Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Power of Vocabulary...

Reason number 253 why my son rocks:
Walking home Monday, a group of large sixth graders (meaning they were bigger than my son, who is a five foot tall 7th grader) tried to involve the Impossible Son in a fight by calling him names.
"Hey, faggot!!"
He stopped, frowned, and looked at them.  "Why are y'all calling me a bunch of sticks?  I know I'm skinny, but duuuuuude..."
They stared at him and said, "Wait... what?"
"That's what faggot means.  It's a bunch of sticks."
"No, it doesn't!" one of them said in disbelief while the rest stood there with their mouths hanging open.
"Yeah, it does," he said over his shoulder as he started walking away.  "Look it up in the dictionary."
He said by the time their brains finished processing it and they were able to move again, he was too far ahead of them to even bother.
And just in case you were wondering...
faggot or esp  ( US fagot  (ˈfæɡət) 
— n
1.a bundle of sticks or twigs, esp when bound together and used as fuel
This is what happens when you read fairy tales to your kids when they're little.  
Heh heh heh...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Peeking through...

Every once in a while, little glimpses of the woman my mom used to be comes peeking through...

So, I was talking to her today, and while we were talking, Bets walks in to show her something.  The first I hear of it is Mom saying, "What's that?"

"It's broccoli, Mom," I hear my sister say.

"Huh," says Mom thoughtfully.  "Okay."  Then after a long pause, she says, "Is it supposed to be brown???"

I nearly fell out of my chair, but managed not to laugh out loud, because I was dying to know the answer, you know?

"It's dehydrated," I heard Bets say with exasperation in her voice.

"I see," Mom said politely.  "That's... interesting."

"I'm gonna take it back to the kitchen and put it on a plate so you can eat it after you get off the phone," my sister said.

"Okay," Mom said.  "That's fine."  And then, after a moment, when she was sure Bets was gone, she leaned close to the phone and said, quite emphatically, "I'm not gonna eat that."

Yeah, I completely lost it at that point.  And I don't blame her one bit!!  Brown broccoli??? WTF????? Do I even want to know???

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

That moment when you realize you helped raise the next generation of the village...

It all started because the Impossible Son said, "One of my friends is pansexual."

I blinked, because this was a definite non-sequiter not related to the conversation we were having, but I'm well used to this sort of thing because... that's just the way my kids' brains work.  And I admit it, I'm kind of that way, too.  So, I said, "Really?  What makes you say that?"

"Well..." he hedged.

"Do you know what it means?" I asked while keeping my eyes on the road, because I had just picked him up from school and wanted to not, you know, run off the road into a ditch.

"Yeah," he said, "it means you'll basically have sex with anything that stands still long enough."

Wow, I thought, and knew I had to nip that one in the bud.  "Nope, not even close," I said firmly.

"But... that's what my friends said it meant," he protested.

"Yeah, well, they don't know what it means, either," I said dryly.  "Being pansexual means you're attracted to a person, not their gender.  Gender doesn't matter to you, it's the person themselves that attracts you."

"Oh," he said thoughtfully, then he frowned at me.  "Then... why didn't my friends know that?"

I shrugged.  "Because a lot of folks don't even bother to learn what those things mean."

"I thought that was being heterosexual..."

"No," I said, wondering how the hell he'd gotten so mixed up about this, "being heterosexual means being attracted to someone of the opposite sex.  And," I said before he could ask, "being homosexual means being attracted to someone of the same sex as you.   And being bisexual means being attracted to either sex."

We kept chatting until we got home, and I think I cleared it up for him, but wow...

I shouldn't be too surprised, though, that he's mixed up.  Last year, the 6th grade assistant principal told my son he needed to keep some friction burns he had on his hands covered with bandaging, not because it was hygienic, or would keep them clean, but... because he could pick up AIDS from the surfaces of the desks in the classrooms and the tables in the cafeteria.

*watches the collective jaw drop*

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction, too.

So, going by that shining example, along with the fact that what passes for sex education in the schools in our small town is of the abstinence variety, it's no big surprise that my son's friends have no clue whatsoever what any of those terms mean.

No.  Really.

There is a disturbingly high rate of teen pregnancy in our little town.  My son is in 7th grade.  There's already a girl in his class that is expecting.  A girl at the Impertinent Daughter's high school went into labor on the first day of school.

I have news for all those parents who keep saying that they don't want comprehensive sex education taught in the schools because it might give their kids ideas and make them want to have sex.  Your kids have gone way past having ideas and they're already doing it.  Not knowing anything about it hasn't stopped them.  They're doing it, and they're getting pregnant, and getting STDs because you're too stupid to give them the tools they need to prevent it.  You're preventing them from knowing enough about it to make an informed decision, and you know what?  It's been proven that kids who take comprehensive sex education classes tend to delay having sex longer than kids who don't.

Anyhow, moving on, later in the evening, I was discussing this with the Husbandly One and the Impertinent Daughter, and she said, "You know, Mom, I'm not surprised at all, because my friends used to pop out with stuff like that all the time.  I'd come ask you about it and you would explain it to me and then I'd go back to school and explain it to my friends.  I mean, I knew they were wrong, but sometimes, I didn't know why, or I didn't know how to explain it.  So I'd go to you, you'd explain it, and then I'd go and explain it to them!"

That sort of boggled me and I laughed and said, "Wow, kiddo, you make it sound like I'm responsible for providing all your friends with sex education."

The Impertinent Daughter snorted as she headed to her room and said, "Duh, Mom, haven't you noticed?  None of my friends are pregnant!!"

Holy cow, she's right.  None of her little circle of female friends are pregnant, and none of the girlfriends of her male friends are pregnant.

That... is pretty stunning.  And you know, all I have done is say things like, "It's easier to prevent a baby than to raise one," and "don't depend on the girl to provide contraception unless you're prepared to be a father," and, "if he doesn't love you enough to wear a condom, then he doesn't love you and he's not worth your time," and "No is a complete sentence all on its own.  No.  Period.  End of story,"and "You have a perfect right to refuse to engage in sex if you're not ready, but it doesn't hurt to develop a good left hook, too."

It's not that hard.  You start when they're old enough to start asking questions.  You tailor it to their age, but you answer their questions.  You don't tell them the stork brings babies or that you go shopping at the hospital.  You tell them it takes two people to make a baby, and the process that goes into it.  You tell them about the changes it makes to a woman's body, and what it takes to grow one, and how it comes out.  And... you tell them what it takes to raise a baby.  Money, time, and patience.  A stable job, a good home, a willingness to love, nurture, teach, lose many, many, many nights of sleep, to sometimes go hungry so your child can eat, to forgo new shoes so your kid can have new shoes, or a band instrument, or piano lessons, or whatever they need.

