ!!!! He and Jada just MAKE UP WORDS!!!" Obviously Jack Peter has inherited the Kinder family inability to suffer fools gene. I'm not sure that's going to serve him well on the playground at an inner city school when he's 7 inches shorter and 20 lb lighter than most of the other kids. I can't figure out whether he's truly that
hierarchical about the world or whether he can't imagine that the kids can't read and is thinking that they're being disrespectful to his beloved Mrs. O'Brien. We'll see...

On "open house night" for the school, most people didn't bring their kids. Jack Peter was enjoying being
Mrs. O'Brien's little parrot as she went over bathroom procedure, etc. She was discussing the classroom jobs, when Jack Peter said out loud to me, "Mama, she gave the line leader job to SOMEONE ELSE!!!" Before I could think I responded loudly, "You mean you were FIRED????" I'm not sure that was appropriate.

I'm already feeling on thin ice with Mrs. O'Brien. We took him out of school last Friday to take an RV trip to show our niece, Britt, some Boston schools and to visit my mom. On Sunday I frantically realized that not only had we dropped the ball on a week of kindergarten homework, but also Jack Peter's first BIG PROJECT was due on Tuesday.

He missed 2 books a day on his log for all of last week in his 100 Book Challenge. Jack Peter can read rings around most people, so I'm not all that concerned, but I do want to look like a good, proactive mother. I put a few entries in just off of the top of my head from what we'd read last week. The project, however, involved a shoe box. 10 pm Sunday night Tim and I were trolling around Northern Liberties for shoe boxes by madly texting our neighbors. One of them came up with a gorgeous black box, and Aunt Tiff had recently given us a bag of craft supplies that included some pretty special, glittery, squishy, sticky-backed foam, so I felt prepared for a kindergarten project.

Monday evening was busy so I planned to pull him out of after care to do it;
I've changed my schedule so Mondays I get Toby to myself. We go to the pool, to "mommy and me yoga" or to playgroup, we grocery shop, have a nice lunch, and she is then supposed to nap for 3 hours. I spent Monday afternoon listening to Toby not nap in her crib "MAMA, I'M NOT NAPPING; I WANT TO COME UPSTAIRS!!!" Meanwhile, I gabbed on the phone and cut things out of foam.

I've been a little down lately, and a couple friends have noticed.
Martha said, "You should do something nice for yourself today."
I replied, "Are you kidding?" I've cut out a glue stick, 4 markers, 2 sharpies, a pencil, 6 Bakugans, the letters to comprise 'JACK PETER'S SCHOOL TOOLS BOX' and an amazing pair of scissors from iridescent, sparkly foam; I can't imagine doing anything nicer for myself..."
"That sounds like heaven." She said.

As you can see we got the project finished, and we are now chugging along with the rest of his homework. This evening I was going through his back pack stuff. In addition to a crumpled up Spanish song we're supposed to be singing together 3 times a day, I got a grumpy post-it about absentee protocol, and a QUESTION MARK over one of my 100 Book Challenge entries. OK, so I had put on a date that hadn't happened yet...

I wrote on the log, "Sometimes we read in the mornings; I'm not great with the date"
I wrote on the absentee slip, "We were taking our niece to visit HARVARD AND MIT last Friday." This Mrs. O'Brien needs to know who she's dealing with....

Not only is our niece looking at Harvard and MIT...I cut out all of that crap with THESE!