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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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

sweet and sour

I show up for my Karate Internship right on time but he's already gotten started, I walk in and see a bunch of boys, a few girls, and M. Karate Guy looks at me and says I brought her this time, just like that, no warmth and sort of defensive maybe. I look at the clock and inwardly groan. I wonder why Karate Guy is hating already and then I figure I can't really blame him.

I'll help I say and he says okay and points over at a group of boys. Keep them in line he says. So I walk over to the little dudes, boys I think are maybe in the range of 9-12 years old. They are off the hook, karate chopping each other and being generally unruly. I stand between them and give them a look. Dudes, I say. I'm watching you.

They don't seem to care and keep on being little shits so I stand between them and tell one of them to go sit against the wall. The rest of them look at me askance. I'm not messing around I say and one of them sticks out his tongue at me.

I decide boys between the ages of 9-12 can be little fuckers. The only experience I have with kids of multiple ages is from my work, and kids at the shelter could be little creeps too but I suppose I cut them some slack. These kids have it pretty good, being housed and all so I figure there's no going easy. I break up two more going at it and make one of them hold my hand.

That pretty much did it, if a girl wants to completely freak out boys between the ages of 9-12 I suppose you make them hold your hand. So it's working long enough for Karate Guy to get started, he's paying extra attention to M and I can't tell if he's making a point or just being cool because she's the smallest one there. So I figure since I'm here I might as well learn something, I do some of the exercises and frequently position myself between my boy posse breaking up random acts of dumbassery. He puts them through a few paces and things are going well until one of the boys calls another one fat and all heck breaks loose. The kid who was being teased gets really upset and to be honest, the kid who was calling names wasn't super slim himself but whatever, I grab that dude's hand and he shuts his mouth. I do all the regular things one does with the other kid when one's feelings are hurt and he's not really having much of it but did start laughing when I took the other dude's hand so I think we are okay.

It's nearing towards the end and Karate Guy asks me to be a "shark" so the kids can be "fish" or something like that, I don't really know what the hell he's talking about but it involves tagging them as they try and run past me which I can do pretty well but some of these kids are also pretty fast, so maybe they should be called "eels" but whatever.

So the class ends and Karate Guy tells the class that this week was much better than last week and I'm of course thinking it's because he had back up, the hand holding kind of back up and he turns to me and says thanks and asks if I can come again next week. Only if there's beer after I say and I think he takes me serious and you know, maybe I am because as I said before boys between the ages of 9-12 can be little fuckers, but they are also pretty cute and so I tell him I'll come next week. He looks at me and says you know, I didn't realize M was so upset last week, the teachers told me she was crying and I thought about punching him in the arm just because he's being kind of dorky but then he leans down and talks to M and apologizes directly and tells her how good she did and that she has real promise and I don't know that I believe him but I lost the urge anyways because he's really a very nice guy doing something nice for these kids and if I were him I'd want as few kids in the class as possible too.



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