Friday, June 01, 2007

Rocky Road

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments on my 100 Things List, and also for the anniversary wishes for Blaine and me. Just like I used to think the age of 40 was old (but now I know it’s NOT, ahem) I also used to think being married twenty years was a long time. I guess it still is, by today’s standards; it’s just amazing how quickly it goes by. Next thing I know, I’ll look up and I’ll be dead. Depressing, actually.

We celebrated last Friday night by hiring a sitter, going out to dinner, and then parking in the Comfort Inn parking lot for a few hours and ………… hey, get your mind out of the gutter! We’re such party-animals, we rented a movie from Blockbuster, went to an ice cream shop and bought blasts (boring Vanilla with Oreo for Blaine, and the vastly superior Chocolate with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for me … seriously, who gets *vanilla*??? I mean, who’s he kidding? “Vanilla” will never make the next 100 Things list, that’s for sure) and then we parked the van and watched the movie in our DVD player, stretched out across the bench seat in the back, enjoying our ice cream.

I know …. twentieth wedding anniversary and we spend it eating ice cream and watching "The Pursuit of Happyness" in the back seat of our van --- how pathetic are we??? Losers. (Us, not you.) Actually, it was kind of fun, and I imagine we’ll remember it much longer than if we’d gone to a regular ole’ theater, don’t you think?

Blaine liked the scrapbook, and since I couldn’t afford the gift he really wanted (a two-week trip to Canada to hunt upland game, complete with luxury lodge accommodations and private waterfowl guide) then he’s just going to have to be satisfied with the album until this summer. That’s when we’re doing the BIG celebration by taking a long-anticipated cruise to Alaska, sans children, with our good friends Keith and Renee’. I’m so excited for that trip I can hardly stand myself, but in the meantime, Blockbuster and ice cream works just fine for me. I’m very low maintenance, you know. (Blaine is snorting in the background as he reads over my shoulder; mocking, in particular, that very last sentence. He better watch it, or he won’t reach the next twenty.)

In the meantime, the rest of our week raced by in a blur of end-of-the-school-year activities, culminating in the class parties this afternoon. And by “activities”, I mean “me, making thirty-seven trips to the grocery store to buy all the juice and food and ice cream and crap for the end-of-the-year parties for all three kids”. Thank you Jesus for the very few parents who chipped in and actually helped; the rest of the parents can visit me in debtors prison considering how expensive it was. Not that I’m whining and complaining, because that would be negative.

I’m just amazed at the parents who haven’t shown up to a single thing all year, haven’t shown their faces or volunteered one damn minute out of one damn day out of the entire year; who can sit and watch one or two women pull out all the paper goods and food and snacks and drinks they’ve purchased, with their own money, not lift a finger to help set up or clean up; just sit there without offering to help or anything, where do they think the money to buy this stuff came from better yet did my friend Sonya pull four large pizzas OUT OF HER ASS??? --- yet they feel perfectly comfortable helping themselves to pizza and drinks and ice cream sundaes, and getting it for their other children, as well, without chipping in and without lifting a finger.

Obviously I’m tired and crabby and should perhaps delete this entry without posting it, because it perhaps give off the impression that I mind doing that sort of thing for my children. And I don't mind, I really don't. But a little more help from some of the other parents would have been nice. (Waaaah! I'm such a whiner!!!)

What matters is that the kids had a good time. We did our annual “Last Day of School” interviews here at the house this afternoon, and Kellen and Kendrie agree that the highlight of the year wasn’t the stellar education they received, or the friendships they cherished, or the wonderful teachers who nurtured their souls and fed their little minds intellectually --- nope, best part of the year was the unlimited ice cream on the last day.

Good ole’ Rocky Road.


Anonymous said...

yes, i know from experience, being a "class room mom" is the most unappreciated non-paying job in the world. more so than being a mom...well, almost. i wouldn't want good night kisses from those creeps anyway.

Ginny Deegan, Mtn. Home AFB said...

OMG, don't get me started ranting on the parents who don't help! The last two years, I've done the Fall Harvest luncheon for my oldest son's class. I provided the entire lunch both years, as nobody else would bring any food. Someone agreed to bring juice and then didn't do it, someone was suppose to bring dessert and didn't do it...amazingly the plates and forks actually showed up. Papers were sent home asking for food for the parties, yet nobody offered anything. And that was just one party. I won't go into the others, where I had to run to the commissary at the last minute as things that were promised never showed up. What is wrong with people?

