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Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Early Riser...

"Hey Mom, do you have an alarm clock I can use?" asks my 11 year old son. "Sure..." I say, "are you going to get yourself up in the morning?" "Yep," he tells me. I rummage around in the cupboard and bring him the travel alarm clock. "Where do you want it?" I ask. Since he has a loft bed, I suggest putting it on the bed or right next to it. "No..., I want it across the room so I will have to get out of bed and turn it off," he says, "otherwise I might just turn it off and go back to sleep!" Wow...this kid has really thought it out!

I set the time and get it all set. "OK Mom, will you set the alarm for me?" Sure, I say, "What time?" "Better make it 4:30," he announces. WHAT? "Well, I want to get up really early, get dressed, eat breakfast, make my lunch and then play video games before school."  Uhhh...there's logic in that...but 4:30am?  "You know it's dark out at 4:30 in the morning, right?" I explain, "And that is just way too early to get up...how about 6:00?" He stares at me a moment..."How about 5:00?"  We finally settle on 5:30am and he promises not to wake me up.

I didn't sleep well that night...anticipating hearing his alarm and having to get up to turn it off. At 6:20am, my alarm goes off and I get up to see if my eldest is up and playing video games.  Hmm...not in his room...not in the playroom...I head downstairs...the lights are so bright, I have to shield my eyes. The kid has every single light on in every room. Lamps, overhead lights...BRIGHT! I stumble through the entryway, turning off lights as I go and make my way to the kitchen. His lunchbox is open and on the island...a bag of crackers and a muffin are tucked neatly inside...clearly he started making his lunch. The TV is on and there on the couch sits the eldest child...."Good morning!" I say. "Oh, hey mom...good morning," comes the reply. I look at the clock..."Hey...you know it's just about 6:30 and I am going to go wake up your brother and sister. What time did you get up?" "OMIGOSH!" he yelps as he jumps over the back of the couch, "I got up at 5:30!! I got dressed, ate breakfast and started to make my lunch...but I got distracted!!" (well..this isn't much of a shock)  He looks at me in anguish.  "It's OK," I tell him, "Go upstairs and play your video games until it's time to get ready to leave. I will  finish making your lunch." Relief sweeps over his face and he gives me a quick hug and a "thanks mom" and bounds up the stairs.

I worry about him all day...thinking how tired he must be, getting up so early. But he was fine when he came home...and he proceeded to do the early thing for the rest of the week. He decided to help me one day, by waking up his brother and sister for me...with his new trombone.   He snickered to himself as he stood outside of brother's room...and then he let go with a loud blast in his brother's direction. I grabbed the camera and snapped a photo as I heard the middle son yell, "OK, OK, I hear you!! ENOUGH!" Little sister calls out, "I am already up so I don't care if you blow that thing!" We all have a good laugh...well, not the brother who got woken up...he was kind of crabby for the rest of the morning...hey...if you can't take a joke...

I am starting to like this early morning thing the kid has going. Maybe I will get up and work out at 5:30AM...  (HA, HA, HA! Whew...good one!)  But by day five, he has pooped out. The alarm went off at 5:30am...but the kid didn't hear it. Neither did I...but Daddy did and staggered into the kid's room at 6:00, after listening to it for half an hour. By Saturday, the early morning idea is long forgotten...I am eager to sleep in...the one day I can...Of course I wake up automatically at 6:30am...as did the dog, who panted and danced around, making it impossible for me to ignore him and go back to sleep. Thank goodness I went to bed early. (well, early for me!)  And the two little ones were up...but no eldest child and no Daddy...I guess the week of getting up early caught up with him. Wonder if this is it...if it has ended...I guess I we'll see what the school week brings.  All I know is that I need more coffee!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BEWARE: Woman with Purse!


With the start of school comes the start of band. The eldest swore he did not want to take band this year. I was disappointed...he had just received the "most improved" award at the end of last school year. He was so  happy and proud of himself! But he said he wanted to try the other courses and "take a break." Well, that lasted all of one week. As soon as the band teacher came in with all the instruments, he was wanting right back into band. He came home from school and announced, "Mom, I want to take band... you have to go to the band parent meeting tonight." (Why do I have to go to a meeting when HE is the one who wants to be in band?) But like the sucker I am...I went. I figured I better...what if Middle School Band is different from Elementary School Band? I met the new band teacher who would be teaching Concert Band, which is what my little drummer was signing up for. She was very nice and I liked her immediately. "What does your son play?" she inquired, with a hopeful look. "He plays the drums," I replied as her face fell. "I have five percussionists," she lamented, "But no brass...does he want to play the trumpet?" I explained to her how, in 4th grade, he wanted to play the trumpet...but he didn't have the lung capacity and almost passed out just from trying it. "Maybe he should try again!" she prompted. "No...I think he is set on the drums," I told her and went on to sign him up.

OK, so my purse isn't THIS huge...
As I was leaving I saw some fourth grade moms that I am friendly with. Since band isn't offered until a student is in 4th grade, I thought I would be helpful and tell them just how great the elementary band teacher is. As I was telling them how disappointed my son was when he couldn't play trumpet and how wonderful the teacher was, to help him find what would work for him...I felt my purse grabbed from behind and shoved forward. Was someone trying to steal my purse? I spun around and saw a woman sitting there with a scowl on her face, "You've been CLOCKING me in the head with that thing!" she snarled. "Omigosh!!! I am SO sorry!!" I responded. I was mortified. I had been talking with my hands and my purse was moving with me...and it is not a small purse..it is a big heavy purse! I continued to apologize profusely...to which she rolled her eyes and and looked away, not even acknowledging me...as if I wasn't worthy of her talking to me! Oh...well...that just made me surly...and before I could stop myself, I said..."well...you could have moved out of the way!" as I made a sliding over motion with my hand. (she had been sitting on a long picnic table style bench...we were in the school cafeteria) She glared at me and said..."My daughter was sitting there!" Now...I know I have a sharp tongue...and this could go one of two ways...one in which I say something very regrettable...or one in which I just leave and mumble snarky things under my breath. I chose the second way...perplexed at her reaction...and wondering why she didn't just move the heck out of the way or at least say, "Woo hoo...I'm here...!" I certainly wouldn't sit in my seat while some woman repeatedly smacked me in the head...

But now I had a new dilemma...this is a mom at school. And although I don't have kids the same age, I am sure I will run into her on the playground at drop off and pick up. I don't want any enemies...and I didn't mean to be rude...(I was only stating the obvious)...and I really was mortified that I had "clocked" her in the head...

So I went out of my way to find her a few days later on the playground. (I did see her every day and there is only so much ducking I can do) Which brings me to the place where I found myself chasing after her with an "excuse me, excuse me!" She turned and I said, "Hi...I am so sorry about the other day when I hit you with my purse!" (never in my life did I think I would be saying that line..) "I feel so bad...it was an accident!" She looked at me and very nicely said, "Oh, don't worry about it! It's OK!" Whew...I was so relieved...until she said..."I was just taken aback by your reaction." What? You mean where I profusely apologized? (I think I blurted that out loud) "when you said I should have moved over." And before I knew it, I was saying..."Oh, yes...well after I apologized and you rolled your eyes, I said that." She stared at me...what was happening? This wasn't supposed to go this way!! "I'm all about comic relief," I blustered, "Just trying to lighten things up! That's just my sense of humor!" This was not going well...and then...she said..."OH...you're so funny! What's your name?" I told her my first name...and she told me my last name. UH-OH... as it turns out she had sent me an email to invite me to a mutual friend's baby shower...whew! Glad we were having this conversation...what if I had let it go? That would be an uncomfortable shower. As it was, I wasn't carrying my purse at school for fear of startling her...

It turned out that I couldn't make the baby shower and sent her a text to let her know. Her response was classic, "I for one, will miss your sense of humor...and your purse!" OK...she and I are going to be just fine! With that one line...all is right in my mom world! I will just chalk it all up to a bad week...we all have them...In fact, I have run into her twice in the last week and she was friendly and lovely...I think we have bonded over the "purse incident".  (I did purchase a lighter weight purse...so no one should fear me now...)

By the way...a few days later, the eldest child came home and announced that he was switching instruments and would be going into beginning band. Saxophone, clarinet, trumpet...he wasn't sure.  As we stood in line to purchase his music book...he finally decided...Trombone!  Can't be any louder than drums......can it?