You talk to them about relationships and what it takes to build them.  What it takes to build a good solid friendship with their buddies, then apply that to a relationship with a girl/boyfriend, a spouse, a lover... you talk about what it takes to learn to live with a completely different person than they're used to living with, sharing books, records, a car, a house, money, or a dog, and you talk about how it all changes when you bring a child into it.

You talk to them about responsibility and respect, for themselves, for others, and you talk to them about how to treat other people.  How to recognize when someone genuinely cares and when they just want to get into someone's pants.  You teach them how to put a condom on themselves, or on someone else.  You teach them about other forms of birth control and how to talk about it with another person.  You teach them about drinking responsibly, about knowing the people they're with and making sure they have a designated sober person in their group.  That they have a signal to let their friends know when they're leaving a party/bar/social scene willingly and when they're in trouble.  That they should have someone they check in with regularly when they go on dates, so that if they miss a check-in, their friend will know something is wrong and will react appropriately.

Doesn't everyone do this?  If not, they should.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Because this really annoys me....

When I dropped my son off at the junior high this morning, and my daughter at the high school, I couldn't help but notice the groups gathered around the flag poles at both schools.  In case some of you are unaware, today is See You At The Pole Day, and that means Christian students and teachers gather around the flag pole of their respective schools to pray and "fight" for their right to pray on taxpayer land.

And... of course, they are completely missing the point.

See, they're doing it under the mistaken notion that their faith is somehow under attack because they aren't allowed to officially pray in school.  They aren't allowed to have that moment after the pledge of allegiance to have someone lead a prayer over the loudspeakers, or before a football game, etc, etc.

And they think that means they are being persecuted.

Here is what is actually happening.  They aren't being prevented from praying in school or at school sanctioned events because they're Christian.  They're being prevented from doing it because school districts are unwilling to allow other faiths the same right and access.

In other words, Christians can't have officially sanctioned school prayer because Buddhists can't have officially sanctioned school chants, and Muslims can't have officially sanctioned calls to prayer throughout the day for interested students, and Wiccans can't have officially sanctioned circles...

Are you getting my drift?  It isn't the government that's doing this.  It's the school districts.  Because... if they let one faith group do their thing, then they have to let them all do their thing.  If they allow Christians to proselytize, then they have to allow all of them to proselytize.  If they allow Christians to pass out Bibles, they have to allow Muslims to pass out Korans, Jews to pass out Torahs, Wiccans to pass out Redes... you see?

If you allow one group to do it, you have to allow them all.  And school districts aren't prepared to have hysterical parents calling in because little Johnny brought home a Koran, or little Susie wants to go dance naked in the city park under a full moon at the next Sabbat.  Hysterical Christian parents.  Because, of course, the only true religion is Christianity, never mind that none of you can get your messages straight or even decide which one of your many, many denominations is the actual true faith.

So, my dear Christian friends, your rights aren't being trampled on.  ALL of us are having our rights trampled on... because of you.  Because you think you're more equal than us.  So basically, you're doing it to yourselves, and dragging the rest of us along with you.  And you know what?  We're kind of tired of that.  So stop.  Just stop.  And get over yourselves.  Because you don't see any of us at the schools, demanding the right to practice our faith, or not practice a faith, on the school grounds.  We're not there demanding those rights because we're perfectly happy to have the schools teach math, science, reading, history... you know, all the stuff the schools are supposed to be teaching?  And treating all our kids equally, no matter their ethnic origin, gender, religion, etc, etc?  That's part of the separation between the church and the state that Christians apparently don't quite grasp.  So, we're happy that there isn't religion in schools because it doesn't belong there.

So stop freaking out over the non-existent persecution.  The rest of us would like to be left in peace.

Monday, September 9, 2013

And The Growing Continues...

Last Tuesday, the Impossible Son was complaining of a headache, sore muscles, and nausea.  When I took his temperature, it was a stunning 96.4 F.  So... no fever.  I figured it was the result of not enough sleep after a three day weekend and pronounced him mostly fit for school.  However, in the car, he turned green and looked likely to hurl, so I turned around and brought him back home.

I knew something was off when I suggested a nap and he went without protest.

My son has been protesting naps since the advanced age of two.

But last Tuesday, he said, "Huh... good idea," and promptly went to bed.

When he woke up five and a half hours later, he'd grown an inch.  I am totally serious about this.  He was taller when he woke up than he was when he went to sleep.  Noticeably taller.

He's grown another inch since then, and I have a feeling he's going to do it again today.  Because, once again, he woke up complaining of a headache and nausea, but this time, he's added a sore throat to the mix.  I sent him to school after giving him something for the headache and congestion that had led to the sore throat, and they called me around 10:30 to come pick him up.

When we got home, as we were walking through the door, I said, "Maybe you should take a nap... wait, where'd you go?"

He was in bed before I could finish my sentence.  Taking a nap.

He's going to grow again, I just know it.  And dammit, that means MORE SOCKS.  And probably another pair of shoes.

Shoot.  Me.  Now.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Growing, Growing, Too Much Growing!

