Posted by: Hannah | 01/11/2013

surly Thursday, one day late

I was saving up surliness all week for my Surly Thursday post, and then on actual Thursday by the time the kids were in bed it was our weekly Chinese-take-out-and-Big-Bang-Theory night, so I couldn’t muster up enough surliness to care.

Besides, I found two bottles of forgotten Christmas-dinner-wine in the pantry that I don’t have to share now, so really Thursday ended on a high note.

HOWEVER.

That doesn’t mean the surliness just went away, oh no! So here is my weekly rant about Idiotic Things That Annoy Me Stupidly.

On Monday I took the boys to soccer – two separate age groups, 3 – 5 and 6 – 8. It’s really just basic drills, comfort with the ball, and some fun games, which is fine because I’m not trying to channel David Beckham here, I just want my very active children to blow off a little steam while I read a trashy novel in peace for ninety minutes. The classes are led by older teenagers who play intramural soccer, and the classes fill up notoriously fast because they are very popular. So imagine my annoyance when my time was interrupted by the following diatribe from another mom, sitting next to me:

And I told them that I’m not interested in paying money for them to just do silly little games. And it’s ridiculous, putting three year olds in with five year olds, but then the five year olds are too young for the six to eight group, so I told them they should divide them into three age groups. And of course I told them I could suggest some better drills, because the groups are just too big as they are and nobody is learning anything. This is a difficult age and I think it’s really too much for teenagers to handle. They don’t want my help and I don’t know why they don’t want my help, clearly the way it is now isn’t working.

The whole time she was talking – and taking up two spots in this coveted program for her two older children even though it is a completely awful situation in every possible way – her youngest child, just under three, was running around that community centre like her ass was on fire and trouble was water. She screamed. She yelled. She pushed the automatic door button over and over again, leaving us all freezing as it was a good ten degrees below outside. She barged into the circuit-training room and interrupted people doing workouts. She triggered the water fountain and placed her hand over the spout, shooting water all over the wall AND the floor. She demonstrated in every way that she was an out-of-control menace and her mother, this paragon of ‘managing large groups of children’, was at a total loss as to how to stop it.

HULKSMASH.

***

Harry’s teacher assigned homework over the Christmas holidays. Actual homework, not “read a little every day” homework. They had to write and illustrate a book demonstrating the five senses, with a Christmas theme – so “over Christmas I smelled _________”. (I suggested dirty laundry, since I spent several days doing exactly nothing, but Harry refused). This was annoying because during the week when I would actually like Harry to have some homework so he can start forming the habit now before he gets much older, she never assigns it because she doesn’t want to disrupt family time.

Oh, and then after Christmas she told them all to bring in their favourite new toy for show and tell, which caused a Major Upset at casa Munday, because Harry wanted to take the Nintendo DSi that Santa brought him and Mom said something like “no way are you, the boy who lost SNOWPANTS, taking that expensive and incredibly-breakable thing to a second-grade classroom for the day”. He ended up taking a book he got – I think in protest for my unreasonable stance on electronics at school – and came home in a state of high dudgeon because two other kids brought their 3DS, meaning I’m cheap as well as mean.

Speaking as a kid who grew up poor, ‘bring your favourite new toy day’ is possibly the most insensitive thing ever. Nice going, lady. Really.

Harry’s teacher has also, for reasons known only to herself, decreed that next Friday will be ‘soup day’. All of the kids are being asked to bring in soup for lunch. Which fine, but again, if I didn’t already have a Thermos for him I’d be mightily pissed that I now needed to go buy one just because the teacher has a weird way of expressing whimsy.

***

Again with the other mothers, I overheard one of them at the community centre saying that Santa brought her kids a laptop – to share – and an iPod touch for each of them, because you know, sharing thousand-dollar presents is HARD. Her kids range in age from 4 to 8. *headsplosion*

***

Louis will pee in the potty pretty consistently, as long as I a) take him there while he whines “nooooooo!!!!” and pretends to cry; b) tuck his penis between his legs for him, pinch his knees closed, and remind him not to play with it because then he will pee all over his legs and feet like a fire hose, said speech needing to be repeated every single time; and c) march him to the potty when he starts doing the pee-pee dance because he’s been holding it for three hours and is about to die of urine poisoning.

Poops you can forget about – right now I’m just trying to get him pooping completely, every day, at around the same time every day, by putting him in a PullUp 30 minutes before nap and asking his parents to do the same 45 minutes before bed. The last thing I want is for him to become constipated from withholding, although I have to ask myself again just why his parents are so invested in this. He clearly is not ready. If he were, he wouldn’t be fighting me so hard.

***

Baby G – George – scream/whines whenever the slightest thing doesn’t go his way. Which is often. It makes me annoyed all out of proportion, particularly when the thing that sets him off is me walking across the room. Yes, really.