I send my two year old to daycare one day a week so I can volunteer in my older son's class. I take papers home to correct, assembled every single OCR booklet for the entire class, for the entire school year. Not to mention all the cutting out of everything under the sun. Not that I mind doing it, I absolutely am thrilled to help! I just don't understand those, like my neighbor, who have no children at home during the day, do not work outside the house, and have NEVER, EVER volunteered at the school for anything. Ever. People who are at home during the time of the end of the year, eat with your child BBQ, but don't go. I just don't get it.

See? Do you see what you've done now? LOL Now this will keep me up tonight seething, as it's one of my pet peeves. You just had to bring it up! LOL

I guess I should thank my lucky stars I'm only doing parties for one class right now, instead of three like you are. It's so great of you to do it! I really don't know how others can sit there and partake, when they know they haven't contributed anything.

Pat in CA said...

Believe it or not Kristie, I envy your anniversary celebration!! Congratulations!!!

School is similar to sports as far as parents you may already have noticed, you see the same parents in the classroom, extra curricular stuff AND on the sidelines year after year after year. I feel sorry for the kids who belong to the "other" parents. My son was in theater in high school, and you know what? The SAME PARENTS were the ones in the audience even then! SIGH.......

Pat in CA

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

To all the Room Moms in the world, "I SALUTE YOU!" After 21 years of teaching I have seen it all...and it never fails to change...the same moms like you doing it all and the moms who have no idea what goes on at school and show up on the last day to celebrate the end of the year. When I win the lottery I will buy my room moms a week at a spa and a maid :)

...and Happy Anniversary! 25 is even better!

Elizabeth Spehr said...

As a single parent working full time 40 miles away & with 2 kids. I made an effort to always attend the Halloween party and parade, (I would alternate between kids each year), whichever kids class party I didn't attend I would do their Valentine party, I attended 1 field trip for each kid, and alternate their field day. There are ways to participate. I know it wasn't as much as I would have liked, but elementary school is the only time parties are given for the kids and now that both kids are in high school I miss those sweet parties. So to me there's no excuse to at least attend and help out with kids parties at school - its so worth it.

cakeburnette said...

Yup...I am amazed by the number of stay-at-homes WHO DO JUST THAT and leave it up to the handful of us who are rarely at home and the ones like Elizabeth above me THAT TAKE OFF FROM WORK to help out with the stuff at school. Out of 25 kids in one of my kids' classes, only me, the working mom who always shows up for things IN UNIFORM and one grandma were there for the EOY party. But I was happy to see the huge amount of donated food. I am not so sure the teacher was, but at least I didn't have to foot the bill. The room mom in the other child's class was such a dud, the teacher unofficially fired her. How bad is that?

Leesa said...

Don't you know... 1.We "stay at home moms" have to be independently wealthy or we'd have "real jobs" and so we have plenty of money to provide for not only our children's classmates ..but anyone that happens along?
and 2. Since we don't have a "real job" we have nothing better to do than make dozens of cupcakes, dozens of trips to the store to buy party goodies, hours of time to prepare the party and nothing makes us happier than cleaning up after everyone else?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post, it has helped me to appreciate where we live! We live in Manitoba, Canada out in the country where hunting, fishing, quadding, camping, horse back riding and hiking are all part of day to day life. Sometimes I forget how cool that is, even now with a husband with 2 broken heels! Happy Anniversary, and the kids at school will always remember the ice cream and pizza moms!!

Natalie said...

Um, my favorite flavor is vanilla. I have to side with Blaine on this one. Can we still be friends?

As an aside, I had to do the newsletter for the end of year activities in Declan's class. We needed volunteers to bring in snacks for the celebration for summer birthdays on the last day of school. So I wrote in big, huge, bold letters, "If YOUR CHILD HAS A SUMMER BIRTHDAY, PLEASE CONTACT MRS. SMITH to arrange to bring a snack!!" I wonder if anyone stepped up. Guess we'll find out on Wednesday. . .

D said...

Happy Anniversary Kristie--- I think that it is AWESOME that you and Blaine are so in love with each other. I, like you, am blessed to have a husband who loves me and my daughter with ever fiber of his being and his character is much like that of your Sweet Blaine's. Reading your "100" list again made realize just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband. Thanks for that!