I cannot keep up with my son's rate of growth.
He's twelve years old, and already looks like a teenager, all arms, legs, and lankiness.  Yesterday morning, while getting ready for school, he came to me and said, "Mom, I'm out of socks."
"Look in your drawer," I said while finishing up lunches, "I know there were four pair in there two days ago."
"There are no socks in my drawer, Mom, I looked!" he insisted.
Grumbling to myself, I went to check and sure enough, lots of underwear, no socks.  So, I headed for my bedroom and the Sock Basket.
In case you're wondering, the Sock Basket is a small laundry basket where we toss all the socks with missing partners.  Sometimes, the missing socks turn up buried in the furniture, hidden under the bookcases or, even more surprisingly, on the shelves of the bookcases.  I have found socks where you expect, jammed into shoes or hidden under beds or the kitchen table.  And I have found socks where you don't expect, like... in a box of music CDs, or on top of the XBox.  And I've found them where you shouldn't expect to, like... between the pages of a book?  Really???  Stuffed into one of the drawers of the china cabinet?   Seriously, guys?? What possible reason would any of you have for stuffing your dirty smelly socks in there???
It's moments like those that I realize my children are strange, strange people.  But I love them anyway.
So, I went to the sock basket, figuring I could at least give the Impossible Son a mis-matched pair of socks, which seems to be all the rage among the teenagers of our small town anyway.  No, really.  They buy pairs of wildly colored or striped or spotted or patterned socks and deliberately mix them up, and wear the resulting mis-matched pairs.  I was dubious at first because, hey, grownup here, raised by parents who kept all our clothes strictly matched and handed down ironclad rules of dressing: 
1.  "No plaids and stripes shall be worn at the same time!!"
2.  "White shoes shall not be worn before Memorial Day nor after Labor Day, unless you are in the Navy and serving in Florida or the Tropics, and you, Young Lady, are not in the Navy!"
3.  "Sandals will not be worn before May, nor after September, I don't care if it's December 25th and it's 90 degrees F and we live in Texas.  It's just Not Done."
4.  "All socks shall be matched and be the same color, and they shall be a color the same as or complimentary to the outfit you are wearing.  And if no matching socks are clean, you shall wear sandals, unless it's before May or after September, in which case, you are Out Of Luck."
However, I got over it, and have seen the mismatched sock thing as a good way to empty out the Sock Basket.  So getting into the spirit of it, I found a mismatched pair for the Impossible Son and handed them over.
Ten seconds later, "Mom... they're too small."
"What do you mean?  We just got you those socks."  
I looked down.  Now, these are what my kids call "footie" socks.  They're the short little socks that barely show over the top of your sneakers, and my son is particularly fond of them.  The sock should come up over the top of his foot and up the back of his heel.  But it doesn't.  It doesn't come up over his heel.  It's too short.
Jaw dropping, I grab another pair of large socks and hand them over.  These are supposed to come up to the ankle.  Except... they don't come up over his heel, either.  So... I grabbed a pair of the Husbandly One's socks, a mismatched pair as well, and they fit.  Kind of.
"How does Papa stand these?" the Impossible Son asks conversationally as he tilts his feet side to side, peering at them dubiously.
"He loves them," I said, putting the other socks back in the basket.  "He says they're very comfortable."
"They're kind of tight around the top," and I look down and sure enough, I see red lines pressing into his skin where the socks end.
I stare at him.  "Honey," I said slowly, "I can't give you any of my socks, because my feet are much smaller than yours.  And I can't give you any of your sister's socks, because her feet are smaller than mine!"
"I know," he said miserably.  "I'll... just wear these."
I had just bought my son socks.  And he had outgrown them in less than two weeks. 
*pauses to hyperventilate*
You know, I thought I was prepared for this.  I thought, because I've already been through the teenaged thing with the Impertinent Daughter, that I at least had an idea of what to expect.  And it sank in.
This... is going to be totally different.  Teenaged boys have a completely different growth rate than girls.  I knew this intellectually, of course.  But I was basically being slapped upside the head with it.  
When the Impertinent Daughter started her growth spurts, she outgrew a brand new pair of shoes in less than an hour.  They had fit just fine in the store, had plenty of wiggle room, and were comfortable.  We put the shoes back in the box, took them to the cash register, bought them, and went home.  She took the shoes out of the box, put them on, took three steps and cried out, "They're too tight!!"
Understand, she's still wearing the same socks she'd worn to try the shoes on.
I knelt in front of her, just like I had in the store, and felt her feet in the shoes, and it felt like her feet were about to burst out of them.  Literally.  I made her take them off and put her old shoes back on.  
She couldn't get them on.
I thought maybe her feet had swollen for... whatever reason feet swell, so I said, "Hey, run around barefoot for now, we'll try them again in the morning."
She couldn't get them on in the morning.
When we went back to the store, her feet had grown a whole size bigger!
So... I thought, when it came to the Impossible Son, hey, I can handle it!
He's grown nearly four and a half inches since last May.  Which doesn't sound like much, until I tell you that three of them were just in the last two and a half weeks!!  And his hands are now officially bigger than mine, which I know isn't saying much because I have small hands.  His feet are huge right now (think Sora from Kingdom Hearts), and I know that means he's going to grow again, to fit those big feet.
He's going to be taller than me.
I knew that.  I expect that, but it was always in the distant future, when he would be sixteen, seventeen... not now.  Not... like... by next summer, when he'll be thirteen.
Holy Mackinoly... he's going to be thirteen.
He's my youngest child, and all of a sudden, time's passage is rushing by me as I watch his jaw lengthen, his chin lose it's pointy-ness, his face taking on a more adult aspect, and my baby is receding further and further into the past.  I no longer see the cheerful toddler, or the bouncy kid with the big grin, I see the adult that is to come, and whoa!
Then he catches a toad and brings it to show me. And goes flying awkwardly after it when it hops out of his hands.
Yep.  The kid is still there.  And I can still smoke his butt at Smash Brothers.
Hey, it's the little things...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Impertinent Fan-Art

I've been sitting on this for a while, and kept meaning to post it, but life and stuff, you know?  Gets in the way.

Anyhow, this came about because of a conversation the Impertinent Daughter and I had after one of the "turning the Wraith human" episodes on Stargate Atlantis.  Because we wondered how much of their human characteristics would they retain, how much of the behavior they'd witnessed among the guards would they remember and try to imitate...

What would happen if two Wraith tried to... high five each other?

I don't know what I like most... the verbally challenged drone, or the "Oh, crap!" moment, followed by flailing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Library Day...

For the past four or five summers, Mondays have been Animanga Club days for my kids at the San Marcos public library.  For my kids, this means three hours to hang out with other kids who not only understand anime and manga, they truly, truly get it.

For me, this means three hours of interruption free writing time.

In the past, because my old laptop had a very short battery life, and... it was big, I was limited to places wherever I could find a plug, and had a nice big table to set up on.  And believe me, the tables with plugs at the San Marcos library fill up fast.

This also meant people being able to look over my shoulder to see what I was typing away at so industriously, often to their (and my) chagrin.  And as I've said in the past, I have issues with people being able to look over my shoulder when I'm working, whether it's writing, sketching, sewing... I don't like it.

Now, however, I have my new SHINY, and I'm sitting with my back to a wall.  It's... nice.  Plus, the MacBook is light, and doesn't get hot, so... I can have it in my lap.  If I get really adventurous, I might go hole up in one of the library's out of the way corners to write... except then, the kids would panic because they wouldn't be able to find me when the club lets out.  Oh well.

I can't get over how quiet this laptop is.  There's no optical drive, so... no whirring, no clicks, no fan noise... just the gentle clicking of my keyboard.  And wow, isn't that miles and miles away from the loud percussive clacking of the IBM Selectric I first learned to type on in junior high?

Yes, I'm that old.  Typing was required when I was in junior high.

So... it's nice to only hear quiet when I sit here and write.

Just thought I'd mention it...

Friday, July 12, 2013


The Husbandly One surprised me yesterday with a brand new MacBook Air!!!

I was not expecting a new laptop this soon at all.  I mean, I was hoping for one, since my Vaio died such an ignominious death (and I'm still hoping I can recover the hard drive), but not expecting one at any time before my birthday... maybe.  So... I'm really happy!

Writing while out and about has been difficult since losing the Vaio.  In fact, the last two times at the library while the kids were at their summer Animanga Club meetings was... frustrating.  Trying to use THO's netbook sucked, because... one, it's Windows, and two, THO spilled liquid in the keyboard and thus, some of the keys are sticky, plus it's only got a partial version of Windows 7 (it came that way, if you want the actual full OS... you have to buy it.  Extra.  Yeah.) so it runs a little slow and it doesn't like using Word.  I mean, it will run it, but it considers Word a bit dodgy and thinks less of you for using it.

I admire the Husbandly One's fortitude in using the damn thing.

The second time we were at the library, I borrowed the Impertinent Daughter's MacBook, and realized only after getting to the library that while I had installed Word for Mac on it (at her request, since her school uses Windows), I had not yet installed Pages... and the files on my USB drive were for Pages.  I managed a work-around and did fine after that, but that should be one of my goals today, to install iWork on her Mac.

I finally asked THO about taking the Vaio somewhere to get it fixed, because, dammit, I need something to write on, something portable!!  Dammit!!

And it wasn't like yesterday wasn't surreal on its own, you know?  The Impertinent Daughter finished up the classroom instruction part of the driving course offered at the high school (by an independent driving school) and came home much earlier than I expected, and hit her own version of the Wall of Fatigue.  So I left her at home to take a nap, with a guardian little brother, and went for a blissfully peaceful grocery shopping trip.  And I'm glad, too, because that's where the surreal part of my day started.

It started with an unexpectedly deep voice behind me saying, "Can I get that for you, Mrs. J?" when I was on my tiptoes trying to get to a package well out of my reach.  And I turned around, fully expecting to see my usual Helpful Tall Shop Assistant... and discovered one of my daughter's friends standing there.  And I realized three things.

1.  He was VERY tall.

2.  His voice has gotten deeper since I last spoke to him five weeks ago.

3.  He's old enough to work at the grocery store.


Two weeks ago, he was in first grade, shyly introducing himself to the Impertinent Daughter, with pale blond hair and apple red cheeks.  Last week, he was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game, tears streaming down his cheeks as I cleaned and bandaged his bloody knee while his mom was gone on a snacks run for half-time because the parent who was supposed to have brought snacks forgot.  Yesterday, he was in fifth grade and excitedly telling me how he was going to be in marching band when he started junior high.

There is no way he's old enough to be working at the grocery store!!!  NO!!!

Later, I was grabbing a bag of sugar, and heard, "Hi, Mrs. J!!" And there was a girl my daughter has known since... third grade.  And... no.  Just... no.

I found yet another teenager that my daughter played youth soccer with in the paper aisle.  And it just went on and on, all these kids that in my head are still... little... and they're not.  And then, when I was checking out, again, a girl from my daughter's class at the cash register, and a boy sacking my groceries, and saying, "Hey, Mrs. J, let me get the ice for you so you don't forget it."



It was bad enough when I realized three years ago that I could no longer perv on the high school boy's cross country track team, because... it was now half populated with boys I had known since they were four and five.  But now, they're... turning into people!!

Totally skewed my world view, man!!

My daughter pretty much laughed at me when I got home and related all of this to her, and I had to confront the fact that my daughter is a senior and will be graduating next MAY!!!

*more hyperventilating*

Then, I went to get my hair cut, and she went along with me, and as my uber-awesome stylist was cutting my hair, she started saying, "Oh... my God."  She'd cut more, huff, then go, "Oh.  My.  God."  Then a grimace, another huff, and, "Omigod."  Then, "Oh, my fucking GOD."

After the seventh repetition of this, I finally said, "Uh... what's going on?"  Because the last time I heard that, I was 18 and the lady who had been cutting my hair since I was 11 was ready to kill my hair.

Ms. Stylist grimaced and said, "Your hair is frustrating me.  It's never frustrated me before!  I've been cutting your hair a long time, Jo, and I've never seen it do this."

"Do what?" I asked, stunned.

"Well... it's... baby fine, and so... thick... and it's just... every time I cut a section and start to move on, something pops out and I realized I missed something, and I have to go back and cut it, and then something else pops out, and... it's kinda making me nuts here," she said grimly.

And that's when it dawned on me.  My hair was coming back.  The endocrinologist changed me off the Synthroid/Cytomel combo he had me on and put me on Armour Thyroid, because the S/C combo just wasn't helping.  My hair was still falling out, I was still very fatigued, and just not getting better.

I knew my hair was coming back, and I was getting it cut because it was like wearing a wool mop on my head.  And I knew it was getting thicker, because I was having to use heavier pony tail holders to pull it back.  But... I didn't realize it had come back to the original texture of being baby fine and deceptively thick.

Ms. Stylist kept cutting and cutting, and fluffing and fluffing, and cutting more, and finally, she said, "Next hair cut, we're thinning this shit out!"

*dies laughing*

After we got home, the Impertinent One and I settled in for a "Bones" marathon while the Impossible Son went off to do boy things with his friend across the street, and the Husbandly One texted that he was going to have to work late.

Yeah, he was totally off buying my new SHINY!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*

Coolest.  Husband.  EVER.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Because cats, they love the technology, too...

Why, yes, I DID allow my cat to play on my iPad mini... why do you ask???

"Don't stop, tick-tock, sun blows up today..."

Today is officially the start of my kids' summer vacation, since school let out Friday, and... apparently weekends don't count.  At least that's what I've been told.  Repeatedly.
Of course, they're still passed out, and I'm up, because I'm still in "gotta get up and make the lunches and take the kids to school," mode.  And because I know this is the only quiet time I will get today.  Now, a responsible mom would have rousted the younguns out of bed by now and had a variety of projects for them to do, but we already know that's not me, right?
Besides, after the tough year they've both had, they deserve it.  At least for today.
When they were younger, I used to look at summer break with a mix of "Yay vacation!" and "Nooooo... I'll be home alone with them... all day long!!!"  Which I know is probably not an attitude I'm officially supposed to take.  Officially, as a stay-at-home mom, I'm supposed to be all, "Oh, I'm so glad to have them home with me where I can nurture their little hearts and minds and be a mom!!"
Yeah... not so much.  Because you have to understand, I'm essentially raising Calvin and Hobbes.  And those roles are interchangeable, too.  Or you could say I'm raising John Sheppard and Rodney McKay.  Kirk and Spock.  Basically, think of any extremely bright, prone to getting into either excessive trouble or excessive mischief duo you can think of... and that's my kids.  My kids are extremely intelligent, very inventive, and attract trouble like a magnet.  I am barely one step ahead of them, and that margin gets smaller and smaller every day.  Thinking of things to keep the Dynamic Duo occupied, engaged, and happy is a bigger and bigger challenge every single year.  It's crazy.  And I have alternately loved and dreaded it for years.
However, in the last two years, I have met the advent of summer break with a huge sense of relief, especially on the Impossible Son's behalf.  We live in a small town, with a small school district, and good teachers are far and few between.  Inspiring teachers are even rarer.  And while the district has a strict policy about bullying... it isn't consistently enforced, if it is enforced at all.  Only when it's something drastic, or so big that it can't be hidden easily.  Like last year, with the kid who physically attacked my son.  Had he only shoved the Impossible Son, or called him names, the administration of the elementary school he went to last year would have made conciliatory noises at me and promised to "deal" with the boy, talk to him, etc, etc.  But because it was a big issue, where the police had to be called, and because the Husbandly One and I threatened legal action, especially when it was shown that the principal dropped the ball when it came to informing us, AND because there was a threat to younger, smaller children, the bully was isolated from the rest of the school population for about three months and counseled within an inch of his life.  Plus, the principal "retired" shortly after that.
His first year of junior high was a mixed bag.  Great, because he was in band and discovered a whole new group of friends and hey, new school!  And sucky because there's only one junior high in town, and five elementary schools' worth of kids are going there, so... not only are there new friends, but... the old bullies are there, too.  And they didn't wait too long to start in.
Not only that, but he had a teacher bullying him, too.  And when I switched him out of  that class, he waited until the last three weeks of school to tell me that his bullies were in the new class.  So they were in his first, second, and fourth period classes.  Fourth period was gym.
And... the Impossible Son also learned the social implications of hanging out with the Wrong People.   Hanging out with the kids who always got in trouble, who back-talked the teachers, who harassed other kids, meant that when he was being harassed and he appealed for help from the teachers, they weren't as willing to listen to him.  And tended to look the other way.  It also meant that when he found kids whom he shared interests with, kids who liked the same books he did, or read manga, too, they weren't as willing to talk to him because... he hung out with the kids who harassed them for reading or being smart.  And they were afraid of being played.
He also found out what happens when he hangs out with a kid who rubs Mom the wrong way.
Yeesh, that was a tough one!  I don't often go off on a kid, but every once in a great while, one of my kids' friends will send out vibes that grate on my nerves like coarse sand on sunburned skin, and I'll balk at letting them hang out.  And I'm always vindicated later on.  And no, I don't say, "Told you so!" or "I was right!"  I usually hug them and say, "I'm sorry."
Then there's the math issue.  Dear gods, if there is ONE thing about this district that makes me absolutely furious, it is the absolutely SUCK-TASTIC quality of the math education here.  Seriously.  They have absolutely no clue how to teach math here.    Can anyone explain to me how it is possible for my daughter to make 98's, 97's, and 95's in Pre-AP Physics... and 50's, 60's, and 70's in AP Pre-Calculus??  They're using the same math!!!  That's why they're taking them together!!
By the way, the reason she didn't fail completely (she passed with a 78) was because of the math she learned in Physics class.  I kept trying to the Impertinent One into asking Uber-Awesome Physics teacher for help, but she didn't want to overburden him.  Because she wasn't the only one.
And then there was my son, who had an actually semi-competent teacher this year, and when I could convince him to go to tutoring, he raised his grade from 56 to an 88.  Then... he stopped going to tutoring.  And when I got him back, his grade went up, but not as dramatically, and when I asked his teacher about it, she looked at me helplessly and said, "Mrs. J.  there's just so much I can teach him... and so much he doesn't know because... he never learned it."
He never learned it.  Because they didn't teach it to him in elementary school.
And you know, my son isn't alone.  
So, yes, I am relieved that school is over for three months, and I can spend this time again trying to get my son back up to speed.  And trying to make up for the lacks in what passes for an educational system in Texas.  
Ibuprofen, anyone?

Monday, May 13, 2013


My daughter went to her first prom this weekend, and it was one of those rites of passage that her father and I anticipated and tried to prepare ourselves for only to find those mental preparations were... well... woefully inadequate.

I tried not to make too big of a production of it, because I didn't want the Impertinent Daughter to freak out and hide.  After all, this was a big step for her, my wild tomboy daughter who doesn't think she's pretty (must be genetic, I swear).  First date, first time wearing makeup, first time wearing a dress and heels in public where it didn't involve a cosplay... all pretty huge steps for her.

So, she went to prom with a boy she's known since sixth grade, whom we will call "Toast Boy," because I crocheted a scarf for him that looked like joined pieces of toast with pats of butter on them.  He still wears it, I understand.

I had made an appointment at the salon we habitually go to for her to have her hair, face, and nails done (for which I am extremely grateful, because while I could have done her makeup, her hair would have probably broken me), so Saturday afternoon, that's where we went.

Now, salons in a small town are somewhat different from those in larger towns.  And I say this having grown up in Houston and having gone to small neighborhood salons.  You get to know the stylists, and some of the regulars, you chat and all, but you don't get to really know them.

In a small town, where everybody knows everybody, and knows everybody's business, it's a whole new ballgame.  You know the stylists because their kids go to school with yours, or played soccer with yours, or you know the same people.  Or you had to serve on the same parent volunteer groups at school.  Or your kids are in band together.   Or they live down the street from you.  So, you go in with your kid, and they already know what they're going to do to her and you'll hear them say things like, "I've been waiting to do your hair for prom for x number of years!!" or "I can't believe you're old enough to go to prom!  I gave you your first haircut when you were so small, you had to sit on two phone books just so I could reach you!  That was just last week, right?"

I heard a lot of that from the other girls getting their hair, nails, and makeup done, because, of course, small town, only one high school, of course the salons were packed with girls (and guys) getting ready for prom!  And a couple of the stylists, who I am shocked to now realize I have known for ten years, came over to chat with me and check on Miss Impertinent's progress.

What you need to know is this...

(photo by Jo Jandrok)
Was transformed into this...

(photo by Erin Hurd)

After we got home, her best friend's mom called, and they came by for photos, and this...

(photo by C. Jandrok)

became this...

(photo by Jo Jandrok)

Which is amazing.  Looking at them in that photo, you'd never have any clue they're both kick-ass soccer players who have played on co-ed teams and sent guys bigger than they are flying.

The look on the Husbandly One's face when we came home, by the way, was priceless.  I think in a lot of ways, he still sees the Impertinent Daughter at eight, with dirt smeared on one cheek and chocolate in the corners of her mouth, tangled hair and a big grin, ready for the next adventure.  Seeing her like this, though, was a major shock to the system, and I don't think he was ready for it.  Neither was I, really.  

Of course, I can't leave you with this... dignified photo of the girls, because really... it's just not them.  So, about ten seconds after the above photo was snapped, we got this...

(photo by Jo Jandrok)

Followed by a sisterly photobomb, courtesy of Super Goalie's younger sister...

(photo by Jo Jandrok)

And then it was time for Super Goalie to leave for dinner with her date, and the Impertinent Daughter to leave for dinner with her date and the group of friends they were going with.  And I got another shock.  Because this...

(photo by C. Jandrok)

Became this...

(photo by Jo Jandrok)
Of course, it later devolved into this...

(photo by B. Schaub)

Which shows my daughter and her friends have a propensity for dramatic gestures.  

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that my daughter actually had not one, but two dates to the prom?

(photo by Jo Jandrok)

They had an extra ticket, and can you believe, the Demon Lord Nevitz was actually not going to go???  Well, Miss Impertinent and Toast Boy had to fix that, so they promptly asked him to go, and here you see them, Demon Lord, Impertinence, and Toast, all ready to go to the prom.  The Three Amigos.  Or the Three Formal -Wearing-Teens of the Apocalypse (notice the formal skulls on the Impertinent One's wrist bag).    

Of course, they said the prom was boring (and I can imagine that it was, for them), and the high school should really worry if those three get it into their heads to take over next year's prom, because I am sure there would be Cards Against Humanity, actual danceable music that wasn't rap or country (apparently, the country music wasn't danceable, either) which may or may not include J-Pop and K-Pop, and decorations that don't consist of a box of popcorn and a movie clapper on each table.  There may even be some C4 involved, or zombies.  Maybe even pirates!  (She wanted to wear a pirate themed dress, but we didn't really have time to plan it this year).  I think if the Impertinent One had her way, it would be strictly cosplay, period.  

She'd make an awesome Black Widow, don't you think?

Anyhow, I think she did have some fun at least, and I can say that her father and I survived our first prom experience.  It was... challenging, and did require a margarita on my part.  Did I mention that the Husbandly One makes really good margaritas?

And that was our adventure with prom night!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Because that's the way my brain works...

So we're back after a weekend away camping, and there are things that I can't help but wonder as I walk around my house.
Like... how can there possibly be more dishes in the sink than when we left??  Because... I know there weren't that many dishes in there when we left.  What... did they breed?  CAN DISHES PROCREATE???
This might explain why, every time I think I'm actually done with the dishes, there are always more in the sink to do.  But it doesn't explain why I can't find a glass in the cabinet when I need water.
Apparently, they don't breed in the cabinet.  Water is required.
Hmmmm... disturbing...
The other thing I wonder is... why are my kids' socks always under the couch?  With the extra couch cushions?  And... is there a direct link between my dryer, where one sock always goes missing, and the area underneath my couch?  No, wait... the socks missing from the dryer are always clean... and the ones under the couch reek of Kid Pong.  So... no.
And what are the extra cushions doing under there, anyway?  Hanging out?
Why does the phone always ring when I either am up to my elbows in soapy water, or I'm cleaning the litter box?
And just where did Princess Leia get that dress she wore in the Ewok village in "Return of the Jedi?"  I mean, when she was packing for the trip to Endor, did she look at that dress and think, "Hmmmm, you know, that would be just perfect if I happen to end up in a tree village full of teddy bear people in suede!  Fabulous!!"
The world may never know....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Because I like to get their attention...

I'm at the dryer, pulling out dry towels and putting them in the basket when I hear the fridge door open.  And I know it's the Walking Stomach otherwise known as my son, so I immediately call out, "Leave the strawberries alone!  They're for lunches!"
"Not touching 'em!" my son shouts back as I hear crackling and rattling coming from the kitchen.
"Leave the blackberries alone!" I shout.
"Not touching 'em," he shouts back, sounding almost bored as more crackling and rattling is heard.
Just for grins, I shout, "And whatever you do, leave the squid tentacles alone!"
"Not touch... wait... WHAT??"  An outraged face pops up in the door to frown at me.
"Just checking to see if you were listening," I said with a grin.
Yep, still got it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When Ketchup Meets Impertinent Force, Part 2

Do y'all remember The Centrifugal Ketchup Incident? You know, when the Impertinent Daughter was trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the ketchup bottle so she could pour it out... and ended up splattering it across the ceiling, the floor, and the cat?

She did it again last night.

The Ketchup Incident, Part 2

That's her, laughing herself silly (and being a little embarrassed, too) after splattering the kitchen and the dining room with ketchup. She was, once again, trying to get the ketchup from the bottom of the bottle to use on the Husbandly One's grilled burgers. She swears up and down that she sealed the top of the bottle. She SWEARS!!

As you can see, it clearly wasn't.

Across the Ceiling...

Once again, it's across the ceiling, and now makes an X with the splatter from 2010, which, while it was cleaned up, took off the popcorn ceiling in those spots.


Even on the paper towels...

She hit the paper towels...

In the Cabinet

And inside the cabinet. It's across the counter, across the dining room table, and in the far corner of the dining room, too. I'd show you those photos, but... they came out blurry, so... you'll just have to imagine it. At least she didn't get one of the cats this time!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And sometimes, it goes better than you expect...

So, last Tuesday, I went to have a chat with the principal about the referral the Impossible Son got on Monday, in hopes of getting rid of it. Because it was so totally not deserved. And I admit, I was geared up for another battle, because... you just never know, right?

