Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's A Wrap!

The First Day of School 2015

And......the last day of school 2015. Pretty much one mess of party all day long.
  This week brought the conclusion of what consumes us from August till the end of May each year. School with a capital S. This Mama has taught school in some capacity for some 24 years now.....yep.... only 8 more to go until Mei Mei graduates. No wonder by the end of May I'm feeling like, well, burnt toast. This year was no exception but I do believe this was the best year of school yet. This was my first year working full-time at the school. It brought some household changes....mostly a giant woot-woot for the Doc who chipped in on clean up duty. Our house during the school year is rarely ever clean. About halfway through the year I decided impossible is a better description but we did it..... albeit crazily most of the time. The girls are headed into 5th, 6th and 7th grades in August and we are planning on milking this summer for all it's worth. We have several trips planned (travel is one of my love languages for sure) and this Mama needs some major downtime to think and reflect.

Typically in the past because our school is SOOOOO academic and a couple of the girls have learning issues we haven't over scheduled our summers with activities in order to allow their brains to 'rest.' If you have kids with learning differences and or academic challenges I'm sure you can relate. This summer though the girls are all clamoring to be involved in all sorts of no-way-time-wise-possible classes, camps, sports and well.....stuff. We're going to have to pick and choose mightily. Nature Girl will continue her job at the local Science Center on a more upgraded schedule. Blondie will be taking culinary classes among others to keep her claim as the artistic, crafty queen of the family and Mei Mei will continue to be upside down as she trains for this year's gymnastics competition season. There will be the usual orthodontic, dentist and tutoring appointments mixed in with playdates and cousin time. Finding the balance of all this is a tightly choreographed dance that keeps me up at night.  As for me, I need summer to be a much needed break mentally and physically,  but at the same time they need to use the opportunity to do things they wouldn't ordinarily get to do during the school year......me included. I 'mostly' have the summer off from work but like anyone in academia land there is much, much planning done during the summer. The dance continues. Oh and yea, The Doc and I are training to run not one....but two half-marathons this year. Dancing on.

Nature Girl finished off this school year at 5'6". She's a long, tall, all legs and a tall drink of water right now AND she's not near done growing. Good thing we live in Florida cause buying clothes for this chick is a challenge. Blondie stands eye to eye with me at 5'3" which means 'hey Mom, your closet should be my closet and all your shoes should be my shoes' in her language. I never can find anything. Ever. Makes me want to stick myself with a fork sometimes......but in the nature of y'all would think that disgusting....I don't. I just think about it and go hunt down my stuff.

Mei Mei is a whopping 49 3/4 " at almost 10. She just grew out of toddler shoes (TODDLER shoes people),  but for this girlfriend buying clothes is not so much a fit problem but a "just because I'm small I don't want to dress like a baby" kind of problem. Yea, there are no Hollister shirts in her size. She has learned to deal and this Mom knows that when you take her shopping you better budget a lot of time. Very opinionated this one. Clothing problems of the smallish kind....maketh this Mommy cray.

I pray all of you have a blessed summer. I'm sure we'll have some nutty stories when this one's over....probably involving some type of animal I'm sure. There will be some perfunctory vacay pics real, real soon. You never know where we'll show up:)

oh....and volleyball camp. Forgot about volleyball camp.....sigh.

......and I really should update our cover and sidebar photos....everyone's older now.....(see how my brain works? Never, ever stops.....)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Don't Mess With This Mama. You Won't Win.

     I'm calmer now but still livid over a situation that happened earlier today.  If you want to offend and bear the wrath of an adoptive parent here's how.

     Nature Girl, Blondie, Mei Mei, Cade and Caroline all had a sleepover last night. We have been trying to get this on the calendar for a while and this weekend worked. (The Doc is away, traveling on business.) This morning as promised we all went to the new trampoline bounce place that just opened around the corner.  Another promise made good to these awesome kiddos who have been waiting a while for the perfect day to do this. They were so excited they were trembling in the car on the way over. I'm debating wether or not to use the facility name here ....right now I'm saying no, but may change my mind sooner or later. Anyway, here's what happened.....and how you just don't want to mess with this Mama Bear.

     We walk in.....to an almost empty facility but clearly staffed for the day. I walk up to the counter with all 5 kids. The young (key word....infantile) girl behind the counter smiled and greeted us. I told her we were here to bounce for our first time at this facility. (We had been to a competitor site several times before.) Instead of directing me to fill out wavers, or even giving me directions on how their facility works......she looks at me.... then at the kids and says in a loud, clear manner, "Are they all yours? Are they all adopted??? Because if they are I need proof that they are really yours. Did you bring their papers?" (Oh dumb, dumb girl. You are so totally stupid.)

     I was stunned......which quickly escalated to mad....madder....and maddest. In my best sweet teacher voice I asked the kids to go look around for a moment and then let idiot-girl-behind-the-counter-have it. "Why would you even ask me that and IN FRONT of them?" I asked, clearly taking her off guard and this Mama was clearly ready to do battle.

     "Because they all look different and we have to know for our waivers. Do you have their papers? Do you have proof that they are yours?" she replied like this was common, everyday conversation.....instead of some dumb blunder she was clearly committing.

     "They are not dogs," I said. I am their parent. Do you have a sign posted or does it say on your website to bring PROOF of PARENTHOOD?? These are my children and grandkids. They have names, faces and heartbeats.....and more importantly....THEY CAN HEAR YOU. They speak English."

     "No, Ma'm. But the parent/legal guardian has to sign the waiver." (She was so stupid.....she had no idea how offensive she was being.)

     "Uhm, I was prepared and going to do that anyway I said.  I have ID (handed her said item.) We are familiar with bounce venues and requirements but not with the socially unacceptable offensive way this was handled today in hearing range of my kids. Can I see a manager please?......RIGHT NOW!" She looked completely surprised that I would even ask that.

      I went on to ask the 20 something manager (whom I spoke to in private.....)....is it policy here to ask every single family who look different from each other if they are indeed a family? Or to single out the one(s) who looks different and in front of them make them so UNCOMFORTABLE  by asking FOR THEIR ADOPTION PAPERS (that are kept under lock and key) that they are squirming because they ALREADY feel like they don't fit in in some sort of fashion? Could you have made our visit any more distasteful? And I'm pretty sure that what you are asking for isn't even legal. Don't push me kid-manager. You will not win.

    She went on and on (blah, blah, blah....about how they have liabilities and people try and get around those....blah, blah, blah. I made it clear that they need to change their policy on how they handle adoption and questioning the parents for proof for their waivers. Oh. my. word. Girl you have a lot to learn.....and I let her know it.

     Then I went after the owner. Yes, I found her......was very 'nice' yet firm and let her know that what happened in her front area was atrocious and she needs to upgrade her training of employees.  She was nice, polite and ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS. She told me she loves all people of all races (insert hand flourish) and she has friends that have adopted.........(my jaw is hanging open at this point because you just can't train untrainable human beings.) This owner was more interested in the birthday parties she had going on than fixing the issue right in front of her. Oy vey.

     All that to say.....(and there was plenty more said) we got our day there for free. The kids jumped and had a great time. They were sheltered from most of the ruckus.....and seemed mostly nonchalant about the issue at hand. I on the other hand am writing corporate a nice wordy letter asking them if they have green cards and proof of their citizenship they can show me before I enter their establishment again. How would you have handled this? Cause.....I am not going to forget this one for a while.