Thursday, September 23, 2010

Change, Change Everywhere

I got this e-mail today telling me that my very close relative - oh, please hold while I switch back to my e-mail so that I may copy and paste his name.  Bear with me, you'll understand in a mo' - MR.HATEM KAMIL ABDUL FATAH - yes, can you see how I keep forgetting his name?  But we're very, very close.  Tragically, he was shot dead in Iraq and by some crazy twist of fate I am his next of kin.  All I have to do is send a *small* processing fee and I am entitled to 37.6 million dollars. 

It's come at the right time.  I mean, how do things like this happen just the very time you need them?

For instance, the past two weeks have been near hell for my little guy.  Every morning he has cried, he has begged me to let him stay home from school, "just this once, mommy and I'll never ask again."  I've even been on the verge of saying okay just to put his little mind at ease.  We thought things were looking up when he got moved to a classroom with his best friend and away from the 'bully' teacher.  We were so happy. 

Subsequently, the past two weeks have been near hell for me as well.  It is horrible to have to pry your child's arms from around your waist as he begs you not to leave him.  And then as he chases you down as you're leaving the classroom.  And then you leave him still crying, while of the little brats in his class says, '"Is he crying again?"  You know what, kid?  I'll give you something to cry about and then we'll see how it feels, okay?  And the whole new class was great until I saw the list of kids in his class.  Now I don't think I would have even given it a second thought if I hadn't volunteered so much last year.  I wouldn't have even known.  But as I started to read the list of names, it hit me.  Q was put in the 'slow' class.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I mean, I know he's no genius, but slow?  No.  It couldn't be. 

I'm having huge guilt issues.  HUGE.  And maybe this will give you a little further insight into why...

Me:  Q, I just don't understand it.  Mommy loved school when she was a little girl.  I got to learn new things, I got to play with my friends. 

Q:  Oh.  And did your mom work four to midnight every day too?

Me:, she didn't....

Q:  Well, I guess that's the difference then, isn't it?

Damn, why does this kid have to be so intuitive?  Way to pick up on my weakness and then pick on it. 

I haven't put my baby to bed for the past two and half years.  I haven't made him dinner (and who knows how much dinner I would have actually made were I here)  save for a vacation here or a weekend there.  My child is shuffled from Nana to Uncle to Alice to Roberta and then back again.  Do not get me wrong here, these people love my little guy to pieces.  They're wonderful, wonderful people who we are lucky enough to have in our lives.  And I thank my lucky stars every single day that we have them and that they play such supportive roles when I cannot be there.  The point is, they're not me.  They're not Mommy. 

How does single mommy support her child financially and emotionally?  How do I provide for him?  How do I make sure he'll succeed emotionally and educationally?  How do I make sure he doesn't end up in the 'slow' class?  Which, by the way, I think it's very important to mention that he is not in fact in the slow class.  I flat out asked his non-bully teacher tonight at 'Meet the Teacher' night.  She assured me that he absolutely was not in the 'slow' class, but that children were evenly distributed based on a number of different attributes and no one class is slower.  Well, with the exception of the grade 1/2 split.  But those grade oner's can read and sh#!...they're the geniuses, let me tell ya.  Now that I think of it, I probably totally offended the teacher by my question.  But whatever, I feel way better about my child's education now that it's "out" there, and I know he's not in the slow class.

Wow, that was a tangent, wasn't it?  Back to my rant.  How do I support my child?  I do what every other single (and probably not so single) momma does.  I sacrifice for the greater good.  I just didn't think it would be so hard of me.  I bid on a night shift position at work, and woot woot, I'm the lucky owner of this horrid, horrid midnight to 8 am shift. 

I will be able to pick my boy up every day from school, make him dinner and tuck him into bed at night.  Part of me is super, super excited.  Part of me is terrified of leaving the employees I've come to love and care for.  I've invested so much in them and my job.  It's the middle of the action.  I'm going to the 'behind the scenes' job that doesn't exactly keep you awake in the middle of the night.  I'm afraid of the change.  I'm terrified of change.  In general.  Specifically, it scares the pants right off me.  So many "what if's" and not one answer until you're actually there, in the midst of all the change.  And by then, well by then it might be too late.  I just have to keep reminding myself whom I'm doing it for. 

