Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are You There Chocolate? It's Me, Carrie

We're already in full holiday swing over here at Casa de Screaming, which brings much joy, happiness and juggling to our already busy schedules.

But it's all worth it, right? The togetherness, the gatherings, the seeing of folk you haven't seen since last winter. Looking out over a crowded kitchen at the happy faces working together to whisk some gravy, stir some ham sauce, or assemble a salad and I can tell you that yes, it is definitely worth it. Even though the thought of getting up in the morning to do it all over again with a different group of people is overwhelming, I'd rather live this full, bursting life than none at all.

As long as there is wine*.

Over the weekend, at the first of our Thanksgiving celebrations, I was talking with a few other moms about raising kids. We discussed the differences in parenting older children versus younger children.

(For the record, I am of the school of thought that parenting, in general, is HARD, no matter what age. I think the challenges just change as kids move from one stage to the next and so you have to adjust accordingly. Potty training to prom dates - while one stage may be more your cup of tea than the other, they both have the potential to be difficult. Thus, upping the ante that if you're experiencing either during the holidays, your chances of becoming an alcoholic by the New Year are increased twofold*.)

We also talked about books. None of them had read any of the Twilight series, so I could not discuss my love for the teenage, angsty, vampire novels and the aftermath of the opening weekend of the movie. One of the moms, when I asked her if she had read any good books lately, answered, "Do Disney books count?"

It's okay, I love her anyway.

Which reminds me, I'm in need of a good book. Any suggestions?

We came home that night just in time to throw the sticky children into bed, put the left over turkey in the refrigerator and watch the first half hour of SNL. Is it me, or is SNL not as funny now that the election is over?

Only to face another bouncy house filled, cake, ice cream, presents, happy kids followed by another family dinner day. Which was perfectly fine by me, in retrospect, because I would need to draw strength from sitting and watching the sunset with my mom the next day when I got an email from a certain Someone Who Shall Remain Unnamed's (aka SWSRU) teacher saying his/her science grade had fallen below a passing mark.

Darn those automatic parental emails!

(Which I totally love.)

So yes, the news that SWSRU's grade has been down graded from a B to an F did not exactly make my day. Further investigating and emailing revealed that there was a missing assignment, a parent signature, of all things, which we had indeed signed, pulling his grade down. All this coming from a child (despite the fact that he/she claims to be mature) who is fully capable of pulling an A in science from his back pocket, left ear or whatever.

Point is, the kid is smart. Scary smart. This should not be happening. So we, as the parents, have to question and second guess and stare into his/her big brown eyes and wonder if he/she is doing everything he/she can to succeed in school, or if there is some form of "the messing around" happening that we should know about.

The good news is that all the kids who have "issues" at school are sent to the Vice Principal, who happens to be the father of a girl in Katie's preschool class. So far, he has no idea who SWSRU is, which means that he/she is staying out of trouble.

But oh, the worry!

Which is why I'm thinking about chocolate when I should be thinking about making pies for Thursday. I'm also hoping that if I drink enough egg nog* I'll forget all about it. And if that doesn't work, maybe watching another sunset will.

Unfortunately, this is one of those rough patches in parenting an older child that I'd, quite frankly, like to skip. I'd take potty training over this any day.

So, yes, read any good books lately?

*Not that I'd know from personal experience. All references to alcohol in this post are purely for dramatic effect.

25 comments:

Cassie said...

After reading Twilight I was on a vampire kick *HA* and I read the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. They are really good.

JMom said...

You should check out anything by Jen Lancaster. Amazingly funny stuff!

OHmommy said...

That totally reminds me... can you send me your address so I can send your books back and send you a good read? Before the holidays are in full swing.

flutter said...

I opened my mouth, and cassie's voice came out!

Kimmylyn said...

Yah.. I am starting to reread the Twightlight Series tonight.. and then after the holidays I am on a kick to find some new stuff so I can grow up at some point..

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! xox

Grey Street said...

I'm reading the Twilight Series. I've finished Twilight and New Moon and I've just started Eclipse today. They are very addicting, I must say.

Julienne said...

Oh you poor thing. My husband and I have seriously discussed finding a home near all the schools so that when we get the inevitable calls from teachers/principals we won't have far to go. Oh, and we haven't even had those kids yet - we just already know we'll be spending a lot of time at the schools!

