Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Are we there yet?

The month of May finds me feeling a little bit like a kid being dragged along on a long, tedious car trip against my will.  Except instead of being the kid, I'm the parent.  And instead of a long, tedious car trip, it's a long, tedious school year.

This'll do.

We're almost there - I can see all the familiar signs that summer is approaching.  The days are warm, the trees are lush, and the sunlight at the end of the day has a delicious golden quality that makes me want to go live in a Country Time lemonade commercial, where everyone spends their idyllic days swinging on a knotted rope and splashing into a cool, refreshing stream, or riding bikes past rustling fields of corn in the late afternoon.
Don't forget to laugh in slow motion.
But we're not there yet.  We're still metaphorically in the metaphorical car, bored, tired of being cramped up in the back with our brother who won't stay on his side of the seat,  headachy from staring out the window, and we've just been informed that there are no more rest stops between here and our destination.  Or, for those of you too burnt out on Book Learnin' for symbolism: we're mere weeks away from the end of the school year - it's tantalizingly close - but there's still a seemingly insurmountable heap of projects and fund raisers and end-of-the-year miscellanea in store for us between now and the sweet, sweet days when the kids can start sleeping in their swimsuits.

We've had months of pick-up and drop-off, of meeting and volunteering, of field trips, of parent/teacher conferences, of "I don't have any clean pants" mornings, of collecting Box Tops For Education and Pennies For Hunger and Capri Sun pouches for reasons I never did figure out.  When it comes to those last, lingering days of school, I think I speak for parents and children alike when I say, "I don't wanna."

Topping the list of School Things I'm Sick Of is homework, mostly because the kids each have long-term research projects going on that require Parental Assistance.  For the record, "Parental Assistance" is School System Code for, "This assignment is over your kids' heads to the tune of about seven grade levels, so get ready to do 90% of a research project while your kids' eyes glaze over and you try to explain simple concepts like which literary elements constitute a proper paragraph."
As if I know.
I, for one, do not ever  want to learn one more thing about Italy or Mars, which are the Topics Of Choice at our house.  Frankly, they're starting to blend together, and I'll consider these projects a success if I manage not to write "Mars is the fourth planet from the sun" on anyone's project board in purple glitter paint right under a picture of the Italian flag.

Plus, there are a hundred other things they're trying to wrap up at school before the year ends.  On Monday they crammed a choir performance, an art show, and a book fair all into one night.  Then they had to do a repeat presentation of all the musical numbers because the massive throngs of hot, sweaty parents couldn't all smash into the sweltering gymnasium at the same time.  Of course, as we parents sat dutifully in the audience with our cameras poised and encouraging smiles plastered firmly on our faces, none of the kids cared one bit about the show.

Here's Zoe, NOT singing because all her energy
is focused on making eye contact with me.
Here's Jake, NOT singing because all his energy
is focused on wishing he were on another planet.

Strangely, the kids don't seem to care one way or the other about the school year dragging on for an eternity.  They appear to be content in their routine, while I'm the one beyond ready to bust out the sprinklers.  I seem to be the only one who's eager to trade school uniforms for T-shirts, and I'm the one dreaming about ice cream dripping down their chins whereas they're happily eating yet another nutritious sack lunch.

But do you want to know the saddest part?
I mean besides the price of books at a school book fair.  Because THAT is sad.
The saddest part is, it probably won't be long before I'm ready for school to start back up again.  My best guess is I'll crack on day three.  I'll miss the afternoons being quiet when Maddie takes her nap, and I'll quickly grow weary of the daily repetitions of, "What's for lunch?  PEANUT BUTTER?  But I don't liiiiiike peanut butter anymore."  I'll suddenly remember that playing in the sprinkler is actually comprised of 10% fun and 90% tracking grass into the house on wet feet.  The reality of drippy ice cream cones will come rushing back, complete with the full-body stickiness and the chocolate stains.  And my blog!  When will I have an entire day a few hours a little time to devote to my precious, precious blog?!?  MY BLOG!!!
Pause for hyperventilation.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not sure if I should be pining away for summer, with its warm days and lack of wrapping paper sales, or hanging on for dear life to these last few days of school during which I have the freedom to blog and eat Oreos for lunch, as long as the baby says it's okay.

As I was trying to make up my mind about the quandary above, the answer was delivered to me in the form of Irresponsible Mommy Karma.

At 8 AM, unable to tolerate the idea of bundling Maddie into the stroller and trudging to school in all my three-days-without-a-shower glory for Breakfast Supervision Duty, I decided to do something I hadn't done all year long - I blew it off.  I felt badly about it, but I just couldn't drag myself over there to volunteer.

At 8:30 AM, I received a call from the school.  Jake's teacher had decided to have an impromptu work day for their Big Project, and guess where all his materials were.  That's right - in his bedroom.

So I ended up going to the school anyway, not only pushing the stroller, but doing it with one hand while carrying a bag of research material and wrangling a 3'x4' tri-fold poster board.

And to top it off, who was in the office when I got there to check in?  The volunteer coordinator.  The one I blew off this morning.  Of course.  Stupid school.

Please click below to vote for me - and then BRING ON THE SUMMER!  I can't take any more of this school stuff, and now they're not too fond of me either.
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sporkgasm said...

I used to be a teacher, and the kids had far less take home work back then. The amount of homework kids get now gives me the spins. I have no idea how you parents do it. So bravo just for that.

