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Stealing from a baby

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As the husband was traveling and we were hunkering down for the snowstorm that actually came last night, the diner brought us dinner – waffles and bacon and French fries. And if that seems like a low point because of the dearth of nutrition and abundance of saturated fat, you are not only no fun, you are also just wrong. The low point came much earlier in the dinner process when I realized I didn’t have the right cash to pay for said delicacies.

My wallet contained two ones and a hundred dollar bill, which is essentially useless because I didn’t let the diner know when I ordered that I only had a big bill and the delivery guy was already en route I realized it. I have life-long money issues – (stemming, I’m sure, from a bike ride with my sister to the Dairy Queen when I was about 7) – so I got a little anxious and started rooting through my coat pockets and bags to find money. Fortunately, I’m also a little careless with cash so I quickly found enough to pay for dinner, but I was a little low on the tip

Enter young son. Poor guy didn’t see it coming.

“Do you have a one-dollar bill I could have?” I asked.

He has a cash register that is full with fake money, