Thursday, February 24, 2005

Need a score card?

We made it through the weekend without Mr. Mayhem, but it’s taken me this long to tell you about it. On Friday the school had a memorial service for the teacher who committed suicide. I went to be there for Mayhem #1 in case she needed me. She was doing pretty good. The service was simple and every time we were asked to pray, I had to smile at all the sniffling that was going on. I felt ok because I knew I could cry, but I didn’t feel like it. I guess that sounds kind of weird. Mayhem #1 and I made it through tearless until the band director stepped up with his trumpet and played Taps. I knew it was coming because I had seen him walk in with the horn. She told me she didn't want to go to the funeral the next day, and I was ok with that.

After that, we stopped by the band hall and picked up her horn so she would have it for solo and ensemble competition on Saturday. Then we got Mayhem #2 from the middle school and ran home long enough to drop off all their stuff. Mayhem #2’s birthday was back in October, but she never got a party because my mom was with us then. She wanted to take some friends to see Phantom of the Opera so I suggested that we take everyone out to dinner and the movie and make that her party. She thought that was cool.

We ran around picking up teenage girls until the back seat of my Accord was overloaded and Mayhem #1 and I were tucked in the front seat with the seats pulled forward. Off we went to TGIFridays for appetizers and desserts. I walked in and said we had six for the non-smoking, giggly section, where we won’t bother anyone. Mayhem #1 and I decided the waiter wasn’t as good looking as the last one we had there, but he was cute. He kept scaring Mayhem #2 every time he refilled her drink because she was too busy giggling with the other girls to be aware of what was going on.

Next, we crammed them back in the back seat, and we were off to the movie. One of the girls’ mom met us there. (I think she was too scared to come to dinner with all that silly nonsense, but she said she had to work late.) I saw that the theater had student tickets with ids (two bucks cheaper) so I asked the girls if they had their school ids. The unanimous answer was no. I decided to ask anyway. I said, "Obviously I have 5 students, but they don’t have their id." The girl behind the counter said, "I’ll take your word for it." That struck me as funny. Couldn’t she look up and see they were students? The movie was great again and the girls were just raving about it. The other mom took two of the girls home so there was no more car cramming or complaining about bony bottoms.

Once we got home, there was a message on the machine from the mom of one of the boys in Mayhem #1’s brass ensemble. He wanted to go to the teacher’s funeral the next day and asked if we could go to the competition early to see if the ensemble’s performing time could be moved from the afternoon to the morning. Mayhem #1 said yes, but she didn’t like having to miss some of her extra sleep time. We loaded her horn and keyboard and headed out about 9am Saturday morning. She took her keyboard so she could practice with the saxophone player she was accompanying.

The ensemble found a place to practice and the performed pretty quickly. They all thought it was pretty bad because the tuba player couldn’t play his part. Surprisingly they made a 1 and they will take it to state on Memorial Day. Next, Mayhem #1 had to accompany the saxophone player and that went well. She had about an hour and a half before her solo time so I went to Sonic and bought lunch. It was better than the snack bar food. She practiced while I was gone, ate lunch, marked her music(You have to number the measures for the judges.),went to go play and came right back. The judge was at lunch and running late. I hate to hurry up and wait. During the four hours we have been here, I’ve been sitting in a high school cafeteria and that is the "warm up area". That means that about 50 kids or more are all playing their different instruments and different songs at the same time. I’ve done this before so I’ve gotten smart. I have my earplugs in and a book to read. Everyone laughs at the earplugs, but they cut down on the headache.

Mayhem #1 went off again to play her solo. I’m sitting there praying she does well. Piano is her first love and it means so much to her to do well at it. She comes back with a fist pumping, "YEAH!" Now we just have to wait another hour or so for the score. (Drum roll please.) It’s a 1! And since she had it memorized, she takes it to state. It was a very good day.

I think, however, the best news came yesterday. She came out of school with this grin on her face and a spring in her step. I sort of had an idea what it might be about and I was right. One of her friends asked her to prom! I know it’s three months away, but we are so like going dress shopping this weekend! I’m not sure Mr. Mayhem knows that yet. Does now. And there was much rejoicing at our house!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Please pray