***

Last one for this week. When Daisy first started with me back in October, her mom told me that she’d learned sign language. (Not ASL of course, baby signs). “It’s great!” she raved, “Daisy knows ‘milk’, ‘more’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘all done’! We’re working on ‘you’re welcome!'” I learned all the signs and promised to use them faithfully. AND I DO. Daisy’s response to all of them is to glare at me with a furrowed brow and look of utter disdain. She never uses them back. She’s certainly never done what her mother claims to have seen, and used two of them together unprompted (mom says Daisy came up to her one night and signed “milk please”. DOUBTS, I HAZ THEM.) The only ‘sign’ I’ve ever seen Daisy use is the one for ‘all done’, which in her mind involves ripping her food-covered bib off in one fluid motion and hurling it on the floor, followed by shaking her head ‘no’ vigorously.

***

Whew! That feels better. Tomorrow I’ll write Baby Georgie’s birthday post, which will only be a week late, WHAT. Third children get treated EXACTLY THE SAME AS FIRST CHILDREN.

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Responses

  1. Good thing that you don’t mean “stupid” things that you get annoyed at., because ALL of these sure sound like totally legitimate beefs to me.
    They would annoy me stupidly too. What I enjoy about reading your blog is that as lonely as I get in my empty nest, you give me a chance to remember what those days long ago were really like 😉

    • Aww, thanks! I’m told it’s also good for moms with teenagers, who think wistfully about having another baby. Dropping by here usually cures them for a while. 🙂

  2. I LOVE that you called him George. Because that is the only thing I ever call him in my mind. Because I am a big fat weirdo.
    Signs totally worked with one of my children but only because he didn’t really talk till 3 and we needed SOME form of communication instead of the tantrumning that he preferred.

    • And I think that’s a totally valid reason for teaching signs – Luna, for example, could really benefit from knowing a few signs, because when she’s upset she loses the powers of speech, and she’s so often upset. And if Daisy actually were *using* the signs, I would be totally impressed. But I’ve not seen her ever do it intentionally – she’s a good mimic, but that’s about it.

  3. Eeeee. If we had soup day my children would starve because they never eat soup, ever. EVER. That is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. Well, not the weirdest, but it’s up there.

    Also – bring your favourite new toy – insensitive and also inappropriate. At our school there is a large percentage of children who do not celebrate Christmas so…that would be odd.

    The soccer mom made me totally laugh, because OMG I know people like that. That is all I am going to say.

    • Well, and this ‘soup day’ thing seems to be totally at teacher’s whim, because there’s been no note home about it or anything – Harry just reported that they were going to have soup day, and two of his classmates wouldn’t be bringing soup because they hate soup. I’m still baffled by it all. It sounds to me like the teacher saw a kid with soup – my kid, in fact, so this is probably my fault – and said “hey, let’s all bring soup next week!”

      She does that kind of thing a lot. The kids love it, because it’s all WACKY and LAST-MINUTE and WOO. I hate it. I hate not knowing what the hell is going on.

  4. “HULKSMASH.” Laughed out loud, love it! As for the no homework except for winter vacation/bring a new toy to school/soup day teacher,all I can say is…WTF? I hope her actual teaching is better; if not…HULKSMASH! (I do believe the term HULKSMASH – always in capital letters, I assume- has just become a part of my vocabulary, thank you).

    • The odd thing is that when she actually settles down to teach, she’s very good at it. So I don’t know why she seems to need all these weird gimmicks and stuff. If she just settled the hell down and focused on teaching, I’d be delighted, but I know for a fact she’s trying to be their friend, too.

      HULKSMASH – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uaPZdhxnek

  5. Oh, you are so delightfully on my page w/r/t surliness. Thank you for writing it down so I don’t have to worry about not writing it down (not at all anonymous in my neck of the woods) There are days when I just hate people so much. Their sheer *people*ness is what bugs me. Hope you have a restful, non-stupid-people weekend.

    • Yes, the peopleness of people is sometimes just too damn much to take. I hear THAT.

  6. “Daisy is a genius and baby-sign was totally worth the hours and hours her mom put into it instead of oh, I don’t know, doing any sleep training at all.” Totally worth the hours and hours of training when, you know, they’ll be saying all those words with their actual mouths in another six, eight months anyway. (Or maybe ten or twelve months, if they discover that speaking pidgin ASL works just as well as using lips and tongue…)

    This post made me laugh out loud. Heh. Glad you’re feeling better now. 🙂

    • She already *is* saying a couple of words, that’s the hell of it! And she understands a lot of them, too, so this business with the signs is really unnecessary. Meanwhile, her mom still uses the carseat for all naps (and even to get her to sleep at night, sometimes). Her skull is actually and literally slightly misshapen from sleeping in various containers so much. So – yeah. USING YOUR ENERGY ON THE WRONG THING.

  7. That woman reminds me of someone I knew who complained that the kids were doing so much ‘just playing’ — IN KINDERGARTEN.

    Surly Thursday link-up next week?

    • HA! Yup. Remember Marie, of the baby elephants? Her dad was convinced that the day needed more ‘programming’ in order to aid development. He never could understand that preschoolers learn a tremendous amount by playing.

      Link up please!


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