As for the reading, you just HAVE to pick up a Charles DeLint book. As a great introduction into the world, Someplace to be Flying is fabulous! They're a big long but so engrossing! I'm slowly reading through all of his books now.

Have a great Turkey day!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Just finished Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst - it was pretty good. We had a good discussion about it at Book Club.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult was also very good.

I think the parenting thing is getting harder as the kids get older. Sure, they don't need as much help with things like eating, wiping, dressing, etc. but they need help with all the really big things - being good people, being nice, being helpful, making friends, homework, politeness,being compassionate - all the stuff that is going to shape them into the adults we want them to be.

I'm with you - I'll take potty training any day1

San Diego Momma said...

As someone who drinks for dramatic effect**, I can tell you that the last great book I read was, In the Shadow of the Wind (Zafon). Also, I loved Suite Francaise. Also, The Keep (Egan) was pretty good.

And finally, I am now reading the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which is supposed to rock.

**unrelated participle alert

The Scott Family said...

As a 7th grade teacher, I can tell you with authority that even the most charming and intelligent of students can be pulling the most ridiculous of grades.

"Scary Smart" kids can often be the most notorious for thinking because they can ace tests and pull an A out of their back pocket, that they don't have to bother with trivial matters such as homework and other assignments. :-)

Because the majority of the class grade is most likely made from daily assignments and homework, skipping out on these, (as many adolescents do,) can harm a grade very quickly.

I would worry less about SWSRU messing around, especially now that you've confirmed from the V.P. that SWSRU is unknown, and look into the possibility that SWSRU has become like so many before him/her; smart kids who are either unchallenged or forgetful.

This is a very easy fix with some minor tweaking. :)

jen said...

have a pretend glass for me.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I agree with "The Scott Family," but it is important to come down hard--underachieving can become a bad habit.

I love anything by Joanna Trollope and the library usually has a lot of her books--who doesn't want to check out instead of buy these days?

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Tamara said...

Try Laurel K Hamilton series if you like vampires-

Dr. Cason said...

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

BTW Love your title of the post. Brings back all those Judy Bloom days! :)

painted maypole said...

there is no shame. wine and chocolate are big parts of mothering.

Kellan said...

Oh - the missing assignment/paper that pulls the grade down - Little Billy and I know this CHAOS well!! I'm sorry for your worries and want you to know - you are not alone! I think Little Billy is on track and BAM he forgets a homework assignment or forgets to turn in a paper - UGH!!

I went to Twilight this afternoon with my twins - loved it! Was on Twitter earlier looking for someone to talk to it about - no one there! I have not read the books (my girls have - several times - all of them), but plan to start #1 before the week is over. I'm not happy the vampires have no fangs - I'm not - but love the love story and the characters, etc.

Have a great Thanksgiving, Carrie - see you soon - Kellan

Wyliekat said...

I read a book by Lionel Shriver called "We need to talk about Kevin". It's the (fictional) story of a mother who's child goes on a killing rampage at his high school. Very riveting.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! =)

sweatpantsmom said...

If you like humorous essays, David Sedars' 'When You Are Engulfed In Flames' is awesome, as is Sandra Tsing Loh's 'Mother On Fire.'

And yes I have to agree - family gatherings are so much easier with wine...

alice c said...

So...
a missed assignment...
well...
it is not the end of the world...
Trust me.

Ann(ie) said...

Lawd you're adorable. And remember you're drinking for two now so pull out more wine! ;)

OH and SNL has totally taken a nosedive post election. :(

MJ said...

For a light hearted read I like anything by Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes. Both authors are hilarious. For a more serious read I like anything by James Patterson or Heather Graham. Happy reading!

Cindy and Co. said...

I have to agree with Tamara on Laurel K Hamilton. My sister and I are both tearing them up. Other than those I can honestly recommend Freckle Juice by Judy Blume (but I bet you've already read it) or Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I just finished them both for the thousanth time. And all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Again. *sigh* I wish my son read...at least for some variation in theme and content.

Alex said...

I wholeheartedly second any of Sophie Kinsella's books, and Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper." "Plain Truth" is also good.