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Frustrated

T-12 has been in a horse riding club for almost 2 years now.  We both enjoy it; it is relatively cheap ($15 a ride), I feel she's learning, and they do shows where they learn a drill as a team and perform it.

It is also another area to have friends outside of school.

But ...  Once a year they do this competition called interclub. The kids get to ride against kids their age and then they give ribbons from fifth place to first.  Last year, she didn't get a ribbon but that was okay because none of the first year kids did. I'm sure you can see where this is headed.

She really wanted a ribbon this year, she spent hours talking about how much she wanted a ribbon.  And the show is really long, we had to be there at 7 in the morning, it started at 10, and she didn't ride till about two that afternoon.

She rode great! And she didn't get any stupid ribbon!

She handled it well, she was a little disappointed but she didn't cry and we just moved on. And then last night at home she drew her own damn ribbon and put it on her wall.

There is definitely something going on with that competition, because she is a good rider and she deserves to place at least fifth.  She pointed out that about three or four of the same horses were the ones whose riders kept winning ( because you don't have to have your own horse to be a part of the club, you can rent one that's what the $15 is for.)  so maybe that's it. But I am so angry that they slighted my precious child!

And I know it's going to come up at the next ride & I just want to say something really mean to make them feel shitty about themselves and their stupid group. But I won't. I will say the thing I always say about tests and competitions. They only matter if you do well on them, and if you don't then they aren't an accurate measurement of your intelligence or skill.

Anyway, I compared the videos of the last 2 years and I cannot believe how much she improved. And that's probably what I'll really say instead, because that's all that matters.  Its just hard to see it that way when you're angry on behalf of your child.

Here are the two videos, the first one is last years and the second one was this years.

https://youtu.be/uIy1GEehqt8

https://youtu.be/JJjzc60jRis

I'm still laughing

Yesterday I was watching 3/4s of Friend From High School's kids while she and her husband moved out of her parents basement.  Obviously Devil Child was not there (and his was the only kids room they didn't unpack yesterday, no subtlety there).  The kids I watched were 7, 3 and 2 and so I just spent the day doing stuff that I used to do with my kids.  It was kind of nice to relive those days for an afternoon and my kids were there as well, watching.

I told them this was the stuff I used to do with them all the time (go to the park, play with flour, play with toys) but they were too little to remember.  C-10 really impressed me.  Years ago he gave himself the title "King of the Babies" because little babies adore him and follow him around.  I was pushing the 3-year-old on the swing and the 2-year-old wandered to the play structure.  C-10 followed him (without any comment on my part) helped him up the stairs, carried him over the slick bridge, led him to the slide, went down the other slide and caught him at the bottom.  Made me so proud!

But the funniest moment was when T-12 was helping me sweep up flour and she turned to me and said, "You know, you would make a really good mo--" and then she realized what she was about to say and muttered "nevermind" and walked away.

Lol, so reassuring to know that my kid thinks that someday, if I ever have babies, I'll be a good mom!

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I know he ate our cat a few years ago, but he's so pretty.  Saw him on the morning walk behind our house.  Had to put the one eyed dog away and get the camera.

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A kid named Dylan

A few weeks ago Q-13 had parent teacher conferences at the middle school.  I was talking to his advisement teacher and she went on and on about how focused he's become in reading, she feels he's going to be at a whole new level at the end of the year.  I have to say, I was relieved because I'd been a bit worried about his reading dropping off recently.

You see, when he started middle school, he and T-12 got into the Maze Runner series big time.  They blew through the whole set quicker than I've ever seen him read anything before.  But I noticed he was dragging out the last book and here's why.  He has to read 4 books a semester for his advisement class and then take a test on them.  So he didn't want to read anymore since he'd already taken 4 tests and he wanted to save the last Maze Runner test until this semester.  That kid has goals!

Anyway, he finally had no choice but to finish and he moved on to a book by a man who survived the sinking of the Titanic (written about 100 years ago.)  And I'm no math wiz but it seemed to be taking him forever and it was a small book, less then 200 pages.  Ugh.  So to hear he was doing so well was pretty reassuring, I thought he must be reading a different book at school.

