Friday, May 13, 2011

The Final Stretch

Collin has a field trip today.

I'm not going.

Since Collin has started school, I've missed two events. This includes even mundane things, like passing out Valentines. I want to be there for EVERYTHING. I love watching his face light up with the smallest new experience and I hate not being there to share these new "special" days with him.

(Ignore the dribbled toothpaste down the front of his's all we can do to get out of the house relatively clean in the morning---and yes, he insists on flipping his collar up like that. He hasn't gotten the memo that it is not 1983)

Truth be told, I hate not being there on regular days too. I wish I could go to school with him and just sit in the corner and watch. Field trip days are like my chance to hang out with him at school and be a pal. This time though, it just didn't work out.

Why? Well, remember when I gave you the rundown of what I had left for the last five weeks of the semester?

I'm down to a week. I've got everything in but two final papers. They are both 20 pages and they are both due soon. Very soon. They aren't done. They aren't even close. I can't afford to give up a full day of quiet house time to go to the Natural History Museum, where I've been with Collin at least twenty times.

The thought of going with his class, where we'd be shuffled through at their pace and with extreme stress and loudness, eh. I think I made the right choice. Still, I feel awful. I cried. The same thing I did last time when I couldn't go because they had to reschedule a cancelled field trip for a Wednesday, a day I had class. Thanks to my dumb gall bladder having decided to go haywire earlier in the semester, it's not such a good idea to ask my professors if I can just beg off for a day to go strawberry picking, right? I'd already missed a week of classes and I wasn't about to pull the hooky card.

Imagined e-mail, "Dr Dr. X, Thanks for understanding about my surgery earlier this semester. I know I came to class all drugged up and I might have said some weird stuff. Thanks for understanding about that too. Oh, and thanks for being cool that I barely understood the reading for that time period too. I did my best. But, can I go strawberry picking with my son?"

I know these are the choices that working parents, or parents with three or four children make every day, but it isn't a choice I was used to making. It makes me feel awful.

Collin didn't seem to mind. He said, "Aren't you coming?" when I turned to leave. When I said no, he said, "oh, that's okay. I have my BACKPACK!" Apparently, to a four year-old, I'm replaceable by the novelty of getting to wear a backpack to carry his sack lunch. Okay, but to me, the experience of being with him isn't replaceable.

I'm so glad that this tiny span of time, this one semester of pure madness, is limited. Next semester is one class and thesis units. I'm in charge of how I spend my time. While a thesis is certainly not messing around, my time is so much more flexible and I can't wait to have more home hours to be with him. I've missed him so much.

It's so close to being over, I can almost taste it! Now, to work on the writing....forty pages...ready, set, Go!

Oh, and p.s. I did fix his shoes so he wouldn't walk in circles all day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"International" Day

I'm not sure how much you remember about International Day from last year, but it's a big deal at Collin's school. Every class gets assigned a country, which they study for an extended period of time and then, in the spring, they perform a song/dance number for the parents about that country. The whole school also sings lovey-dovey kids songs about unity, togetherness, friendship and the like. It's a nice way for the kids to learn about the world and for the parents to see their kids perform and take adorable pictures, as well as to be annoyed by other parents who do things like save the entire front row of seats.

Well, last year, Collin's class was assigned Hawaii. Bryon was pretty annoyed with Hawaii being designated "country" status but I told him to just roll with it because Collin looked cute and we just accepted that they were trying to focus on Polynesian culture. This year, Collin's class was assigned, USA. Yep, my boy may begin to think that there are no other countries in the world.

In all reality, he may currently know more about the USA than I do. He's been quizzing me about the Pledge of Allegiance lately, about the state capitals and about USA trivia like our National Tree. Did you know that we had one? I didn't. And it's not the cherry blossom.

The International Day Festival is just the cutest show ever. The kids in their costumes are so cute that I could just take them all home, so long as they don't make any noise and I can return them promptly to their parents as soon as they irritate me. I was quite nervous about this year's performance though, as Collin has been so terrible at school of late and I was actually afraid he'd do something horrible to make a spectacle of himself. I actually debated keeping him out of the show and having him stay home from school. Terrible, I know.

He did fine though. Great actually. I don't imagine that anyone will want to see the videos except for Daddy but Daddy certainly misses out by not being there. We missed him. Daddy, sorry they sing to the Dodgers.

He "participated" just as much as the standard kid, which is about 50%, so I'm happy.

The only weird thing he did, was start to take his shirt off through the collar at the end, and I can live with that. He didn't run off the stage. He didn't push anyone. He didn't pull any one's hair. He didn't scream or shout or do anything wildly inappropriate. Phew. Although, as you can tell from the pictures I've chosen to share, he is certainly more interested in flirting with Lainie than he is in singing, no?

My favorite picture of the day though is of one of Collin's friends. I love when you can tell a kid must've gone potty since they've last been with Mommy. Someone has a tucking problem.

Geek Points: 100

Collin has been getting in trouble at school lately. A lot.

I keep telling myself that I can log these these incidents in my memory for stories to tell the press when he gets elected president. The future equivalent of Barbara Walters (or her floating head in a jar) will find it immensely amusing that the most powerful man in the world once peed on another student in pre-school, but somehow managed to pull it together to rule the nation.

Needless to say, he's been getting consequences, so many consequences that we've been running out of consequences to give him. When your child gets "written up" at school so many times that they give up on writing him up, you start to run out of punishments, and you begin to think you aren't just doing something wrong as a parent, but everything.

Because Collin had so been looking forward to Wizard Con (which he thought was Comic Con), it made perfect sense to take away the privilege of going when he got in trouble at school three times last week. He was devastated at first, and then, didn't care. Darn those kids for not taking punishment seriously. I was more upset than him because the tickets weren't free, I'd bought him a costume and Daddy was home to go with us.

Thankfully, he was able to recover his behavior all day on Saturday and we conceded and let him go. He's on an insanely strict system of earning poker chips for good behavior and getting them taken away for poor behavior. He can barely breathe out of line these days.

Anyway, he got to meet R2D2 who rolled right up to him and beeped and blipped at him. It was nice to be able to take him to something he was looking forward to and it's always fun to see him starstruck. The operator (wait, did I destroy the illusion?) even had R2D2 reach out to him with one of his little robot arms. It was pretty awesome.

Now, if only I can get Collin to get on and stay on the good behavior track. Oy.

Did You Know It Was Easter?

Yeah, it was a while ago. Hang onto your hats, I'm going to "update" a lot here.

Collin was early, and thus a teensy-weensy little guy when he was born. He wasn't supposed to arrive in time for Easter, but he surprised us all when he was born. I wanted to take him to see the Easter Bunny and get a picture on his lap and Bryon's response was something along the lines of being purely appalled and calling the Bunny a lap of germs.

So, I agreed to take Collin's picture next to a stuffed rabbit toy that we had at home. Ever since, it's been tradition to take his picture next to that same toy every Easter and see how much he's grown. Look at how much he's changed since the first year.

It breaks my heart how fast he's growing. Do you think he'll agree to continue to do it every year even after he's married and has children of his own?

Oh, and yes, he did take a much better picture than this one but I liked this one best. This is my boy: a little difficult, no?