Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “school”

Death by a Thousand Cheque Book Paper Cuts

Hey -- you enjoy that! It cost good money.

Back in the day, my Grandma would call Trick or Treating “Shell Out” (she would also call Canadian Tire “The Tire Corporation” for some inexplicable reason.) As we donned our homemade costumes, she would be at the door. “Shell out, shell out,” she’d call. I thought it was strange and embarrassing back then. Little did I know she was warning me what my life would be like in 30 years.

Oh, I lie to myself. “Now that school has started Liz, the expenses will drop off.”  “It’s just Christmas. When January comes you’ll be able to save LOTS of money.” Yeah, whatever. The cheques are ripped out and handed off.

Scholastic Book Order


Girl Guide Sleepover


Pottery Field Trip, Museum Field Trip, Skiing Field Trip


That was a skiing and snowboarding trip, remember?

Right – RIP

School Christmas Gifts


Winter Activity Registration


School Book Fair


Should I put the 4 and 3 year old in Kindermusik?


I don’t begrudge giving my kids stuff, and all of these expenses are worthwhile.  They’re all educational, memorable, and brain building.  That’s the problem:  How do you say “no” to the good stuff?

I’m not wasting money on kids temporary hair die, or those plastic straws full of sugar.  It’s the costs of all the great trips the school organizes, thank you’s to great teachers, birthday party gifts for great kids.  This is all the stuff that you want to say “yes” to as a parent.  And it’s not just an issue because I have a ton of kids.  When I just had two, I had them enrolled in music, dance, swimming, and gymnastics.  We went weekly to the bookstore, and bought a shelf load of Sharon, Lois and Bram CD’s.  It’s easy to say “no” to the candy aisle, and a lot harder to say it to cello lessons.

But at some point, you have to.  Even if you are a stay-at-home mom with two nannies and a gazillion, billion dollars, it is humanly impossible to buy and do everything of value that will cross your kids’ path.  You can’t fit that much activity into a 24 hour day, and where are you going to house all those math games?  Parents today are both blessed and cursed — blessed that we have so much to help us parent and enrich our children’s lives, and cursed that we have so much to choose from and have to say “no” to.

So, I have a confession to make:  I recycled the book orders this month.  I did cave on Sweetie Pie’s new Christmas Dress, but she needs it for the school Christmas Concert.  The same concert that I bought fundraising raffle tickets for.  And we did stop at the book fair, but I limited the kids to one book.  A piece.  Plus some for the kids at home.  And some erasers.  But I swear that’s it, and I mean it.

I’m going to go order some more cheques now.


Overheard Around Here…

Sweetie Pie was bouncing around in front of the mirror, admiring her reflection in her multi-coloured crocheted cap.

“Oh, I hope this hat still fits me when I’m sixteen.  All the boys will want to date me when I wear it!”


By the way, do you remember how nice it was to be so innocent, that you thought the main thing a 16 year old boy was looking for in a girl was a nice hat?


“Come on!  Let’s play ball in the toilet!”


I was admonishing Tall Girl for her bad attitude as she put on her coat for school.

“Don’t say that this is the worst day ever!  You have to have to look on the bright side and be positive.”  I said.  “Now, have a good day.  I hope you all get to play on the new playground.”

“No, the playground doesn’t open until friday,” Sweetie Pie answered.  “Wait — be positive.”  She threw her arms in the air, stuck out her hip, and shouted: “Yay!!  The playground doesn’t open until friday!”


“Stop playing with the baby’s head.”


I finally found out what happened to Purple Peanut.  Purple Peanut was Sweetie Pie’s imaginary friend who suddenly moved to the Town of  Athabasca.  Turns out, Purple was concerned about Art Girl’s peanut allergy, and thought that he should absent himself before he caused too many problems.  He also wanted to live by the Athabasca River.  (Makes sense.)   Turns out he’s coming back, and is planning to squat in the play house in our backyard.  No word on his exact arrival, but Sweetie Pie says I should check the expiration on our Epi-Pen sometime next week.


Speaking of which, our backyard playground has seen a lot of action this past week.  Thursday noon, the girls returned from their early dismissal day at school without Tall Girl.  She was trying to wrap her little shy of 5′ frame onto the roof of our Little Tykes playset in the backyard, bawling furiously.

“She’s crying, Mom.  She got a bad mark on a test.  She says she’s no longer perfect.”

Turns out it wasn’t a test, it was a sketch, and she had missed half the instructions when she was sick.  This goes with the other “terrible disappointment” of a 73% on a social science quiz.  I tried to remind her that she had two perfect marks recently, but to no avail.

It seems our little Hermione has decided to take a “Second Place is First Loser” approach to the 5th grade.


Happy First Sunday of Advent, everyone!

School bans balls….Next, children

Because that’s what this is really all about, isn’t it?  Adults don’t want children around with their shouting, and running, and interrupting, and growing-up-and-paying-taxes-to-support-the-welfare-state.  Children should now all now be girls, who sit at tables and colour nice little pictures of all the damage human beings do to Earth.  Banning things you play with from a playground, is like banning liquor from a bar.  Oh sure, you can just sit around and talk, nibbling on deep fried chicken wings, but what’s the point?  The point is that whoever is doing the banning doesn’t want bars and their patrons, to exist.  Sort of got to wonder what’s going on in the minds of these Administrators…..

Anyone around my age (41) remembers all the super-dangerous toys we played with.  Things like cap guns, lawn darts, flimsy 4′ above ground pools, bikes without helmets, un-cut up hot dogs.  The only kids with any sort of padding were on a hockey rink (maybe.)  I don’t remember any concussions from a soccer ball.  I didn’t even know a soccer ball was hard enough to give you a concussion.  Could it be (no don’t say it) that maybe, not letting kids play is actually making then less safe, because they don’t know what they are doing?

And when did it become a crime to act like a kid, or more specifically a kid who’s a boy?  To run, jump, and take chances.  There is a reason that more and more people are trying, when they have kids, to have girls.  We like sit down, talk it out, get good marks, relationship minded ,”girlness.”  Hey — I’ve got five girls and I love them dearly, but I can also see that my Big Boy is getting a raw deal.  Like in Kindergarten, when 4 year olds are expected to sit immobile while listening to stories (hey — former porn stars don’t have time to sit through your kids’ fidgeting.)  Like is an emphasis on safety at all cost in the slowed down slides and imagination play stations at the park.  The characterizing of toy guns and other play that involves good and bad guys as anti-social, and imagining that it is an unnatural invention of a war-like culture.   I know girls, and girls love to get in a big group and talk out a pecking order.  Boys just want to take it outside.

This ball ban will probably be overturned, now that everyone is squawking about it.  It’s the attitudes behind it that make me crazy, (like don’t let your kid walk alone anywhere.)  Childhood is a fundamentally normal stage of human development.  Stop treating it like a prison sentence.


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