Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Preschool Graduation

Well its official - my baby has graduated preschool. Put away your Kleenex, it's okay, really.
Funny thing is, I didn't know she was actually IN preschool.

Come to find out, she has been in preschool for exactly 2 weeks. She turned 5 over Memorial Day weekend, and moved from the "4-year-old class" to Pre-K, aka Preschool.

Two weeks!! And graduating already!! My Lulu, preschool prodigy. Takes after her mother, I'd say...!

It was all very cute, in an eyerolling kind of way. The kids had fun, sang us some songs, pictures were taken, there was cake and punch. Most of the parents stood around and chatted, probably about their little geniuses. I was amazed at how many people seemed to be thoroughly caught up in the whole affair.

We busted out as fast as possible. The fanfare was borderline nauseating.

We had just endured what JeepMan calls a "Hallmark Holiday." An occasion made up for the sole purpose of selling a product. Now don't take this literally... I am not saying that Preschool Graduation was created for the selling of merchandise, but to me it illustrates the penchant for today's society to, as a friend of mine bluntly puts it, "glorify mediocrity."

Some of you just gasped.

You think I am calling my daughter "mediocre." Well, I suppose I kind of am. Webster defines it as "Of moderate to low quality," with a synonym of "Ordinary." Now I'm not calling Lulu "low quality," but in the vast spectrum of humanity, I suppose she is pretty ordinary. I mean, the kid is FIVE. Of course she's special and precious to us, and those who love her. But do I expect others to see her that way?

You might say, "Of course!! Each child is precious and special and unique and wonderful!!" And I wouldn't argue with you. What you are likely implying, though, is that each child should be TREATED as special and unique and wonderful. And that's where I would have to politely disagree. I wouldn't presume for you to actively recognize and applaud my child's fabulousness with enthusiasm. The fact is, all children being unique, special, and precious... well doesn't that put them all on the same shelf?

See? In the words of one of my favorite Demotivators: "Always Remember That You Are Unique. Just Like Everyone Else."
Call me a kill-joy, party pooper, whatever... I just don't see the point of celebrating all these so-called "milestones." Its not for the kids. Lulu doesn't have any clue what just happened, she just knows we took her out for a Frosty afterward. And guess what? She and all her friends will be right back at school tomorrow like nothing ever happened. Its for the parents, and looking around the crowd at this gala event, there were two kinds: freakishly enraptured and checking their watches. Not much middle ground.

To me a milestone should represent a pivotal point in the life of the person experiencing it. Birth, death, yes. Marriage, sure.

Graduation... I suppose, but don't ask everyone and their friends' friends to celebrate with you. It makes people feel obligated and generally annoyed. Oh, they may come, but believe me, they are bored out of their minds.

Now I don't assume I speak for everyone, but I certainly speak for many and likely a majority when I say that your graduation, or your child's graduation, is really only monumental to you, your child, and perhaps grandparents or very close relatives. To anyone else, it's 2 or more hours of life that they will never recoup. And be it known that I speak of high school graduation, or possibly college.

Not Junior High. Or Primary School. Or Kindergarten.

Or Preschool. Seriously, people.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Alas, Poor Eggy... I Knew Him Well...

A couple weekends ago I was inside, folding laundry - one of my most detested domestic chores - when the kids rushed in excitedly from outside. I knew it was a big deal, as their physical presences were preceeded by pounding footsteps and breathless cries of, "It's MINE!" "Dad said I could hold it TOO! You have to SHARE!!" This is really nothing new in our house but I WAS curious as to what could have captivated them so thoroughly.

As they burst into the living room, tromping all over and scattering my neat piles of freshly-folded laundry, their heavy breathing and dilated pupils spoke to the true extent of their excitement. They stretched all four of their hands toward me, together cupping something that they obviously considered highly precious.

In the makeshift "nest" of their four hands was a perfect-looking Robin egg. Blue with tiny brown speckles, not even a miniscule crack in its shell. It was a little miracle of nature, and the kids were entranced. They were also FULL of ideas.

Lulu's concern was property ownership, and she kept admonishing Plato, "It's OURS, Plato. Dad SAID. It's OURS, right Mommy?"

Plato's concerns were for the egg. He was making plans to incubate it and hatch it, checking all over for a secure surrogate "nest" and appropriate nesting materials.

While they were making themselves busy fulfilling this mission, I was left to babysit the newly christened "Eggy." I looked at him warily, wondering why exactly he was found on the ground intact, as opposed to in the security of his nest or smashed to bits by a pillaging marauder. I gingerly sniffed it. Much as I was certain I'd smell a rat, Eggy smelled just fine. I've heard of mother birds ridding their nests of rotten eggs, but I would figure if little Eggy was rotten, I'd be able to sniff him out pretty easily. Nope - he smelled like fresh mown grass and that's about it.

I let the kids make him a nest from a paper cup and some layers of tissue paper. They each wanted to take turns "guarding" the nest, so I indulged their creative ideas for awhile. Eventually though, I told them that Eggy might prefer to sit in a quiet sunny corner of our kitchen. After much pressuring, they agreed reluctantly.