Getting caught by the volunteer coordinator after playing hookie is so something that would happen to me. :)

Anonymous said...

I really loved the pictures of the kids not singing... so cute! When I read posts like this I just can't help but grin! Kids are the most awesome funny beings on earth... nothing so entertaining as them. Thanks :)

RobynHTV said...

Normally the homework load isn't so bad - either that, or the kids have been lying to me about not having any homework and I'm about to find out they've both been held back... :/ But these projects are killers! Even my 1st grader has 12 Italy-related topics to research, she has to write a paragraph about each topic, write a speech to present to the class, write notecards for the speech, and create a giant presentation board with facts and pictures and maps and also the soul of a Leprechaun stapled to it (or something like that - I haven't read all the directions yet). It seems a bit much, especially when I'm so distracted by the volunteer coordinator judging me.

RobynHTV said...

Thank you! They certainly are entertaining (especially to themselves). ;)

EMily said...

That is karma for ya...

Stacey said...

Oreos for lunch?! Your baby is awesome. Ask her if Doritos can be considered a vegetable. Because they are orange and way better than carrots. And I actually have Doritos.

RobynHTV said...

I should've known, eh?

RobynHTV said...

She says yes, but not Cool Ranch flavor. When I asked why not, she just rolled her eyes at me. ::shrug:: THE BABY HAS SPOKEN!

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

So what I'm hearing is that I should never send my kids to school. Got it. Thanks!

Stacey said...

The Cool Ranch flavor is the spawn of satan anyway.

The Baby is all knowing. You should start charging for her advice. (But not me though)

Sanstrousers said...

The pics are too funny!

The Third Partier said...

the lemonade commercial was a great visual, baby! couple o' things: the music was actually decent at that thing (?!), though j and z did seem more interested in the weird laser pointer thingies they all had for the finale. and yes, my daughter is indeed all-knowing. she is the supreme oracle and empress of the universe.

funny as he** (** = ll) as usual!

Kimberly said...

I dying thinking of sitting in a lemonade commercial. I could live there all fecking day long.
Violence on Lemonade land? Never!
Homework? Never!
Whiny kids who won't eat their lunches? Never!
Just creepy fecking smiles all live long day and callouses from the ropes...worth it

RobynHTV said...

That is correct - just don't tell the school system I said so. I'm in enough trouble with them as it is.

RobynHTV said...

Thank you! I don't know what I'll do if they ever straighten up and stop acting silly.

RobynHTV said...

Thank you, mysterious Third Party who is always so complimentary and seems to know an awful lot about my family...

You're right, the music was actually pretty good - I even teared up a little at the end with the laser pointers (shut up - it was touching, and I'm hormonal).

RobynHTV said...

I am so with you - the Country Time lemonade summer is my dream. Just sitting on a gingham checked blanket, having a picnic under a shady tree while the crisp white sheets you've hung out to dry blow lazily in the breeze... sigh... In real life, one of the kids would be freaking out because they dropped their string cheese on an ant hill, and you'd be too busy retrieving the sheet that blew off the line into the dirt to notice one of the other kids hitting a bee hive with a stick like a pinata. Sigh again.

Mary said...

Waaaaait just a minute. As I recall you have always claimed that gingham causes blindness in children and small woodland creatures. You have never let me forget that the charming gingham wallpaper I slapped on the walls of your childhood bedroom has been the root of many a cross-eyed nightmare, but now it's heavily featured in your Summer Dream scenario - ??? This is how us poor mothers get all the blame for fabric related psychosis...sigh.

RobynHTV said...

Look, "Mary," who may or may not be my mother (for the benefit of anyone who reads the comments), that wallpaper did cause hallucinations - and I have a brother, as you might recall, who could see said wallpaper from his room and it gave HIM hallucinations, too, so I believe he'll back me up here. For your information, the gingham blanket in my Country Time dream is RED, not the horrific green gingham of my youth. It's not my fault that your decorating choices have caused me to suffer a lifelong Gingham Pattern Psychosis; you should have known that no good could come from trying to match that ugly olive green carpeting we had. Gah. Don't make me blog about this.

Mary said...

It was av.a.cod.DOH. It was so popular they made appliances in that shade.
What? You have a brother?

RobynHTV said...

'Scuse me, av.a.cod.DOH - that just strengthens my point about its awfulness.
And yes, I'm pretty sure I have a brother, or else there's some kid out there who wasted his entire childhood crashing our family photos. Hmm, what ever happened to that kid...?

just keep swimming said...

I think I like your comments almost as much as the blog. I too am trapped in this "I hate the routine while we're doing it and then miss the routine when we don't have it anymore" crazy land.
My solution is to pay a state institution large sums of money to get me away from my 3 crazies while they supposedly "educate" me and pay a strange lady (nanny) to take over the care of my holy terrors for 2 months. I'll let you know how that works out for me in case you're interested.

RobynHTV said...

YES, please keep me posted - I'm very interested in how that works out. Hmm, do I hear Summer Camp For Mommies???

just keep swimming said...

I believe Summer Camp for Mommy is actually called a winery tour. They have them everywhere here. In Michigan you might have a harder time finding one.

RobynHTV said...

Ooh, I'm in! Believe it or not, there are quite a few winery places (which is what I'm calling them because "wineries" looks weird) around here. Now all I need are local friends... OR maybe you can come with me via Twitter on my phone??? ;)

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