Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cookies anyone?

I am the, by default,  Cookie Chair for my daughter's Girl Scout Daisy troop.  I am also a co-leader.  Not one single parent was willing to take on the Cookie challenge.  They are all smarter than I took them for.  The job is a whole lot of juggling, people trapsing through your house non-stop almost every day for about a month.  And because I'm in the state of Colorado, in their infinite wisdom, there are no pre-orders.  Just leave it up to the troops to guess at how many boxes they think they can sell and then door to door with the product.  While this moves a whole bunch more cookies, it sucks logistically.  We have 3 weeks left of cookie sales and Wednesday is the last day we can return any factory sealed cases.  Anything open you are stuck with.  But this really isn't about that craziness. It is about what has transpired whenever it has come to me picking up more cookies from the "Cookie Cupboard."

After our original order, I have had to make the 20 minute drive to the next town over for more cookies four times.  That is four times in two weeks!  Each and every single time has been an utter disaster.  Or at least it ends up making me look like a complete and utter disaster as a Mom and person.  On our first trip, both kids are antsy, they touch EVERYTHING.  Not that there is much to touch, just a folding table with pamphlets and cookie materials.  Jelly slams hand in front door, Cookie, knocks all the stuff off the table. Both almost get run over, cause near cookie collision with the dolly moving cookies out the door to waiting cars. And just as they are ready to load the goods, Cookie announces she has to pee.  Like "I NEED TO GO NOW!!!"  The workers are awesome, allow us to use their restroom.  I have to send her in alone, as I have the car being loaded with cookies, and Jelly is strapped in.  She swears she washed and flushed.  I'm not sold.

Second trip to Cupboard.  My password will not work.  Line out the door.  Other Cookie Moms shifting on their feet, sighing, my kids running around screaming at each other. "She POKED ME." Scream, scream, cry.  Me, desperately trying to get password to work.  No dice, system has locked me out.  Finally, guy feels bad, knows me from the last trip, just gives me the cookies and sends me on my way.  I think the other parents cheered when I left.  Or at least in their head they did.  I know I needed a drink.

Third trip.  This time I am not letting these kids in the store.  I make them use the restroom before leaving the house.  I inform them that they can play in the car while I get the cookie order.  The mini-van is parked right outside.  Another long wait for cookies.  Kids start laying on the car horn.  Like a constant, "Honk, Honk, Honk, HOOOOONK, Honk."  I wave from the door.  Cookie waves back.  I assume they are just being a pain because it is taking so long.  Finally, order is complete, workers officially hate me.  Cookies are loaded, phew we are out of there.  I get home, I am unloading the 25 cases of cookies when I notice, our port-a-potty is missing it's baggie.  And there is the baggie next to it, tied up.  I think, "NOOO, NOOOO, NOOO, NOOOOO!"  Yell inside to the kids, "did someone use the potty in the car?"  Cookie responds, "Oh that was me, I had to poopy."  In my head I am now screaming, "YOU CAN NOT FUCKING BE KIDDING ME!!!!AGAIN!!! WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS KID?"  But, then I am proud that Cookie came up with a solution to her umm dilemma.  She used the port-a-potty and cleaned herself and it up nicely.  I just wish she would have told me about it.  I mean I could have had a poop bag in the back of the car forever!  Thank God the cookies were no where near it.  She kept the bag neatly tucked into the corner, and blocked it with buckets.  This kid is pretty smart sometimes. 

Fourth trip.  I now have to bring kids in thanks to last trip.  I allow them to each bring one toy.  Instead, they end up practicing Jui-jit-su on the floor and pretending that their stuffed animals have to pee.  There is the sound of, "sshhhssshhhhshhh" as they pretend their animals are peeing and peeing and peeing.  Thank God my password works. The other parents are really nice about it this time.  Staff still hates me.

I have one more trip for one more booth sale. I need to stock up on wine.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Six is the New Five

I have been obsessing since October in regards to Jelly and preschool.  She is an August birthday, which means she just turned three when she started preschool.  Having sent Cookie to the same preschool, I have a pretty good idea in regards to the teacher and her feelings.  Therefore, it should not have surprised me going into October conferences that she would recommend we wait until Jelly is six to send her to Kindergarten.  The teacher has a philosophy that all summer birthday kids should wait a year.  That being the "youngest" in the class is a detriment.  That giving your child one more year to grow emotionally is going to give them an advantage.  The BEST advantage.