That evening at the dinner table, Eggy was the topic of conversation. I tried my best to encourage the kids' imaginations without getting their hopes up too high. I kept mentioning that we didn't know what was actually in that egg, maybe there was no baby bird at all, or maybe it had died. Just to prepare them.

They were not to be deterred, however... I overheard them conspiring together about how to get Grandma to give them her bird cage, since Eggy would definitely be needing one when he hatched.

That night, all slept peacefully, and in the morning, Eggy got special status at the head of the table as the kids ate breakfast together. JeepMan and I went about our usual getting-ready-for-work routine. Nothing seemed particularly out of place.

The kids were fed and dressed, JeepMan was ready to go, and I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup when from the kitchen came a loud "ARRRRGH!!!" of pure disgust. This was followed by several things simultaneously: the pounding of Lulu's feet as she ran full-tilt into the bathroom to wrap herself around my left leg, the roar of JeepMan yelling, "ALLRIGHT!! WHO DROPPED THE EGG?!?!" and the horrified wail of Plato screaming, "LULU!!! YOU KILLED EGGY!!!"

Lulu had been on the verge of tears but this accusation from her brother could not go unaddressed. Jutting out her chin, she stomped back toward the kitchen yelling, "PLATO!! I DID NOT KILL EGGY!! HE WAS WOTTEN!!!" She got about three steps from the kitchen, clamped both hands over her nose, did an about-face, and ran back into the bathroom, mumbling nasally, "UGH, and he SMELLS BAAAAD!"

Now I've heard that a rotten egg represents a formidable olfactory assault, but I have never had the debatable pleasure of experiencing the odor firsthand. There are about 5 paces from our bathroom to our kitchen. At exactly two-and-a-half paces, I walked into an invisible but solid wall of stench. There was JeepMan, God love him, on his hands and knees with paper towels and spray cleaner. I had to force back a gag and backpedal with haste. The smell? It was a nearly indescribably noxious mixture of sulfer and rot. For an egg no bigger than a Hershy's Kiss, that sucker delivered a stench that would rival an entire truckload of full-to-the-brim Port-O-Pottys. Man oh man.

After opening all the windows in the house and praying for a nice all-day breeze, we piled everyone into the car to make school and work drop-offs. About halfway to daycare, I noted Lulu holding her wrinkled-up nose in the back seat. I asked her if her hands were still stinky even after she had washed them. She shook her head decisively, once, continuing to hold her nose. "Then what is it,?" I asked.

She looked down at her dress, brow furrowed, and held up a few ruffles. "SEE!!! I've got Eggy all over my dress and he STINKS!!"

Thankfully we keep a spare set of clothes at daycare... what a morning!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Okay, OKAY already!!!

So I just deleted approximately 250 "friends" from my facebook page. Well they weren't really friends - most were just random people that were playing the same dumb games I was playing... where you need lots of "friends" playing too in order to get anywhere.

Well I'm not playing anymore; it's a giant timesuck and the novelty has worn off.

It's a symbolic gesture. I have allowed FB to occupy way too much of my time since discovering it in....January maybe? But I'm back. I will TRY to post at least once a week. Really, really try. So please, my ever-so-patient and faithful readers: won't you come back to me?? I was lead astray by that demon FB, but the prodigal daughter has returned. Won't you welcome me with open arms?

To ease myself back into this blog thingy, I've decided to start slow and easy, with a meme.

What? Don't groan!! Memes can be good brain-juice stimulators!! And don't worry, I'm not tagging anyone. I've decided I don't play THAT game anymore either!! If you want to do this? Go right ahead!! And hey, let me know you did it cause I want to know. I'm there for you like that, see?

But otherwise, just read, and smile, and hopefully be glad I'm back. 'Cause I'm glad I'm back...


A, B, C, D, E, F . . .

A - Age: 36 (act surprised!!!)

B - Band listening to right now: Days of the New (Weapon & the Wound)

C - Career future: living it, baby

D - Dad's name: Bill

E - Easiest person to talk to: its a toss-up... either Gina or Nik

F - Favorite song: ONE? I have to pick ONE?

G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Chocolate

H - Hair: Blonde naturally, curly artificially

I - Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's Magic Brownies

J - Jobs: waitress, nurse, clinical specalist

K - Kids: two - want one? (kidding... no really, I'm kidding)

L - Longest car ride ever: oh Lord, the bus trip to Disneyland in high school. Hell on Wheels.

M - Mom's name: Connie

N - Number of people you slept with: oh lots... wait, what? Oh. They don't really mean "sleep..."

P - Phobia[s]: Falling, Unfathomable measurements (infinity, eons)

Q - Quote: "Of course I don't have my underwear. I'm definitely not wearing my underwear." Raymond, *Rain Man*

R - Reason to smile: Love

S - Song you sang last: Days of the New - Touch, Peel & Stand

T - Time you wake up: when I have to, otherwise leave me alone!!

U - Unknown fact about me: If I tell you, then it will not be "unknown"

V - Vegetable you hate: onions (I hate the crunch *shudder*)

W - Worst habit: nail-picking

X - X-rays you've had: I get x-rayed nearly every day, folks.

Y - Yummy food: Seafood or Sushi

Z - Zodiac sign: Pisces - I'm a lover, not a fighter.

Okay, folks, we're rolling!! And if you have any post ideas, please let me know!!