I have been wondering lately, and it seems I am not the only one, if the expectations we have of our children are “normal”.
Noodle does exceptionally well in school, usually without much effort. She is very near the top of her class among some other very smart kids. This little bit of information is important because of the high school, yes I said high school, she would like to attend. There are a few rather elite parochial school here that are as tough as nails to get into. They have been know to look at your school transcripts back to 4th or 5th grade. She has had her heart set on going to one of them since about the 2nd week of kindergarten. We have told her all along if she puts forth her best efforts and gets in we will do whatever we can to insure that she can attend the school. It is an ungodly (no pun intended) amount of money but being able to say you graduated from XYZ high school is an amazing accomplishment, and about 85% of those who graduate end up with a full ride 4 year scholarship to a university.
With that said, progress reports came home yesterday. I hate to say I was disappointed in Noodle because that sounds so negative and can tear through someones soul and leave them in a feeling of anguish, but I wasn’t really happy I guess you can say. She was already down on herself about it so to beat her down some more wasn’t the way I felt I needed to approach it. I sat her down and asked her what happened. She thought it was because they had had a really hard test and only a few other assignments in the class so it brought her average way down. I am not totally cold hearted and can understand that everyone has a bad day once in awhile and she just may not have been on target the day of the test. After we talked she told me not to worry, she went to her teacher right after school and asked for extra credit to bring her grade up (how could I be upset after that?) and had already done a few worksheets before she went to softball practice.
I will tell you she had a “C” and a “B-” on her report in two subjects. All the others were “A’s”. The “A’s” were in her hardest subjects so I know she can do it. If all she were capable of were “C’s” I would love her just as much and be just as proud of her, but because I know she is capable of more I expect it.
Should I expect it is the question. I assume most people would be thrilled to death if their child brought home those types of grades. Hell, if I had brought home those grades I would have been pretty darn proud of myself (I too had the ability, just not the drive and my parents were not the type to “push” us as long as we were doing “Ok”). Because I screwed around in high school my study habits in college were not the best. In my hearts of hearts I believe that if we start Noodle off right now, when it is time for high school and college those too will come a little easier for her. Do I believe everything should be handed to her? Not for all the tea in China, but what kind of a parent would I be if I didn’t do the things I could help her get a few steps ahead in this great big world.
I have internal fights with myself everyday about what I do and don’t expect of her. Is it too much or maybe even not enough? Then I remind myself that the girl doesn’t know the difference bewteen the soap you use in the dishwasher and the dish soap you use in the sink.
I guess some of my expectations are higher than others.
Noodle takes it quite personally when she sends a text message to someone and they don’t respond immediately. I have tried to no avail to explain to her that not everyone covets their cell phone the way that she does.
Yesterday we were on our way home and we had the following conversation:
Noodle: I sent M a text and she didn’t answer me.
Me: Send her another one, maybe she didn’t hear it
Noodle: (Giving M about. 3 seconds to reply) She still won’t answer me.
Me: Maybe she got her phone taken away. (There is no other worse punishment than this just so you know)
Noodle: Hum… Can you call Mama B and ask her?
Me: Why don’t YOU call M and see if she answers.
Noodle: Call her? (Looking at me like I have 2 heads) What am I supposed to say if she answers?
They absolutely crack me up.
The promised pictures from the beach without water from about a month ago.
Noodle is away for a few days for a school trip. They have been planning and talking about it for months, she was so excited. I was helping her pack her bag the other night (the list they gave them was a mile long) and Hubs started teasing her about how much fun we were going to have while she was gone. Ice cream for dinner, staying up all night, you know FUN stuff! I could see the wheels turning in her head as she was trying to figure out if was teasing or if we would really actually think to have fun without her. Mind you, she is allowed to have fun without us, but how dare we consider having a lick of fun without her.
I bet you are dying to know what we did without her. Hubs mowed the grass, I cleaned the downstairs bathroom and moped the kitchen floor. WooHoo! If that doesn’t scream “For A Good Time Call” I don’t know what does.
Sadly, I am not sure how we are going to be able to top that kind of excitement tonight. Cleaning out the fridge and a load of laundry? Vacuuming the stairs and washing windows? Good thing I have all afternoon to think about it.
Noodle and I kicked off her spring break by going shopping. Sadly, we went shopping for ceiling fans. It has gotten to the point that is too warm to sleep upstairs without 1) ceiling fans or 2) turn on the AC. I for one am not ready to opt for #2.
I drug the poor girl all over town trying to find something I liked and would “go” in the house. I knew exactly what I wanted for Noodle’s room but the other two rooms not so much.
We must have driven 100 miles and were in and out of store after store. Noodle was a trooper for about the first hour or so but then decided it was no fun (I decided the same thing) and wasn’t the most cooperative but didn’t complain too much. Finally, I found the one I wanted!! Of course it was the one fan without a sticker / tag on it telling you where on the shelf you could find it. Noodle, took it upon herself to look at each and every box
so we could get the hell out of there to help me find it. After no luck with that I asked someone for help. Guess what? He couldn’t find it either. So he asked someone else. Come to find out, they don’t carry the fan.