I've always gotten along with the woman who is currently principal. She was the tenth grade assistant principal at the high school last year, and I never had a problem with her. So I was pleased when she got the position of head principal at the junior high earlier this year. So... I was kind of dreading the idea of having to butt heads, you know?

Instead, it was probably the most reasonable conversation I've had with anyone in administration. We sat down and the first thing she said was, "I have a vague outline of what's been going on, but I know you pretty well, so... what happened??"

So, I filled her in, and she took notes and then looked up when I told her about Mr. Impossible being pulled from band and said, "Weren't you called?"

"No," I said and she frowned.

And when I mentioned that he had been pulled from P.E. on Friday to color a picture that frown got deeper and she said, "Wait... she pulled him on Friday, too?"

"Yes," I said.

"And she didn't call you then, either?"


When I mentioned that he'd been pulled from class on Wednesday, she sat up straight and said, "Just... how many times has Mrs. Picky pulled Mr. Impossible from class?"

"I understand this was a frequent occurrence," I said, keeping my temper under control, because I know Mrs. G. was just trying to establish the facts. "And I was never informed. Mrs. Picky has both my cell phone number, and my email address, and she never contacted me about pulling my son from classes."

"And he's been removed from her class for," and she looked down at the file, "a personality clash?"

"By the time Monday arrived," I said calmly, "it had gone way past personality clashes and straight on to mutual hostility and aggravation. In fact, I will go so far as to say it was plain straight out bullying on her part." And I went on to tell her about the circumstances on Monday and asked that the referral she'd written be removed.

"Oh, no problem," Mrs. G. said. "It shouldn't have been written in the first place. And I'll look at the Band-Aid incident, too. That should probably be removed as well. But the I.S.S. because of Nut-Check Thursday..."

"Oh, I have no problem with that one," I said, trying not to laugh at this point. "He deserved that one! And if anything, that one will teach him to pick his friends a little more carefully."

We laughed about that, and then chatted about a bullying problem that had come up for the Impossible Son, and I passed on what his grade level AP had told me, which was she was aware of it but could not intervene because "she needed my permission to intervene," which made Mrs. G.'s eyes nearly pop out.

"Uh, no," she said, very affronted. "If we see bullying, we have to intervene. We are required by both district policy and state law to intervene if we see bullying! She doesn't have to wait... I see I need to have a meeting with my AP's to discuss this and make sure they all understand what they're supposed to do!"

"Yes," I said, and then thanked her for her time and patience. What actions were taken away from this meeting? Well, she is going to be talking with Mrs. Picky about her actions regarding the Impossible Son, and the having a meeting with all her teachers to make sure they all understand that if a child needs to be pulled from another class to finish an assignment or for extra work, it is a sign there is a problem, and the parent must be informed. NO EXCEPTIONS.

I am totally cool with that.

She will also be removing the referral from Monday from the Impossible Son's record.

I am totally cool with that, too.

On an aside, as we were walking out, she said, "You know when I got back from a conference, the office ladies were passing around this check out slip, and laughing over it, and I wanted to see it so I read it and there was your name, and your son's, and then I saw the reason you'd checked him out was for a ... rescue mission. What was up with that??"

I laughed and said, "Well, I didn't think you'd approve if I wrote kidnapping, and I was rescuing him from Mrs. Picky, so...."

"See, I knew there was a reason I liked you!"

So, maybe the next two years won't be so bad after all? One can only hope!

UPDATE: The referral was removed from his record. Mrs. G. for the WIN!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Because sometimes, your kid needs a rescue mission...

Can I just... vent my spleen here? I mean, seriously, the people at the middle school... the stupid, oh, my gods, the stupid...

That steady thumping you hear? It's me, banging my head over and over again into the desk.

You know, seriously, I really thought it was Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere, but apparently, getting assigned to the middle school causes some sort of... brain damage. Or maybe Sees-Plots-Everywhere cursed the school, sort of like how Voldemort cursed the DADA position at Hogwarts. I dunno, but the last two weeks have been... horrible, and today was just the capper.


Okay, so... last Monday... no wait, let me start over. It all started with a phone call. The Impossible Son had been playing a "game,", one of those stupid games 6th grade kids play that are so stupid and you think, "Surely my child is too smart to play that sort of stupid game," But, my son isn't immune from Stupidity, so... he took a pencil, turned it over and rubbed the eraser into his skin until... he literally rubbed a hole into his skin. Not only that... he did it three more times! All on the back of his hand!!

The principal of the school, who was the Impertinent Daughter's vice principal last year and thus knows me, called me to tell me that Mr. Impossible wasn't in trouble, but if it happened again, it would be an automatic suspension. Okay, fine. I can handle that. And the Husbandly One and I had the "any game that involve bodily injury, or harm, to yourself or others, is a game you are not going to play because it is stupid and people who encourage you to play these games are not your friends, they are stupid people you do not need to be around" talk with him. And that was that.

I thought.

I had been told to keep the eraser burns on his hand covered until they were healed, so I went and bought some vet wrap at the local feed store because, let me tell you something: Band-Aids aren't going to stay stuck to my kid's skin. His papa is the same way, I don't know if it's skin oils or what. The only band-aids that have any hope of staying on his skin more than ten minutes at a pop (and that's a generous estimate) are the waterproof kind made by 3M. So vet-wrap and gauze it was.

So, by the following Monday, I was almost out of vet wrap and didn't have enough to wrap between his thumb and forefinger to make sure the dang thing would stay put. Needless to say, it slid off by first period.

His first period teacher, a language arts teacher I will most generously call "Mrs. Picky" instead of what I want to call her (which is Mrs. Bitch), sent him to the nurse, who threw something together with band-aids and... get this... scotch tape. Yes, you read that right, scotch tape, the tape you use on wrapping paper when wrapping a present. Yes. That lasted... not at all. And when he got into band and started playing his trombone, it became painful, so he pulled it off. In the meantime, he had a friction burn from gym on his forearm so that had a band-aid, too, that Mrs. B... Picky put on his arm. That was stayed in place, until it fell off, unnoticed.

About this time, Mrs. Picky shows up to pull my son out of band class. Apparently, this is something she's been doing quite frequently, and no one has been informing me of this. Nor have I authorized her to pull Mr. Impossible out of classes. Period.

So, Mrs. Picky pulls him, notices the missing bandage and immediately decides to write him up and haul him to the office, where he is put in In School Suspension. Which basically means he's suspended and can't attend classes, but... within the school instead of sending him home. Talking to the 6th grade Assistant Principal (hereforth to be called the AP), it sounds like he was put in I.S.S. to separate him from Mrs. Picky.