Because I was a classroom teacher, I will readily agree that a child who is not emotionally ready for the challenges of the social aspects of school, will struggle.  They will struggle to get through the day, worried about confrontations, worried about other kids, and well, just worried.  Too worried and emotional to open themselves up to learning all that other stuff like arithmetic, reading, and writing.  I have recommended to friends that being the oldest is just fine, that it wouldn't hurt.  I told a friend that repeating Kinder is not so bad.

So why am I so conflicted?  Shouldn't we just wait a year?  Are we going to damage Jelly if we send her to Kindergarten at five?  If summer birthdays are so bad then why don't they change the birth dates in school to June 1st? I believe that each kid and their needs are different.  I like to say that my girls are like Chocolate and Vanilla.  I remember sitting in Cookie's preschool classes and saying to myself, "Thank God she doesn't do that!"  And now Jelly is the kid that is DOING THAT!  She throws tantrums..we skipped terrible twos and went right to Terrifying Threes.  Cookie started terrible twos at 18 months and we just continues to be 6 months ahead when it came to horrible age behavior.

Jelly is right on in development.  She is 100% Three!  She dawdles like nobody can.  She is terrible at transitions and needs warnings that change is a coming.  She is stubborn and will not compromise.  She will only play horses, that is all.  When offered a chance to play with other kids, she will, but only if they agree to play what she wants.  She is a leftie...what the heck do I do with a leftie?  She questions authority.  And I mean real full on not the simple "but why Mommy."  It will be the, "that's silly, that makes no sense" kind of questioning, therefore she is not going to do it.  She will simply not do what you want her to if your request seems "poo poo."  I could ask Cookie, "How was your day today?" And she would spend the next two hours non-stop giving me a minute by minute play of her day at school.  Jelly gives the dreaded, "fine." It is like pulling teeth to get her to tell me anything, I don't think any amount of time with change that.

Despite all of her less than admirable qualities she has some great strengths.  She is funny.  Like comedic funny.  Her timing is impeccable.  She can say and deliver a knock knock joke that Cookie struggles with (poor Cookie has her Mommy's sense of timing).  She is smart.  Not knock your socks off braniac smart, but I think she will be street smart.  She can read people.  She has her preschool teach pegged.  After her first day in summer fun classes, I asked her if she like her teacher and she said, "No, she tells me what to do."  I witnessed her wait her teacher out to answer a question.  Not because she didn't know the answer, not because she was shy or unsure, but because it annoyed the shit out of her teacher.  She is the kid that when the teacher asks a question, she will refuse to answer it because she knows the answer, she knows the teacher knows the answer, and she knows the teacher knows she knows so why bother.  She knows what she likes and doesn't like and will not be moved.  You can not convince her to play cars, she does not like it.

I was a pleaser, so the idea that she is so defiant, so stubborn, just baffles me.  I am at a loss.    Jelly is sometimes an enigma to me, but then so was Cookie.  There were times I just didn't get her, that Cookie confused me.  I try and allow them to lead me.  I try to let my children teach me what they need.  But in this I truly conflicted.  When Jelly started preschool I was a little worried.  I started looking at the birthdays of the other kids and they were all significantly older than her.  One was a full year older than her...the closest in age to her is a full 4 months older.  So in her small little class of 11, she is the youngest, by on average 6 months.  Six months is HUGE!  In class she seems so little.  She is a little behind some of the kids, but then they are 4.  She is not making the connections with the other kids.  She is aloof with the teacher and the other kids.  However, she is aloof with almost everybody, even my Mother and her Daddy. Her teacher keeps making remarks like, "Oh it's because she's so young."  I heard this phrase repeatedly when Cookie went there to refer to a little boy in Cookie's class.  He was an August birthday, too.  But he was violent, and mean, and did seem lost and confused.  However, I didn't see him being "lost" as being young....I seriously think he had a learning disability, that and something was very very wrong at his home. 

I am left wondering, am I THAT PARENT?  Am I being closed off to what her teacher is saying?  Am I making the right decision?  Then I keep thinking....'she is only 3!  I am not ready to make this decision until next year. A lot can happen in a year.'  Do I change schools?  Will the move be even more detrimental to Jelly than moving her along if she is not ready?  Why am I so obsessed with this.  My poor friends, my mother, my husband, and even strangers have had to hear me adnausium on this subject.  I have spent countless hours and sleepless nights worried about it. 

I do not know what to do.  If I was religious, at least I'd have the comfort of praying for an answer.  I sometimes wonder how that goes.  But I am not religious, I am a Mother, who wants the best for my child. Is six the new five?  We know two families whose little boys are the same age as Jelly...their birthdays are a few weeks after hers and both parents are holding their kids back.  Although both admitted that they made that decision when the kids were born.  So then I think WTF is wrong with me?  I never even considered it!  And round and round I go.