Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The which-what-where-when?

I had no Internet access yesterday. All day. Dawn to about nine o’clock last night – nothing.

I thought I handled it pretty well. I only threw things twice and didn’t actually hit anybody either time. Plus, I resisted the urge to call my husband six hundred times at work to wail, “It still isn’t working, I want you to come home right now and fix this damned thing!!!”

In fact, I learned that I can indeed find other things to do all day. I finished one of those five-hour baby sweaters. And got Danger Mouse’s sweater seamed, and should be finishing the neck this morning. If I can decide what the neck should look like, since both Plan A and Plan B didn’t work out that well.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.

I’m writing about school schedules. Which make about as much sense as my blog, which is to say: none whatsoever.

Yesterday was the first day back for Eldest and Danger Mouse. Eldest started as per usual at 8:15 in the blessed morn – as per usual, I threw her out of the moving van and accelerated away cackling wildly to myself, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” (OK, in reality, I pulled through the drop off line and did actually come to almost a complete stop before I shoved her out of the van.)

That was where ‘normal’ ended.

See, now, normally our school days go like this: Eldest from 8:15 to 2:30, Danger Mouse from 11:40 to 3:15, and Boo Bug from 12:00 to 3:00 three days a week (not Monday, thankfully). Captain Adventure naps from 12:10 up to 2:15, and we’re golden.

But no. This, the first effin’ day back to school, was an early release day. All Mondays from September through the end of the year are ‘ER’ days. On ER days, Danger Mouse and Eldest get out at 1:30.

I remembered that it was an ER day while we were walking to school…at 11:20. Dagda-Mor as my witness, I realized it because we weren’t nearly run over at each and every street crossing – I thought to myself, “Hmm, where IS everybody today, there’s like, NO traffic…”

And then…the horrible truth hit me…it was an ER day.


Even at my fastest child-pushing waddle, we still didn’t get there until 11:30. If it were a normal day, that would have been a perfect ten minutes early – time enough to say goodbye, get backpacks put away, all that. Instead, we arrived forty minutes late and had to endure the baleful glares of the office staff as we signed in, confessing my shocking indifference to the Future Of My Children™ by walking in to get the BRIGHT RED “my child was late because I am a terrible parent” slip.

I think there ought to be a law against having the first day back to school be ‘weird.’ Seriously. Why did the first day back have to be an ER day? Why?!

And why, pray tell, do they refuse to put the hours for kindergarten on the stupid little calendar thing they send home with us to alert us to these assorted half days, ER days, and minimum days? They put the other grades’ times on there, what’s wrong with adding kindergarten?

Or do they leave it off on purpose to give the school secretaries the ability to talk to a bunch of parents as though said parents were a group of retarded eight year olds? “Well, we recommend that you use a calendar…cal-IN-dur…to keep track of school days.”

Yes, thank you for that stunningly brilliant suggestion. Never would have thought of that on my own…

While I’m on the rampage, why does the entire week before Halloween have to be minimum days? On minimum days, Danger Mouse goes to kindergarten from 8:00 in the morning to 11:37. And Eldest goes from 8:15 to 12:40. And Boo Bug? 12:00 to 3:00.

I just don’t get it.

I seriously envision some childless bastard sitting in his upholstered high-ranking-government-employee chair twiddling a pencil and saying, “Hmm. How else can I make the lives of Breeders a living hell?”

And every so often, something like Afternoon Kindergarten or Traditional Preschool Held At A Year Round Campus occurs to him, and he laughs like a snake: essss-hss-hss-hss-hss.

This is the same guy who decided that in order to assist in your child’s classroom, you must:

1. Provide 3 references
2. Submit to a criminal background check
3. Submit to a DMV screen for tickets and other moving violations
4. Get a TB test

Item 1, no problem. Plenty of people are willing to say they know me well enough to say I shouldn’t ever be allowed around children.

Item 2, no problem. My Mob connections have been very thorough about rubbing out any evidence connecting me to anything.

Item 3, no problem. See Mob connections, above.

Item 4…OK, see, now, we’ve got a problem. In the first place, my insurance doesn’t cover such tests and I have much better uses for $75 - $150 right now (and much better uses for my time than sitting around the $10 clinic for up to two hours like one of the nobler mothers I spoke to, who did so and is now blessed with having to sort folders and homework for her kid’s first grade class) (she did that wait TWICE – once to get the test, and then two days later she did it AGAIN until a nurse wandered out and looked at it!). Well, I’ve always got a better use for money than having a needle shoved under my skin to test for a disease I have no risk factors for, thanks all the same.

In the second place, I…uh…I’m allergic to stainless steel. Yup. Causes me to break out in extreme wussiness, all over my body. I’m actually squirming around just thinking about getting a needle shoved under my skin. You know how I always get my shots and/or blood tests? By having them done in the doctor’s office the moment they’re needed. If they tell me, “Just take this form down to the lab at your convenience…”, it is going to be convenient for me on February 30, 2039.

So. I’m never going to be an aide while my kids are in this district under these rules.

Instead, I’m just going to stand around whining about the bizarre pickup and dropoff rules, the parents who seem to think that it’s perfectly OK to break all traffic laws as long as it means they can pick up their kids faster, and secretaries who can’t seem to understand that I went to college, dammit! I know what a cal-IN-dur is!!!!


Myownigloo said...

Yikes! You need a secretary AND a chauffeur!

Ah, yes. Now I remember why I sacrificed so much to put my kid in private school. Glad I didn't have four after all!

Very Herodotus said...

How did you handle this when you were working? It seems impossible!

Mother of Chaos said...

Ah, but when working: I had a daycare service that did all that for me. For the low-low price of $150-200 per week per kid (depending on age), they (mostly) kept track of the schedules and bused them around.

Very Herodotus said...

The thought of what my life will be like when my kids start school is what makes me grind my teeth at night.