So, the Impossible Son is very upset when I pick him up and informs me of what happened, and that he will be serving in I.S.S. the next day as well. When I asked why, it turned out he had participated in another Stupid Game, this one called Nut Check Thursday This game involves going up to other boys and striking them lightly in the crotch with a hand and saying, "NUT CHECK THURSDAY!!" Except it was Friday.

Shoot me now. My son has testosterone poisoning.

He was caught, and assigned I.S.S. for the following Tuesday. And that one, I will freely admit, was wholly deserved. Because stupidity fully deserves punishment, right?

Now, while he was in I.S.S., his teachers were supposed to send his work to the I.S.S. room so he didn't fall behind. And they mostly did... except Mrs. Picky. And she waited until FRIDAY to decide he hadn't done his work, and she pulled him from P.E. and sent him to the library... not to work on the written part of his assignment, but to color a picture.

Yes. This woman pulled my son from his physical education class to have him color a picture. I am not kidding. I wish I were. Really.

And the only reason I found out about this was because my son lost a baby tooth in the library, and was sent to the nurse, who called me immediately. Because he had a second loose tooth he was in danger of losing, and it was causing him a great deal of pain, so they wanted me to come pick him up.

It wasn't until after we got in the car that I found out what had happened, and... I pretty much hit my limit of patience with Mrs. Picky at that moment. She rides him constantly, calls me and tells me things like, "Maybe you should move Mr. Impossible to another class, because he has such a hard time staying awake in mine. He's always half asleep, he never has a pencil, and he's always forgetting his I.D." Then she turns right around and says, "I love having your son in my class because he's so smart, and he's always reading, and he's so funny, and I just love him!!"

Talk about mixed messages!!

Okay, so I looked at him and said, "You want me to transfer you out of her class while we're here?"

He looked massively relieved and said, "Oh, thank you, Mom!!"

We go in to see the counselor, and I smiled pleasantly and said, "I would like to have my son switched out of his first period language arts class and into another first period language arts class. There's a personality conflict with his current teacher and it just isn't getting better, so I think it would be best for everyone all around if he's removed from her class and put in another one."

The counselor smiled at me and said, "Well, Mrs. J., I will speak to the AP and see if we can do that. It's late in the year, and we may not be able to do it, but I'll do my best."

Yeah, that's pretty much when my patience went out the door. I kept my smile, but raised an eyebrow and said, "Let me rephrase that. I'm not asking you to switch him out of that class. I'm telling you to switch him out of that class. It's not a request. He will be pulled."

"Mrs. J., it may not be possible..."

"Oh, it will be possible," I said, keeping a firm rein on my temper. "Because you put him in I.S.S. to get him away from her, you put him in I.S.S. because he pulled off a band-aid that SHE had put on him, you have allowed her to pull him out of classes at least twice a week with what sounds like very little justification, because this is a class he happens to be doing very well in, and he spends more time in lunch detention because of her than he does actually eating his lunch. So, yes, this is going to get done. Because you and I both know there is much more than just a personality conflict going on here, and I have completely lost my patience with it. I am done, are you understanding me?"

She looked at me gravely for a moment and then said, "Yes, Mrs. J. I am understanding you. If you would please write a note with your request and the reason for it, emphasizing personality conflict, then sign it and date it, I will give it to the AP and tell her that this is urgent. His schedule should be changed by Monday."

"Thank you, Mrs. C," I said, and I accepted paper and pen, writing the note right there. I dated it, signed it, and then I looked at her and said, "And this will be done by Monday, won't it?"

"I'll do my best, Mrs. J." she said.

"No," I said. "This will be done by Monday."

"Yes, Mrs. J, it will be done by Monday," she said.

I took my son and left, and went home.

So... today came, and... I got a phone call this morning. From Mrs. Picky. She informed me that she was writing up the Impossible Son for a referral, because he didn't do his journal assignment in class, and didn't finish his worksheet by the end of class. "I wasn't in class today," she gushed over the phone, "I was supervising some testing, so there was a substitute in my class, and she told me that your son said he was on restrictions and couldn't write. So I went to find him during his band class and there he was, playing his trombone just fine, so I decided to write him up for a referral. Would you like to speak to him?"

Which made me realize he had been standing there listening to all of this. And that when I talked to him, she would be standing there, listening.

Yeah, I was at the school within the hour. I went to see the counselor, and she looked up at me and said, "Oh, Mrs. J! I'm so sorry, but I haven't had time to get to Mr. Impossible's schedule!"

I smiled grimly and said, "Okay, so, this is what I'm going to do. I'm pulling Mr. Impossible out of school today. When you get his schedule redone, you call me and let me know. Because he's not coming back to school until he's out of that class. He and Mrs. Picky have gone way past personality conflict and mutual antagonism and that class has become a hostile environment. I won't have it. So, you change his schedule. The only thing I ask is that you keep him with his math teacher, because he's actually doing pretty well in her class. Other than that, do what you want."

Her mouth fell open during this "But, Mrs. J, these things take time!"

"No. They don't," I said angrily, not bothering to try to control it any more, because I was just so done. "If you can't do this, then I won't be bringing him back. My husband and I will pull him from this school and put him in another district. And since it wouldn't be fair to put our son in a better school district and leave his sister here, we'll pull her, too, and put her in the same district with him."

She actually went kind of green with that one and said, "I'll work on it right now."

"Thank you," I said, and turned to sign my son out. And on the line where it said "reason to check student out," I wrote "Rescue Mission."

I took him to San Marcos, because I had an errand at the library, and within the hour, my phone rang. It was the counselor. "I gave the information to the AP, and she approved it. Mr. Impossible will have his new schedule in the morning."

"Thank you," I said and let the Impossible Son know.

And you know, I am SO TIRED of having to spend so much time in front offices, trying to get this district to do right by my kids. It's ridiculous. It's so unnecessary. It's like clearing one hurdle only to find out there's another one to jump, and it's so frustrating. If we could move tomorrow and find a better school district, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But we can't. So we try to make the best of it that we can and hope that what we do to supplement our kids' education is enough.

Tomorrow, I will most likely be bearding the principal in her den to see if we can (1) get that damn referral shredded, and (2) find out just how many times that woman pulled my son out of classes. Because that? No. Just no. Because it seems like that was more harassment than for actual education purposes. And I am definitely not putting up with that!