But c'mon, what parent doesn't sacrifice for their child?   Every parent does it at some time in their life.  I just happen to be the one who talks about how horrible she feels for being so selfish.  I gotta do what I gotta do for my kid, and it was super sweet to pick him up from school and make him dinner tonight.  Bedtime was a lil bit of a battle, but no kid is perfect, right?

I'm going to save his guilt trip for when he's like, thirty.  You know, the whole "how could you do this to your motha.  Do you know what I gave up for you?  Do you?  Do you?  I gave up sleep so you could have your motha at home with you.  And this is how you repay me?"  Oh ya, I've worked it all out in my head. 

Anywho...back to the whole 'won the lotto when my long lost Iraqi relative died and left me $37.6 mill'.  Well, dude it's about effin' time.  I'll be able to afford the nanny and the maid and the chef and the tutor and all the bells and whistles. 

Mostly, though...I'll just be there for my little love. 

It just goes to show that you just never know...yourself, even.  I always thought I was half British, half Newf, with ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, etc.  But Uncle...erm...uh, hang on...MR.HATEM KAMIL ABDUL FATAH, well may he rest in peace.

post blog note:  Don't worry folks.  I'm pretty darn street smart, if I do say so myself and I can see thru a scam from at least a mile away.  I have not sent my life savings to a p.o. box in Iraq while dreams of sugar plams dance in my head...

Monday, September 13, 2010


"Mommy, I have an idea.  Let's tape a song from the radio and then record us singing it.  Only we're not really singing it.  We're just pretending to sing it.  And then they'll play it on the radio and we'll make lots of money!"


And I don't think it's ever been done before!

But don't you just love the way his mind works?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Miss Summer (or...The First Week of School)

Q started grade one this week.  I know, right?  Cue the tears.  Only not the way you'd think...

All the tears were from Q.  Poor lil guy.  But really, the point is...poor mommy. 

My mornings start like this...after getting roughly 5 hours of sleep myself (we all know I do not function without 10, but preferably 12...) I try to rouse the sleeping monster.  I start off all warm and loving, "Q, baby...It's time to get up, baby."  with little kisses to the top of his head.  He completely ignores me.  Five minutes later, and, "C'mon Q, honey.  It's time to wake up lovey.  Don't want to be late for school.  Your clothes are on the bed."  He moves, but that's only because he's grabbing the pillow and putting it over his head to muffle the sound of my voice.  Five minutes later..."Q.  I'm not kidding anymore.  Let's go.  Your cereal is getting soggy.  Rise and shine.  Pitter patter, let's get at 'er..." and I pull the blankets off the bed.  "I hate school,"  comes a little voice.  "I hate it."  I leave to make his lunch, and come back five minutes later to Q asleep. 

"Dude.  Let's go.  I'm not telling you again.  Your cereal is soggy.  I'm not making you more.  And you cannot be late for school."  I start to nag.

"Can't I just skip school until grade 8?"  He asks (well, more like whines)

"Um, no.  Then all the kids would know how to read and write, except you..."

"Okay, then I'll skip until grade 12."

"Nope.  Sorry.  Let's go, mister."

"My cereal is soggy.  I hate soggy cereal."

"I know, but I'm not making more. So you'd better eat it, or else you're going to be hungry all morning."

And then I have visions of my poor lil guy not learning anything, because he's so hungry he can't concentrate.  Just like the commercial that says breakfast is the most important meal of the day and hundreds of kids all over the country are going to school hungry.  But I understand why.  Who can deal with the battles first thing every. single. morning. 

Every morning I hear, "I HATE SCHOOL" roughly 10 times in an hour.  Maybe more.  The next 12 years have flashed before my eyes every single morning this week.  I have 12 more years of this. 

Side note:  It never really occurred to me that Q going to grade 1 would be so traumatic for me.  He's my baby.  I don't know if he's eating the sandwich I made for him at lunch.  I don't know if he goes hungry until recess.  Does he get enough fluids?  What if he only eats his cookies and not his sandwich and becomes completely malnourished?  He's super skinny to begin with, he needs to eat.  Do the teachers make sure he eats his sandwich first?  (answer: yes!!!)