This week has just been awful for Mayhem #1. She wasn't able to work her last two days because of her asthma, and she felt guilty about that. She is doing better now. Wednesday she found out that one of the teachers at the high school had died. She didn't have him last year, but she had him the two previous years. The kids all loved him. He had taught most of the juniors and seniors and I think he may have had some of the sophomores this year. Then they found out yesterday that he had committed suicide. He was a Vietnam vet and they said he was struggling with some memories. The kids are all in shock. One of the teachers, a friend of mine, got to Mayhem #1 and had her call me. I stayed with her for a while at school and then she decided to come home. She was concerned about messing up her exemption status for her finals. I think she made the right choice because it would have been impossible to stay composed at school. Every time she thought she had it together, someone would hug her or something and she'd lose it again. There is a service this afternoon at 3:00 in the gym. On top of all this, her solo and ensemble competition is tomorrow. And Mr. Mayhem left to see his dad this morning, so please pray for me that I can deal with all of this.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Why is it that Mayhem #1's second boss turns out to be a jerk like her first boss? They didn't do exactly the same thing to her, but the term still applies. Remember, Mayhem #1 resigned last week, but agreed to work through this Tuesday to get through the Valentine rush. She worked last Friday. She was told that it was her turn to clean the bathroom. She hasn't done it the whole time she's been there because the chemical fumes are bad for her asthma. She has told them that. It has been ok so far. It wasn't ok Friday. Mayhem #1 said the boss was in a bad mood. I also know that Mayhem #1 was still feeling guilty for quitting. So, she cleaned the bathroom. (Remember I took her to the doctor on Monday because her asthma was causing her trouble.) She had to take her rescue inhaler several times before she got home and it didn't get any better. She took it easy Saturday afternoon after she spent the morning taking the ACT, and trying to breathe. She didn't get better, so instead of going to church Sunday morning, she and I went to the doctor's office. They put her on prednisone and told her to take it easy. I told her with all her steroids she was going to start talking like Awnold. We made sure we got a note for work saying she couldn't work that afternoon.

After lunch, I went to the store to show the boss the note and explain that Mayhem #1 may not be able to be there Monday either. As I waited to talk to the assistant manager, because I didn't see the manager, she walks out from the back room with her baby in her arms. I politely showed her the note and explained about the bathroom cleaning and the asthma attack. Mr. Mayhem told me not to jump all over the manager about the bathroom incident so I didn't.

The boss barely looked at the note and told me that Mayhem #1 is responsible to find her own replacement. She said, "It's not my policy. It's corporate policy and I told her when I hired her that that was the way it was." She sat the baby on the floor and gave me some names and numbers for Mayhem #1 to call. This is an hour and a half before she's suppose to be at work! I fumed all the way home. Mayhem #1 did find a replacement. (What were they going to do if she didn't? Fire her?)

I asked Mayhem #1 to find her employee handbook for me. In the section on attendance it says, "You will be asked to find a replacement if you are unable to work an assigned shift, except for absences due to personal illness." Well, she wasn't being sick for her sister! I think it was a personal illness. Now she doesn't want to finish her two days she said she'd work. I told her we'd see how she' feeling after school since that is more important than work. I did say that if she was feeling ok she should complete her commitment. If she's not working tonight, I may just take the handbook up and show the boss how wrong she is and say we're done.

I hate jerks. Especially when they mess with my kids.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Test? Test? Is this thing on?

Is anybody there? I thought I'd check since I realized that I've been doing this silliness for one year today. I'm still not sure that I'm doing it right. I'm not as prolific as Mr. Possum and not as deep as some of you other folks. And I don't always understand LittleA's comments, but I don't always understand him in real life either. I've met some really nice folks, and some of you nice folks are pretty crazy. And that's ok too. Thanks for stopping by.

I'll ramble about something else now.

Mayhem #1 turned in her resignation last night. Instead of confronting her boss about the overloaded schedule, she just said she had too many activities coming up. This is the truth and she's a little concerned about her grades. When I picked her up, she said, "Can I cry now?" She works three more days. She's helping get past the very busy Valentine season. I told her we could come visit everyone anytime. I also suggested that she could reapply there when she was ready to look for a job this summer. I think she's looking forward to having some breathing room. And some sleeping time. Priorities!

Yesterday while I was driving from one place to the other (I do that alot.), I was listening to Paul Harvey. Between page 2 and page 3, he was doing a commercial for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. He was talking about ordering one for your sweetheart, sending it to her at work and all her co-workers would know what a wonderful guy you are (Like that's any of their business.) He gave the phone number and said call now, "A bear counselor is waiting to talk to you."
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Bear counselor? Like, is it too stressful to be a teddy bear? Do they need someone to unburden themselves too? Too much hugging has made them neurotic? Does the Love Bear wish he hadn't had the "Love" tattoo put on? What?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why doesn't your mom work?

Mayhem #1 had to field that question from her boss yesterday. Her boss is probably 10 or 12 years younger than me with an eight month old baby. Mayhem #1 told her, "Mom and dad decided that when they had kids, mom would stay home and take care of them."
Then she asked, "How can they do it?"
"My dad's an accountant." (I'm not sure exactly how that fits into the equation.) "We don't have a lot of stuff." At this point the boss probably stopped listening.

I was proud of Mayhem #1's answer. As I've told them, I didn't bring kids into this world to let other people raise them. I'm not going to get on my soap box about whether or not moms should work, but it made me feel good that she understood why I'm "just a mom." Sometimes it is kind of hard to find some self-worth when you're just a mom, but the you have to remind yourself that what you're doing is right. My girls think I'm COOL! What other endorsement do I need?