When I got home, I told him how his teacher gushed at his focus for reading and he immediately started laughing.

me: What?

Q-13: I'm not reading.

me: I KNEW IT!!!!  (seriously, it's like he was averaging 2 pages a day)

Q-13:  I'm watching the show.  Advisement is my best class.  The teacher has no control and the kids are just running wild.  Especially this one kid, Dylan.  Today, he spent all of Advisement army crawling in and out of the room.  And because of where his desk is, the teacher can't see him, but I had a perfect view.  So I prop the book up and get entertained.

Perhaps I should focus on his reading goals, but he finished Titanic on Monday and I gave him "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (which will be interesting to see if anyone at the school objects because the first recommendation on the back is from Jesus and starts with "FUCKING", lol).  Any anyway, this Dylan kid actually is pretty entertaining so I'm keeping a list of the shit he does because he's clearly declared war on this teacher and she is not finding the humor in it at all.

Antics of the Entertainer:

  • Army crawling out of class (day my recording events began, teacher never caught on)

  • Clearing his throat (every few seconds, a small cough which caused his teacher to glare, but remain silent)

  • Tapping his leg against his desk for an hour

  • Making a short, soft whistle that everyone could hear, but no one could pinpoint, all class long

  • Blessing every sneeze super with a loud, "GOD BLESS YOU!" (the class caught on and it was a day of sneezing for all)

  • Listening to music on his phone (this one got him a referral.  He was listening to music from his phone with headphones.  The teacher doesn't like this, but allowed it.  So he turned the volume up.  She told him to turn it down.  He faked like he couldn't hear her.  She repeated until he complied.  He waited until the next song, then turned the volume back up.  She took his headphones away.  He played music without them.  She confiscated his phone.  He waited until she was back at her desk and took out an  AUXILIARY PHONE HE HAD HIDDEN ON HIS PERSON and started playing music on that one.  She took that phone away, wrote him a referral and never laughed!)

  • Not showing up for class (The teacher thought she'd out smarted him and so she moved his desk so that he's in a corner facing a wall.  She was very proud of herself and waiting for him to show up. He never did)

  • Showing up for class (The next day, he did show up, but she was absent so she didn't get to see his face.  She also missed the hour long protest about his civil rights and fairness)

  • Throwing trash away.  I guess this was yesterday.  He started ripping teeny-tiny pieces of paper from his notebook, then getting up and slowly walking to the trash to throw them away.  She said nothing, but was visibly unhappy.

  • A student walked into the class about halfway through, stopped dead and asked, "Since when does Dylan not have to wear a shirt?"  "I'm hot!"

Oh my god, I want to get a bag of popcorn and hang out with my kid during Advisement because this whole thing sounds fantastic.  I know I've forgotten to include a lot of what he's done but I'm totally going to add to this list every day until the day one of them snaps and the fun stops.

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"What Not To Buy At Goodwill"

"How to Vaccinate Your Pet Rat"

"How to Get a Job in Any Economy"  Huh, the back says the author was unemployed for 15 years.

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$0.99 Ebook Day!

($0.99 Ebook Day is pretty much every day, but let's keep that to ourselves)

I have just published my third book, Idiot Pageant.  It is ridiculously expensive to buy in paper version, so get the ebook instead!


This restrictive society sucks

Last year T-11 made her first BFF.  They both share a love of horses and pretend play that usually ages out at this point, so it was nice they found another person to be an immature little kid around since everyone else in their grade is going through puberty.

But yesterday when I invited the BFF over to play with us while her brother's at a 3 hour football practice she declined because she wanted to ride her bike around the park instead.  T-11 told me that BFF's been a little rough this year, she seems angy and she also seems embarassed by T-11 when other people are around.  T-11 said she figures her BFF is going through THE CHANGE and can't decide if she's embarassed because people think they are boyfriend/girlfirend since T-11 looks so much like a boy, or if she's embarassed by the games they used to play.

I was heartbroken to hear this, because that kid doesn't make friends very easily and BFF was such a good match.  Unlike me, T-11 was unaffected.  She's told me before she has some backup friends and things don't usually bother her unless she's sick or having a low day, then it's a crisis.

This morning I was playing my Youtube playlist as I got them ready for school and T-11 asked if she could play a song.  This was what she picked:

Cool Kids - Echosmith (Lyrics Video)

Oh man, I think it's going to be a rough and lonely few years for her.

My oldest started middle school yesterday

It's been awful, I cry because of change and then the other two make fun of me.  Q-12 seems okay, but all I can think of is this clip from Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

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Forgotten Wisdom

Apparently I give off life lessons all the time.  I am so wise that these tips drop from my lips on a near regular basis and I am so accustomed to it I don't even notice.  I don't even notice, people!

We were driving the other day and I saw this car full of teen boys pass us on the left.  Now, I was paying attention to my lane, but it seemed like the passenger was staring at us for quite a while before finally turning away.

Me to my co pilot:  That was weird, was that kid staring at us?

Q-12:  Yeah.

Me: Ugh, creepy.  I wonder why.

Q-12: Because I was staring at him.

Me:  What?  You were?  Why?

Q-12: You told me to.

Me: I ... don't think so.  Did I?  Why?

Q-12: No, mom.  It was years ago.  Remember we were following that school bus and the kids were looking at us through the back window and laughing and you told me we had to stare at them and not look away first so we would break them.  And we did.

a vague memory surfaces:  Shit, I did say that.  Wait, so that kid stopped looking at us because you stared him down?

Q-12:  Yep, works every time.

T-11 from the backseat:   Yeah, I use it a lot.  Yesterday this little girl was staring at me at the pool so I stared back and she looked away but I knew she'd look back so I was still staring when she did and she turned bright red and backed away.  Then she tripped.  But I didn't look away.

Me:  Have either of you ever looked away first?

Them: Nope

Me:  And it always works?  Does anyone ever say anything to you?  Like, What are you looking at, butthead(This is from Back to the Future which we've just watched)?

Them: Nope.

Me.  Huh.

Upon further reflection, it does seem like good advice.  But then so did telling my kids to tell other kids, "You know what rhymes with Butt Up?  Shut up."  When they are being messed with and that ended with a punch to the face and a kick to the balls (Sorry T).  Guess only time will tell.

Then later that day, I was slicing a hardboiled egg with this thing:



And C-9 told me I did it wrong.   How could I do it wrong, there's only one way to use this thing?

C-9:  You forgot to say, 'Tell me where the rebel bases are' before you did it.

Because the first time he saw me use the slicer, I tortured the egg a bit with some Star Wars role play.  The egg, incidentally, did not give up the rebel plans.  So it died.  Deliciously.

It's time for growing and changing!

I have a fifth grader and in our district 5th Grade is the year students learn about their bodies and what's going to happen soon.  I love the Growing and Changing classes, we should have them from K-12, not just in 5&9.  I asked Q-12 about the classes last year, wondering if there was stuff he learned that we hadn't talked about.  There might have been a few things, but it seemed like I got all the major issues covered, so I felt good.  I asked if there were kids who knew more than he did in his class and he just rolled his eyes and laughed.

Me:  You're kidding?  Parents are always telling me how they don't need the growing and changing class for their kids because they've talked about it.  Personally, I think if you want to exempt your kid from the class you have to be able to accurately label a diagram of the female and male reproductive systems.

Q-12:  They don't tell their kids anything.  I knew the most out of everyone.  By a lot.

T-11:  I don't think that's going to happen in my class.  All the kids seem to know about it.

Me:  Good, I hope people are talking about it with their kids. Puberty shouldn't be a surprise.


...one day later


T-11:  You were right, those kids don't know anything. One didn't even know what sperm is.

(I knew it.  Parents, do your jobs!)

I feel bad because there's one poor kid who's not allowed to take the class and the kids are under strict (and BS) instructions not to talk about it with anyone.  

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