Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are you there Chocolate? It's me, Carrie

Published in November, 2008. History is repeating itself...

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.

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