As for the parents who don't give a hoot about supporting their kids PREACH ON SISTER!!!!!! It boggles my mind that parents take so little interest in their children's lives. Maybe next year, you should charge a cover for those non-students who go to the kids' parties!!!!!! I mean, come on people, why have kids if you don't want to support them!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,
I think you are right to complain about the parents who don't help out and make stuff sometimes for school, it is like that everywhere I think, always the same people who show up and do everything!

Your celebration sounded nice, I like vanilla ice cream! But I usually only buy ice cream to put on apple tart which is why I prefer vanilla!
Take care,
Love Angela

Bethany said...

As a preschool teacher I completely relate to having some awesome parents who give anything and everything you need and others who forget that their child needs a lunch and diapers. I have had to safety pin notes to my children begging their parents to send in diapers and wipes because otherwise things were going to get pretty nasty - you can only do so much with wet paper towels and, well, without diapers you don't have a prayer on earth! Yet other parents send in donations of things they know we need without me having to ask! There needs to be an award for the party-supply-bringing, class-supply-donating, cheering-on-the-sidelines, teacher-helping moms! Please know how much we do appreciate every single thing you do (and every single thing we do not have to do and purchase out of our own money!)!

Leeann said...

What are the questions on the End of School Year interview? That sounds like a great idea. I like it!

Your anniversary sounds fantastic.

MCS said...

Hi Kristie,
I think your Anniversary in the back of the van was just perfect and I really couldn't think of a better way to celebrate!!

Ice Cream --- Ohhh... now I just found out (the hard way) that I have developed the dreaded Peanut Allergy so I can not do ANY
pre-made ice cream. It is killing me as I love the Reeses, PB and Chocolate, etc.

Parents who don't help: Well, I was a single mom when my kids were the age of yours. I struggled working 5-6 nights a week 12 hour shifts as a nurse (7 PM to 7 AM) and I lived with the guilt of no time or money to volunteer for my childrens school functions. I still live with that guilt BUT most of the other kids moms knew how I was struggling so they did not make me feel any worse about it.

My daughter, now age 33 and a mom to a 2 year old works in the same building as the baby's daycare. She is always baking cupcakes, taking part in class activities, and taking pictures. She is sooo blessed to be able to do this.

Alaska... We are still waiting for summer to get here. It has not warmed up yet. Hope it arrives before you get up here !

Kathy (in Alaska)

lizinsumner said...

AHA!!!! I just KNEW your trip to Seattle this summer was to get on a boat for Alaska - I had a gut feeling! I've never done a cruise myself, but I have several friends who swear by Alaskan cruises, and while I can't understand why anyone would get on a boat that doesn't end up somewhere tropical with palm trees and white, sandy beaches with water so clear you can see through, I can still offer my best wishes for a truly, great trip for you all. As for the volunteering stuff - I totally agree. As a working single parent who can't volunteer time, I always try to make up for that as much as I can with monetary contributions. So, I'm a firm believer that parents should do one or the other, and those that don't are just plain, well, rude free-loaders, in my book and for what it's worth. Just my humble opinion.......

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I can certainly understand your frustration at the parents who DON'T "want" to help. We recently had standardized testing (I teach in VA) and I wanted to make sure my 26 students had a snack each day of our 4 day testing window. So I sent a note to the parents of ALL of my students and only 3 parents volunteered. It breaks my heart that more parents don't at least offer. I can understand not being able to afford to help out (and boy an I understand the cost since I provide treats for these kids on a monthly basis!) but to at least acknowledge it would have been nice.

Our party will be the last day of school and it is an ice cream sundae party. Our room parent is buying the ice cream (she says Costco has a new brand that tastes very good) while we are asking the rest of the kids to provide the toppings. We brainstormed toppings in class the other day, then each child wrote a note to their parents, asking if they could contribute the topping they chose. I asked for these notes to be signed and returned so I could make sure we have all we need. I think I've gotten maybe 6 notes back and this was on Wednesday!! I certainly do not have the funds to provide the toppings for everyone so I am praying this works out!!

Happy end of the year for Brayden, Kellen, and Kendrie!!! I am personally waiting for June 14th, the last day for the kids, and June 15th, MY last day!!!

5th grade teacher in Virginia

amy said...

Loved your post!! May I ask you,
HOw do you do it all?

Denise said...

My kids are now 25 and 27 but it was always the same scenario back then as well. I could usually ignore the parents who never was the ones that always showed up like they were invited guests that ticked me off. Never could figure the nerve of some people! Love your blog--have followed Kendrie since her caringbridge days. Have a great time in Alaska!!!!!