Friday, April 27, 2018

Ladies' Night

It's finally happened.

No, not sharing my shoes with my daughter, although that happened with Oldest on Easter Sunday, when she complained her church shoes were woefully tight. I ended up just giving her two pairs of shoes I don't wear anymore. The worst part? She's probably going to outgrow those as well. Save me now. (Middle has already surpassed me.)

But no, not any of that.

I sat down at the dinner table tonight with the girls, just the four of us, as Hubby was working, and proceeded to spend the next three minutes having absolutely no idea what my children were discussing.

Enough names finally got tossed that I figured out they were talking about a game they all play online, and I presumed these to be "celebrity" YouTubers who make videos of their game play (people can make money at this?), and ye tap-dancing fishies, I am somehow old.

Which really was never to be the point of the blog post I intended to write tonight.

A friend on Facebook (and also in real life, because I am old and know 97% of my Facebook friends for realsies) had posted something today, asking how old you'd be in ten years, along with your kids. Another friend commented that it wasn't so much how old everyone would be in ten years that got to her, but how young everyone was just ten years before.

Since you're dying to know, I'll be 52, Special Edition will be 31, Oldest will be 22, and both Middle and Youngest will be 21. (The next decade will be interesting.)

But it was far less the future that caught my attention as it was my friend's comment about the past.

Ten years ago today, we would have had no kids.

This life wouldn't have even been a glimmer on the horizon. We had another few days before we got the first call from my brother, I think.

How boring.

I didn't dare comment on the post for fear of totally hijacking it and taking it in such a completely bent direction, but man... Ten years ago, there were no kids. Not in our daily lives, at least. Our "kids" had four legs and were the only self-cleaning things in the house.

Coming up in a little over a month, we celebrate an entire decade as a family. Ten years of parenting by the seat of our pants. Ten. Years.

Yeah, we're doing something special. Hubby and I are still talking options.


"...not airy, like your brain is full of air, because it's not. I've seen it," Middle declared, speaking to her twin.

Oh. Hey. Still dinner. I set down my fork and studied Middle for a moment. "What did you do, look up her nose?"

Middle nodded effusively and waggled her eyebrows. "Uh-huh."

"Wait, you saw my brain?" Youngest scrunched up her nose.

"You were on the playroom bed, and I looked up, and there it was."

Giggles broke out around the table, and the conversational arc repeated itself as I sat there in bemused amusement for a good minute, just watching and listening. Then... "You do know you can't see her brain by looking up her nose, right?"

Middle shot back, deadpan, "Do you?" Her eyebrows wriggled again.

I sat back in my chair as a beat passed in silence. "I'm pretty confident in my science knowledge."

Middle laughed. "I have none. That's why I'm so smart."

Ladles and germs, this is my dinner table.

I hope it's this much fun still in another ten years.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tender Vignettes of a Particular Thursday

6:30 a.m.

Oldest's alarm blaring down the hallway woke me up, because I'd forgotten last night to set my odd-week Thursday alarm that means Oldest has to get up in time for school, not for counseling. (She has an afternoon appointment this week.) Oops.

To be honest, I don't know why Oldest sets both of her alarms. She gets up with the 6 a.m. one daily now that (as I knock on all available pieces of wood) spring seems to be here. I grumble half-awake, and five minutes later she knocked on the door to tell me she was leaving for school. She normally catches a ride with the neighbor kids down the street but they haven't been getting to the school early enough for Oldest. (I know!) Whatever. She's going to school; I'm going back to bed. For another 35 minutes, anyway.

7:25 a.m.

Waffle called to tell me how her morning has already started, so I walked out to the car while chatting with her and we talked the entire ride from my house to Hubby's work. Our topics ranged from The Kitten (hers), and his endless not-smartness (he doesn't know how to cat) that's tempered with cuteness to keep him alive, my inability last night to make Microsoft Word sit up and bark like I needed it to (something it's still refusing to do), traffic (she was commuting), and how I can't understand both halves of a conversation I'm right in the middle of when one half is talking in my ear and the other half is my husband, sitting right there in the car.

