Tuesday, February 16, 2010

see saw

My life is so weird. My partner is in another country. My kid and I are living here. We want to be back in the jungle. We don't know how long it will take. I am enjoying my work here. M continues to thrive. Everyone is healthy. Things are okay.

Things are okay.

I can't keep putting off blogging till I have it all figured out. Otherwise, holy shit.

So I'm getting used to here, and part of getting used to here is getting used to M's school here. It's a great school, clearly more well rounded than the jungle and yet something is also missing. M thinks the kids here are meaner, she complains that they keep telling her what she cannot do, what they can do better. It's like that here because we thrive on competition I try and tell her but it makes little sense to her. To her it's just mean. But the jungle had it's issues too, like the time she came home with sentences to copy and I kid you not, the sentences read:

He is tall.
She is fat.

No kidding. She is fat. So that gave me chest pains too, and I spent the night making her write

He is tall.
She is smart.

over and over and over instead and talking quite a bit about why I didn't like the other sentence. So here the homework is clearly more politically correct. And clearly More Political.

We were given an assignment last week to get a big piece of paper and 100 pieces of something, and our job was to glue those pieces on the paper and write each number. Easy, I think and me thinking I'm clever get those little candy hearts and we sit and glue and label and glue and we look at ourselves and we smile and we call it One Hundred Pieces Of Love so we bring it in and then we notice all the other projects, some in 3-D, others will all sorts of bells and whistles, fantastic designs and over-the-topishness that defines parenting today. As we gaze around the room our One Hundred Pieces of Love seems inadequate, what made us giggle the night before makes us self conscious today, M gazes around and looks at me If Daddy was here our project would have been better she says and my heart hurts and at the same time I can't help it because I know she's right.

You are right about that Baby Girl, because he's the creative one. But if he was here he'd have made you make it out of sticks and leaves and rocks, and then you wouldn't have gotten to eat the leftovers. And she tells me it's okay in a way that she probably doesn't really mean and I love her for it and I give her a hug.

And it hurt a bit more when the teacher hung hers way up out of the way to make room for all the really cool ones, something I would have done too, probably without even thinking about it but when it's your kid's project that's in the nosebleed section you notice. And then you blame yourself even if you truly believe competition is silly. Because if daddy was here it would have been better. Just like nearly everything else.

So you hug your kid again and you tell her we'll do a better job next time and she pats me on the back it's okay mommy I still like ours and I wonder again what I ever did to get this lucky.

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slow panic said...

Oh I hate the projects where it is so obvious the parents did all the work and had all the ideas. You did M proud and she did herself proud.

krista said...

crap, this gutted me.
the world is a jungle full of she is fat with leftover eaten candy hearts, competitive and hung out of reach.
it swells me.

(p.s. i have missed you so! is that weird?)

alejna said...

This pretty much gutted me, too. Ouch. To all of it.

It makes me feel very apprehensive about sending my own sweet girl into that sort of environment. I fret about the meanness. Because kids *are* mean.

You are very lucky to have such a wonderful girl. Or maybe it's not so much just luck, as you guys are really freakin' wonderful people. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that.

(I've missed you, too.)

Gina said...

I hate that parents here get so caught up in competition - it;s exactly opposite of everything I want my kids to learn.

When my son would have the Pinewood Derby in cub scouts, it was so obvious that most of the cars were made by dad. Where is the fun in that? What are our kids learning when stuff like that goes on?

Magpie said...

My child was supposed to do that hundred things project too. I brought home a mess of little round label stickers from the office, and she stuck them on in groups of 10. Ta da! You win, yours was way more creative.

Liv said...


we raced home one morning to collect 100 lousy pennies. D wanted rocks, but i forgot, and so he got money. ick.

just gestating here. need to catch up with you.xoxo

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

We (well, my kid) put 100 pennies in a Nalgene bottle. Ta da! It's true that some kids/parents did really beautiful, complicated projects; but my kid was happy what he did, so I was happy. (I'd rather he do the beautiful, complicated projects on his own initiative, anyway, rather than some dumb counting-to-100 thing assigned by a teacher. Sheesh. Sometimes I think teachers are trying too hard to make this stuff "interesting.")

Christine said...

your 100 pieces of love was PERFECT. my girl did beans and random beads from the bottom of the craft box when she did it.

and my two kiddos were the only 2 kids in their classes to do homemade valentines cards. i was nervous for them b/c kids can be so hard esp. if they aren't getting the hanna montana and spiderman cards like the other children.

but you know what? they were proud to be the only kids who did it that way. and my hear was full to bursting.

miss you, babe.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised to see how many people get the 100 pieces project. My own daughter is going to be in kindergarten next year, and projects like that scare me. It doesn't sound like a reasonable thing for a kindergartner to do, and so then you're depending on parents and that is just a whole can of worms.

Your M sounds marvelous. I hope that you find some peace in your situation, as it is now.

Bon said...

something in here about a rock and a hard place, huh?

i like the hundred pieces of love. i like your girl.

and i am glad to hear from you.

luckyzmom said...

The kids and I stayed behind in NM to sell the house while HE went on to a new job in WA. It was a whole year of separation. It makes you appreciate the togetherness*)

Karen said...

Sometimes I love school, and other times I just fucking hate it.

Anonymous said...

Well fuck. I thought your project was brilliant.

And hi!


ewe are here said...

Awwww... personally, I love the idea of 100 Pieces of Love... something I'd hope my kids would us themselves with such a project. Because I know it woudl be their project, not their parents.

painted maypole said...


i try really hard to back off a bit on the projects, because ours are clearly "less" as well, but I know that SHE does most of them, not me, and i just hope that the teacher sees that as well and rewards it. she will learn much more from it, either way.

Kyla said...

Sigh. You're doing good, but I can imagine it is hard in many ways.

Kim said...

Wow. I hurt.

Your project, M, is the best.

For that I give you an A.

I feel great things are to come from that girl of yours.

Kim said...

oops, thought my comment didn't go through. Now I see you moderate them. I didn't ACTUALLY need to send them more than once.


That is why it probably seems like I am a stalker.

bgirl said...

wow. i keep reading, keep believing, keep finding myself so inspired. sending love.