Boy, summer was short. One minute I am enjoying sleeping in and hitting the pool and then the next minute I am frantically trying to complete the perfect lesson plan to keep my kids from joining the prison population later in life.
To add to my stress, my oldest daughter decided a week ago that she didn't want to do the same curriculum as last year. Yea me!
So, I started researching for a 'fun and interesting' alternative. Funny thing, the capacity for fun and interesting is directly proportional to price. We can afford the fun of used toilet paper tube art projects and all the interest the Encyclopedia Brittanica circa 1978 has to offer.
Finally I found something that only cost one kidney and ordered it quick before they decided to charge an eyeball, too.
Home school, as most other things in my life, dear reader, will begin with the best of intentions. Then, it will slowly wear away at my soul like sand in my underpants.
Like when I joined a photography project and quit within a few weeks or the time I thought to start an exercise program and also quit or when I thought I would have a great day walking downtown to get groceries and nearly died.
At any rate, I am all pumped about this school year. We are going to learn Spanish! We are going to read all the Little House on the Prairie books! We are going to LEARN, dang it! We had a pretty good year last year, but I want great, dad gum it all! I want my kids to glow with the fervor of learning! I want to keep my patience, my sanity...my inside voice.
Of course, my oldest doesn't want to learn Spanish. And when I tried to get them interested in our upcoming unit study on the Little House series with a marathon of the television show on Hallmark network, I could taste the disdain and boredom smothering the room. I know when I am being condescended to...
Warning: Causes children's eyes to glaze over.
But, since I plan on living in a nice, comfortable old folk's home someday, I will persist in this whole learning thing. Someone has to pay for it. I am looking at you, Fruit-of-my-Loins.
Since I spent my prime career years at home taking care of you and keeping you from being abused by the substandard (and likely illegal) childcare that would be within our budget, you owe me. Oh, and for totally wrecking my boobs, you owe me for that, too.
Of course, my kids are all too smart for me as it is. Example- the other night my 6 year old and my niece are sitting on the round, spinny chair together and I hear my daughter ask my niece several times to go get her something or to go pick something up.
My niece refuses each request and finally my daughter very patiently, in her best master to student voice, explains, "This is very important to my family- getting other people to do stuff for us."
I nearly died laughing and realized how it must seem that way to her. Everyone is always asking her to go fetch something or pick something up. Do this, do that. She must view her life as one long pledge week and this was her turn to be the senior to my niece's freshman.
Still, my niece wasn't buying it. She happily continued to toss playing cards all over the living room. The student exceeds the master.
In other randomness, I must have had a subconscious desire for some Keanu Reeves cuteness, because in the last week I have watched:
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
(OK, I watched it twice, but it is like sweet, sweet candy to a lonely, old fat woman)
and all 3 Matrix movies.
Yes, I use my time wisely and only for good. Thank you, for asking. Yes, the kid's enjoyed eating Papa John's 4 nights last week. Again, I appreciate your interest. Keep asking these questions and I will assume you are volunteering your child care services...and I WILL take you up on it.
The whole week wasn't a wash, though. Fueled by Comcast-induced rage, I managed to clear a butt-load of junk out of my basement and drag it to the curb for the garbage pickup today. I have not been so ambitious since my vicodin-fueled organizational spree of a few weeks back. Also, I avoided stepping outside all afternoon so I wouldn't risk having to feel the scorn and wrath of the garbage man's gaze on my pajama clad body.
And tonight, I even cooked. Tacos. My niece begged for them and she is so cute and since I had already nixed the $2.79 bag of Peppridgefarm Goldfish (are they now made with real gold?) and the 'good' chocolate pudding in favor of the cheaper, strangely gritty store brand, I felt like I had to do something to make sure she liked me enough to visit me in the home when I am old.
Hedge your bets with the young people in your life, my friends- you are one concerned family member visiting away from reliving One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in your golden years. I worked in nursing homes...shudder.... And if you think there is a vast difference between a psych ward and your average nursing home, then I can't wait to watch you cry into your pureed pizza during our bingo game at the home.
Anyway, my niece is staying the night. She stays often and she even has her own little bed set up in my room. Which is good, because unlike my kid's, who stay until they age into double digits, she doesn't like to sleep in bed with me.
I read stories. I have a fluffy bed and clean sheets, so it seems like a nice place to crash after a hard day of watching Dora and sneaking all of my soda. But, as she so succinctly put it, 'You fart too much!'. I wouldn't know, I am sleeping...but still, so good for my ego and possibly solves the mystery of my singleness...nah.
Finally, I love Harry Potter and I can't wait to see the last film when it comes out on DVD (because no matter how big a fan I am, I can't make myself pay $9 to sit in a cold, vomit-scented room with a bunch of obnoxious strangers while the sound system fades in and out).
Being a huge fan, I have watched the little tikes grow up on screen.
But, Harry, Hermione and Ron are not the reason I am (to borrow a Brit phrase) gobsmacked!
No, my shock and secret delight has to do with this guy:
I always loved Neville. The whole tortured and murdered parents thing. Oh, Neville, I used to feel so maternal...
This is the guy who plays Neville, Matthew Lewis, now (and thank god he is legal or I would feel really creepy):
I could do that all day...needless to say... this is why you should always, always be nice to the dorky kid. You never know when he will grow up into Holy Hot Stuff!!
Now, there is some debate online that they 'ugly-ed' him up for Potter, but there is no denying that he pulled a Jerry O'Connell and if you don't get that reference here is Jerry in his breakout roll in Stand By Me:
This is Jerry all grown up:
I really can't wait for that last Potter movie, now.
Oh, dear Lord. It has just come to my attention that my kids are outside with another kid. With. A. Python. I have to go grab my meat cleaver and pretend to be 'supportive' of their natural curiosity.