Hubby counted the day off to a good start because his daily commute takes him by a field where a gorgeous male ring-necked pheasant and his two hens live, and he saw the male and one of the hens this morning.

Waffle and Hubby both went into work, and I drove home, taking Middle into school once I got there. She's still having issues with the bus ride. It's longer in the morning, has more stops (squeaky brakes), there's a lot of kids, a cranked radio, and generally a lot of direct noise to scramble her headache right before the school day starts. She's also still tolerating only about a half day. Today, she toted in her baritone, because one of the valves was sticking. I confirmed with her that I'd see her before lunch.

Right. On with the rest of my morning.

9:05 a.m.

All hail Diet Dr Pepper, righter of worlds. I stuffed about a hundred envelopes for the newsletter I needed to send out, and then got started trying to untangle the problem between Word, Excel, and the Mail Merge That Would Not Happen last night. Perhaps the source Excel file (which was old) had a corruption that wasn't causing enough of an issue to bork Excel when I opened the file, but enough to cause issues when I tried to do something complicated like print labels from a data set. Solution? Create new file from scratch.

11:10 a.m.

I arrived at Middle's school and went in to sign her out. As I did, Middle told me the principal wanted to talk to me.

Oh, rapturous delight.

We've been hitting snags with getting Middle the help she needs while not having her stay in school during the day longer than she can handle without it giving her a huge headache. The PA we saw at the concussion clinic (who I was never exceptionally fond of, but for the fact that he did give us a great post-concussion care plan, despite his meager attempts to assist us in managing it) had said, at Middle's last appointment, that it sounded like she would benefit from independent instruction. If we wanted to do that, we needed to let him know. This was about three weeks ago. In subsequent discussions with Middle and then the principal, we decided to go this route. The principal didn't tell us (astonishingly enough) that there was a form we needed to have the PA fill out. So, we told the principal (rather enthusiastically) that we'd call the PA and he would fax something over.

Silly us for thinking it would be that simple.

I called, and within two days they called us back to say that the school needed to send them the form. They wouldn't do anything. They needed the form. When we finally reconnected with the principal about it (thinking she would have mentioned the form in the first place during all of the discussions prior), she says, "Yes, there's a form. Would you like me to email it to you?" PLEASE. She sent it to me on a Thursday. I had it faxed to the PA's office the next day. (This was the end of last week.)

So I'm already dreading this conversation. Middle's well-child checkup had been Monday, and I'd forgotten to a) get an excuse for that, and b) have the doctor give us an excuse for the rest of the time Middle had been out because she was throwing-up sick, which we had discussed at the appointment. The doctor had refused anything but the excuse for the day of the excuse produced by the principal, which was for the wrong day. OY. I explained that they screwed it up. The principal said I'd have to have them fax a new one. Then the issue of homebound instruction came up, and I said I'd sent the forms to the other doctor last week. I promised to call and to discuss ways that Middle could get further instruction time under her belt, while explaining that we still have to get Middle to see the neurologist again (tomorrow's appointment) and that she needs to see the eye doctor too.

Home again, jiggity.

11:35 a.m.

Middle and I have a heart-to-heart about some stuff because I was worried about the conversation we'd had in the car on the way home from school. I ended up pulling her into my lap, explaining that I would raise holy heck at the PA's office and we'd get her an eye doctor appointment and we'd see the neurologist and it was all going to work out.

"Why do you do all this for me?" she whispered.

I hugged her close. "Because you're my daughter and I love you."

"I love hearing you say those words."

Cue the heart going squoosh and the gooshy feelings.

2:10 p.m.

Oldest was tucked away in her counseling session, so I stepped outside to make the call to the PA's office. I explained my need, and they looked up Middle's chart.

"Yes, ma'am, we faxed that over to them today. It's all set."

Well. That was easy. Too easy...?

I went back inside the building and sat down, and my phone rang. It was my mother. I stepped outside again. She wanted to know what size shirts the twins wore, because she had $20 in Kohl's Cash and was going shopping for them.

