Every day my 5 year old twins get home from school and almost immediately… they sit down to do their kindergarten homework. There is a math sheet. There are spelling words. There are very basic early reader books.
I have to help them with it all. Which is okay. But I’d rather be reading them a book. Or jumping on the trampoline. Or watching them make a fort which I will love because it’s so creative and then hate because they start fighting over the construction and then hate even more because somehow I always end up cleaning it up.
But that doesn’t happen. At least not right away. Because of homework.
My son flies through it. And then runs off to fight imaginary enemies and bother real older sisters.
But my 5 year old daughter inches her way along, with great frustration. She stops so often, to moan about homework, that it can take her more than an hour to get it done.
It all seems sort of ridiculous. My older daughters never had homework at this age. They barely had it in first grade.
After 6 1/2 hours of school, shouldn’t a kindergartener be able to run, jump, hide and seek, color, climb trees, draw treasure maps, create science experiments and whatever else they can come up with in their creative little brains.
I don’t blame the teachers. Not at all. They are rock stars. They are just trying to keep up with impossible academic standards for younger and younger children.
The United States just never seems to get it quite right when it comes to education.
Can’t we learn from countries like Finland? Finland, one of the leading countries in education, gives far less homework and has a shorter school day. And only one standardized test. Which is not in kindergarten. It’s in high school.
Can you imagine that? One standardized test. And teachers get more time to collaborate. And kids get more time to (yup, you guessed it)… play.
It’s so hard to leave a baby, especially a new baby. Especially your first baby.
I remember leaving 2 month old Dylan with a babysitter when I went back to work and wanting to know everything. Like no detail was too small. When did she eat? What did she eat? Did she poop? Does she seem more like she is leaning Democrat or Republican?
And when I would come home, I would look at her little scrunched up old man face and think, “Oh my god, I love you too much.”
Which is why when one mom recently went back to work after maternity leave, she wanted regular updates from her husband on their baby Charlie.
And she got them. Sort of.
So she tried again…
Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
She serious now. But it doesn’t matter.
No word on whether dad got punched in the testicles. Of course, baby Charlie was okay. Probably taking a boring nap instead of hanging out at the Wildkatz strip joint.
The real question is – how can a guy who knows how to photoshop so well not know to charge his phone before it hits 1%.
I recently went to Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
There is no reason to go to Jazz Fest unless you like amazing food, frozen margaritas, awesome music and the coolest city ever.
(I’ll wait while you make your travel arrangements for next year.)
As soon as I got there, I saw this sign in the taxi…
It’s kind of New Orleans’ folksy way of saying, “Welcome!”
And there are all kinds of inspirational messages around the city.
It’s just a gritty, funky, charming place.
I went to NOLA with some of my favorite Tulane girls.
There is something so special about hanging with friends that you’ve known a very long time. It just feels so easy, so comforting, so fun. You get to say things like, “You look exactly the same” and then they say, “You look exactly the same.” And you both really mean it.
And they understand when you explain that you thought you were bringing your ibuprofen but you accidentally brought stool softeners (from your pregnancy days) and now you can definitely confirm that a stool softener won’t get rid of a headache.
But in your defense, the bottles are exactly the same size.
See what I mean?
Of course, it’s a little hard to come back to reality. Like when you come back, your kids expect you to take care of them again.
And partying with your friends for a weekend does not really improve your parenting skills the following week.
But I’m starting to accept that Jazz Fest is over.
One of these days, I might even unpack.
My husband and I were recently driving in our car when we heard a commercial for Mother’s Day and we both wondered at the same time, “When is mother’s day?!”
“It’s in May,” my husband said with 90% certainty.
“Is it May yet?” I responded with no certainty.
Thankfully, Rick is really the one who has to figure it out. Mother’s Day comes before Father’s Day so we mothers always know that when we get to sleep in on a Sunday morning and then are forced by small children to eat cold, dry toast in bed — Father’s day is on the horizon!
I think it’s kind of great there is a day to celebrate mothers and fathers. I mean, we get thrown into this job with no training and no real understanding of what it’s going to do to our lives. We end up exhausted. Overwhelmed. Smitten. Filled with joy. Frustrated. Did I mention really ridiculously tired?
So we deserve a day to to sit back and think, I have no idea what I’m doing but these kids seem to be turning out okay so let’s celebrate me! Of course, my children always complain that there is no kid’s day and I have to point out the obvious… every day is kid’s day. Every day children.
My favorite Mother’s day moment was at Compo Beach in Westport, Connecticut. I had four kids at the time (the adorable and energetic Cash would make his debut a few years later). I gathered my children together and got this glamour shot…
And this photo actually hangs on my wall.
Yup, it really does.
Because it’s what Mother’s day and every day is all about.
Messy, crazy, imperfect and filled with love.
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Whenever one of my daughters (ages 11, 9 and 5), wants to cut their hair, I only let them cut a few inches at a time. Of course I would make an exception if one of them wanted to donate to an organization like Locks of Love but in general, I like them to take it slow. Really slow.
Because cutting hair (and especially cutting too much hair at one time) can be a highly traumatizing event. I know. Because I have had some epic haircut emotional breakdowns.
Like in elementary school, I looked like this…
But then I decided I wanted to look more like Dorothy Hamill.
So I cut a hundred million inches off and ended up like this…
It wasn’t a great style for me. First, because I had pin straight hair so it didn’t stay feathered and secondly, because the haircut didn’t improve my skating at all. There were a lot of tears. Like gasping for air tears.
After letting my hair grow back a bit, I had a new plan. There was a girl at my school who had the most amazing feathered hair. I knew if my hair could look like hers, my life would be perfection.
(By the way, I found this girl on Facebook a few year back and told her she was my 5th grade hair goddess idol and she was like – who are you again? So I obviously had a huge impact on her life.)
Back to my feathering plan. I had the straightest of hair and desperately wanted to look like this…
Obviously, the solution was a PERM.
(FYI: a perm is never the solution.)
But it did make my hair finally feather. I guess.
Did you have trouble figuring out which photo was Farrah Fawcett and which one was me?! And I really stuck with this style for awhile…
Wow. It’s hard for me to even look at that picture without wincing.
After going through some very awkward hair choices in my middle school years, you would think I would have laid low in the whole hair department from then on.
But no, I decided it was a good idea to get an asymmetrical haircut. This is when it’s long on one side and short on the other and sort of diagonal in the back.
Yup. I really did it.
I remember going to school with my new haircut and heard a boy say to his friends, “Did she do that to her hair on purpose?!”
But I wasn’t apologizing to anyone for my new, super cool hair. Did Madonna apologize for her cutting edge boldness? (Yes, I’m now Madonna in this scenario.) But I did have regrets.
By the end of high school and college, I had pretty much decided to keep my hair long to avoid severe emotional turmoil and have never cut it super super short again.
By the way, that’s my dad on the right who obviously knows how to rock the curls (no perm needed).
So due to all my hair trauma over many years, I’m incredibly cautious when letting my daughters cut their hair.
Yes, hair grows back.
But it takes a very very very long time.
Anyone who’s had to grow out big 90’s bangs knows that.
This post is part of a blog hop. Find out what else “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” by visiting these other fabulous blogs.