I don't really know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.  I think I had visions of him bounding out bed every morning, eager to learn how to read, learn about the earth and all the planets and meet new friends.  I had visions of him being a teacher's pet.  I had visions of him being so smart his teachers would wonder if maybe he should skip a grade or two just because he was that brilliant. 

I wonder if it is all my fault for not having a more structured routine for him.  Maybe if he had that basis none of this would have been such a big deal.  Kids like structure.  Or so I've heard.  It makes them feel safe and confident when the know what the boundaries are.  So, once again I've failed him.  Well, that's how I feel anyway.  Where was my mommy manual?  Why didn't I listen to my momma?  Grrrrrrrrrr.

All goes fairly well (as far as I know..."How was your day?"  "Fine." "What did you learn?"  "Can't remember." "How's your teacher?" "Nice.") until bedtime.  Waking Q up is a cake walk compared to bedtime. 

Although, this was pretty funny...

"Mommy, my teacher is really mean."

"Oh really?  Why do you say that?"

"Well, she's just really mean."

"Mommy needs to know about that."


"Because, I will go to your principle and say to her, 'You have a bully working at the school.  That is not okay.'"

"Oh,"  and he gets this little smirk on his face.

About a half an hour goes by of him tossing and turning, muttering "I hate school" and "I'm not tired" under his breath, and then...

"Mommy, I really do think my teacher is kind of a bully."

"Really?  What makes you think that?"
"Well.  She just stands there and makes us do things."

The kid had been thinking about this.  He knew that there would be consequences for his teacher if I really did believe that his teacher would be a bully.  And he was willing to sacrifice her for the greater good.  I think it's hilarious when I get a little glimpse into the mind of Q. 

"Honey.  That's her job."

"Oh."  I could hear the disappointment in his voice.

My poor little guy.  I feel totally overwhelmed for him.  It's such a big deal.  12 years of school.  And he has no say in the matter.  He is completely powerless to change any of it.  Don't get me wrong.  I get it.  Every single kid in the world has to go to school.  I did it, my parents did it.  But if it's something that you absolutely hate and something you have no control over, wouldn' t it be overwhelming for you too?  Just think about being in a job that you hate for the next 12 years.  In a relationship with someone you don't love for the next 12 years.  Doesn' t it seem like a death sentence?

I get that he's a child.  And that children don't get the responsibility of making their own decisions.  Mostly because they'd make the "fun" choice over the "right" choice.  Hell.  I think most times I choose the fun option, too.  But it seems to me that kids just get thrown into the real world so damn soon.  School five days a week, six hours a day.  I mean, they're six for crying out loud.  In B.C. we've started sending five year old's to kindergarten full days.  They're five.  They need to play in the backyard, ride their bikes, and be kids.  They don't need to be in school all week long.  We have so much responsibility in our lives that is thrust upon us, can't we just let kids be kids for as long as possible?  I'd be totally supportive of four day school weeks.  Especially if t meant four day work weeks too!!

It's not all bad, though.  On the way home from school one day last week, Q threw me a bone. 

"You know, mommy.  School goes by pretty fast."

Phew.  We might make it through the next 12 years without going completely insane.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Well folks, what can I say?  Life is going along ticketty-boo....nothing really note-worthy, or blog-worthy for that matter.  However, in honour of my little love starting grade 1 (gasp...) here are some thoughts from the mind of Q.

Q on grade one...

"All day?  We have to go to school ALL.DAY.LONG????  Don't they know we're just kids???"


"What are you going to do while I'm in school?  Just wait outside the door for me?"


"When am I going to get a break from school?"  (after the first day...which was an hour long...)

or...(and how could I forget this one?!?!?!)

"How 'bout if I just skip school until grade 8?"

Q on Mommy writing a book...

"Why do you think other people would want to read your book?   Are you just going to take it places and say, 'Do you want to buy my book for $10?'"


"Why don't you just download it and then print it off?"

Q on being annoying...

me:  Q, can you please stop doing that?  It's getting really annoying...

Q:  Well, you better get used to it...

me: Oh, why is that?

Q:  'Cause I'm gonna be doing it a lot!!!

ahhhhhh, the kid is hilarious...what can I say!!!