I was back inside the building a bit longer this time and had gotten about ten pages further in my book and the waiting room had cleared out to just little ol' me when my phone rang again. Middle's school. What now?

It was the school counselor. She'd gotten the form from the PA's office, she said, but they'd refused to fill it out.

All of the bad words. All of them. "They what?"

"The only signature on the form is yours."

I muffled a scream only because I was in public. "They said they'd do this for us if we got them the form!"

The counselor was apologetic. She had called the PA's office herself. The receptionist informed her that she'd just done what the office manager said to do.

EGAD. I am SO done with these people and their incompetence.

"They want her neurologist to do it."

Handy. She sees the neurologist tomorrow. The counselor got very excited about that, and offered to send home new forms with Youngest. Square deal, thanks. I vented my frustration through messages to Hubby and Waffle.

Mom called again at 2:45, and I was beginning to feel like the most popular person in the world. She wanted to know if a dress she found at a yard sale was something Oldest would like. I said I wouldn't know until Oldest came out of session in another fifteen minutes or so. (She did, so I called Mom back then with the good news.)

3:10 p.m.

I stopped and got ice cream cones for both Oldest and me at McDonald's on our way over to Hubby's work.

Because sometimes you just need a cone.

Or twelve.

6:35 p.m.

Everyone headed out the door for Oldest's Choir concert at school. The choir director does a really good job with his students, and Oldest loves being in choir. Tonight's concert would feature the 6th Grade Chorus, the Accidentals (a select-voice jazz ensemble), and the 7th & 8th Grade Choir, with a finale musical montage featuring all three groups. Oldest ran off to join the ruckus of choir kids gathering at the front, and we found seats.

Hubby and I are sort of musical geeks; we met in our college's semi-professional a cappella choir. We know good music when we hear it. (We also know bad music when we hear it.) These kids have never failed to impress us. The Accidentals did a fantastic job; these kids audition to be in the group, and there's only about 15 or so of them. They did a Gershwin piece a cappella, a stretch for them, and we were both very impressed with how skillfully they pulled that off. (Gershwin is not easy.) The teacher hardly had to direct at all when they sang "Route 66."

That's her, on the end.
Oldest turned out to be in the front row, so it was a treat to watch her enjoy herself singing the music we've heard her humming around the house.

The finale that brought everyone onstage was a selection of five songs from Disney's Moana. One young lady could've easily handled all the solo pieces that were Moana's. I really liked her voice.

Then the one boy soloist came forward to sing. He tackled Maui's more prominent parts in "You're Welcome," and had us all laughing. I felt he could've used just a bit more sass when he hollered, "And thank you!" at the end of the song, but otherwise he did great.

Hubby leaned around Middle, who was between us, and whispered. "I like him. Oldest should pick him." Say what? "She can marry him. I like him already. He sings! He can come around any time."

Lemme tell you, the admiration only grew after the kid tackled the Hawaiian in the closing song. Hubby spent three of his growing-up years there, and he loves the language. Hubby flipped through the bi-folded program. "Look!" he whispered again. "His last name is only two letters off from ours. She wouldn't have to change it much. It's meant to be!"

Poor kid. He's won a son-in-law sweepstakes he hasn't known he's entered.

Hubby even started in on the idea with Oldest when she joined us...and promptly turned down Hubby's match-making ideas.

"Why, Dad?" she asked with the kind of aggravated petulance that only soon-to-be 13-year-olds can pull off.

"He sings!"

I grinned and joined in. "He can work on his pitch control."

Hubby just stared at me. "He's a teenage boy. There's no such thing as pitch control."

I suppose there are days when it's a good thing that having a contralto voice and being a girl means I didn't have much in the way of voice-altering vocal woes during puberty. This would be one of them.

He's so cute when he sleeps.

It's just about bedtime for me. At least, what I should call bedtime.

But I need to make a list of the concerns we have that we need to bring to the neurologist for tomorrow's appointment.

Makaha is snoring on the back of the couch next to me. Perhaps the list should wait until morning, when I'll remember it better anyway. Because I honestly think Makaha has the better idea...