Mayhem #1 is going to have to talk to her boss about her schedule. It's tearing her up, but she may have to quit. They have her scheduled for 15 hours next week. And they have her scheduled to work on Saturday which she told them in advance she had to have off for solo and ensemble competition. The boss isn't living up to her end of the bargain. They said they would be flexible with her school schedule, and Mayhem #1 gives them plenty of notice of when she can't work. I told her that she has the rest of her life to work for a living, but you're only a high school senior once. There are too many once-in-a-lifetime things that are happening now for her to be stressed over a job. Yes, I know we wanted her to get the job, but her main job right now is school. And, yes, she'll have to get another job, but maybe in the summer. It has been a good experience for her. We'll just wait and see what happens.

Friday, February 04, 2005

What will happen today

Well, I'm sitting here waiting to get a call from Mayhem #1 to go get her from school. It seems that Mayhem #2 shared her crud from last week with her sister. It was bad enough last week, but Mayhem #1 has asthma and was having trouble breathing this morning. She took her inhaler and it causes her to shake and she hates it. I told her breathing was more important.

If she comes home, I don't know if I'll get the Me Day I wanted. There is an exhibit at the art museum I want to see and, of course, I've waited to the last minute and this is the last weekend it will be in town. Today is my only chance to see it. Oh well. I'll just play it by ear.

Last night, they handed out the award for the science fair. Mayhem #2 was thrilled to win her division. She finally has a trophy. She said, "I never knew you could get a trophy for being a nerd." I called her "Nerdly". She was so proud. Now she gets to take the project to the regional level. The teacher said there would have to be some changes made for that, but hopefully nothing major. Tomorrow she goes to solo and ensemble competition with her oboe. I hope that goes just as well.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Not right now

I know Mr. Mayhem told you about our possible foreign exchange student yesterday. We found out today that she turned us down. Her current sponsor thought she might be scared of all the changes. (It can't be Mr. Mayhem. She hasn't met him yet.) I talked to the teacher who told me about the situation and she can't see why the girl would say no since she keeps asking the teacher if she has heard of another sponsor for her. Oh well. My girls will be thoroughly disappointed. I'm disappointed and my spare room won't get cleaned out.

Now for the Thursday Three:

1) Do you have any phobias, and if so, what are they?

I don't like the dark...especially outside. There are too many creepy things out there. I don't like sleeping with the windows open because it lets all the dark in. (See #2 for the rest of the story.) When I was a teen-ager, and home alone, I had to have music or the TV on because I didn't want to here any weird noises. Maybe paranoid not phobia is a better word.

2) If you do have one (or several) has it (or have they) ever been so intrusive in your life that it (or they) caused you embarrassment?

Several summers ago the ac went out. We were forced to sleep with the windows open. I remember dreaming that there was someone looking in the window over the rose bushes. In my dream I immediately screamed at the top of my lungs. Mr. Mayhem told me that really I started soft and kept getting louder. He said he had two choices: 1) Wake me up or 2) Cover my mouth. He opted for #2.

3) Eagles or Patriots?

If those are my choices, I'll pick the Patriots. I don't like Philadelphia, plus they're a division rival.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

So I don't get in trouble

I got scolded last night for not blogging yesterday since Mayhem #2 is well and back in school. It's not like I sit around and watch soap operas and eat bon bons all day. I do have a life. I washed the dishes, grocery shopped, fixed dinner, made phone calls and ran errands for other members of the family. Oh, did I mention carting the kids around where ever they need to go, prodding them to do their homework, praying that the science fair project gets finished before the deadline tomorrow? Huh...I guess I don't have a life. I'm just caught up in all these other people's lives.

Whatever you do, don't let your children grow up to be teen agers. The emotional aspect of living with them will kill you. Mayhem #1 seems to be all stressed out about stuff and starts crying at school. She's worried about a date for prom. Does she ask someone, since no one will ever ask her (her words) or does she wait to see if someone asks her. She wishes someone would ask her out period. Some of her friends at school who are boys, who she might be interested in, always come to her about their girl problems, but they never seem to notice that she's a girl. I try to tell her I didn't have very many dates in high school. Mostly I had a couple of lousy boyfriends, and she doesn't want to do that. I encourage her. I cry with her. I hurt for her. This is also the child who doesn't like change. I think that even though she's excited about college, she's a little worried too. Her passive aggressive tendecy keeps showing up when I remind her to fill out those scholarship applications or study for her ACT test. (Sometimes I want to kick her father.)

Mayhem #2 definitely feels better because she's back to being argumentative and crabby. I keep trying tell her that the way she says things sounds like she's yelling. I get very upset when I ask a question and she gives me that "In you face" answer. Sometimes I don't even get the whole question out before she' upset and yelling at me. I can't win. If I remind her about something it's, "I KNOW MOM!" If I don't remind her and it doesn't get done, it's my fault. She's also at that age when the hormones go on wild roller coaster rides. Somebody let me off. PLEASE!

Here lately I feel like everyone is in crabby, lousy, depressed mood. I wish things would even out. I have a very hard time trying to cheer everyone up or calm them down if they're mad about something.

I've come to the conclusion that life is hard.