WTF? It is hanging there with a price tag on it but you don’t carry it? They tried and tried to talk me into a different fan but I wasn’t having any of it. They offered to sell me the one they had hanging up but couldn’t promise it was all there (?) or that it worked. Oh yes please! Sell me a non-functional ceiling fan. That will serve a purpose.
Back into the truck and a few more stops and I ended up finding 2 I liked. Turns out I liked them much more in the store than I do now that Hubs spent the last 3 nights hanging them but they will be fine. (They are nice fans, the coloring is just off a bit from the rooms they are in but maybe it is just me (HA!) and no one else will think anything of it).
After the great ceiling fan fiasco of 2008 and feeling guilty for subjecting Noodle to such torture I took her here. Talk about torture. I hate that store with a passion. Anyway, Noodle had some gift cards from her birthday which were burning a hole in her pocket that I encouraged her to spend every penny of (had you seen the look of shear shock and then glee on her face you would realize we have some pretty strong rules when it comes to spending at our house) she was in hog heaven. (I can tell all you nice people it was purely a selfish gesture on my part as if she spent it all, I would not have to be subjected to going back anytime soon). Noodle lovingly fondled
all the shit all the bling bling in the store before making her big decisions and 45 minutes later we were on our way home.
I am happy to report that we are sleeping cool as cucumbers, which is nice because it keeps me from getting up at night and going in and check on Noodle and have to try to avoid the land mines of her “treasures” to 2:00 am with no shoes on that have become floor decorations.
Money well spent for both of us in our own humble opinions.
There was all together way to much screaming, yelling and crying going on at our house in the mornings. 5 minutes makes all the difference in the world as to when we leave the house. If we leave at 7:00 we are at school right at 7:30. If we leave at 7:05 or later, we are running across the parking lot at 7:49 hoping to beat the bell at 7:50. So, to make sure we leave on time I freak out and do the aforementioned screaming, yelling and crying. It just wasn’t a good way for any of us to start the day. I thought and thought trying to figure out how to make things better. I am 1000% a creature of habit though and any change doesn’t set well with me. With Hubs getting a new job (Oh! By the way, Hubs got a new job, which really throws that creature of habit stuff into full force, I’ll tell y’all about it soon), he goes in and tells Noodle to get up in the morning on his way out the door, which isn’t much help.
I decided to see if there was something I could do to try to make a difference. I have started taking a shower at night, which cuts about an hour off of my time getting ready (by the time I shower, dry my hair and fight with the straightener), and getting up about 15 mins earlier. Not only am I creature of habit I love my sleep more than just about anything else in the world. I also have started making Noodle’s lunch the night before which only saves about 5 mins but with the other changes I have an extra hour and 20 mins. I can’t tell you how much this cuts down on the stress for all of us. Not only are we ready WAY before we have to be this morning I had time to do a load of laundry AND empty the dishwasher. It has also greatly improved the car ride as we are not pissed off at each other and I love to talk to my girl and sing along to the radio with her.
Believe you me, it has been hard for me to drag myself up the stairs and take a shower at night. Once I plop down on the couch that is exactly where I want to stay until its time for bed. I hope that this really does help things. Its not just for me, its for Noodle and she seems to be noticing.
We will see how the rest of the week plays out. Tomorrow I have to be all the way on the OTHER side of town at 8:00 which means I will have to leave the house literally before the sun comes up. I am dropping Noodle off at 6:15 to catch a ride with the neighbor and then I will be on my way. But its hump day so we are half way through the week. And come Friday?? We are off to a much anticipated trip to the beach with no water.
Friday night on our way home from school / work Noodle asked me if she could ride her bike when we got home. Not once since we have lived in the new house has she asked to to do this.
I was actually just running home to drop her off to the hubs and then head out again. 99% of the time when I give her an answer she does not push the issue. I told her we would have to see if daddy was home blah blah blah.
The girl would not stop asking me. Do you know how many times one small child can ask if she can ride her bike when we get home in a 23 mile drive? My numbers may be a bit off but if I had to guess I would say 6.2 billion.
Turns out Hubs wasn’t quite home when we got there so I told her that YES! she could ride her bike. She was riding up and down the street and I went and sat on the porch and was talking on the phone to Noodle’s teacher that lives around the corner.
Next thing I know I hear a little voice say “I saw a pink and purple bike and knew it was you”. I stood up to
be nosey see who Noodle was talking to. It was the teacher’s son and another little boy from their class who had come home with teacher’s son to spend the night.
Ah ha! My guess is that is why she wanted to ride her bike. She knew the boys were going to home and must have told her they would be outside.
From now on when she rides her bike and we sit on the porch we need either a big mean dog or a gun. Since we have neither guess I better get started on that ASAP.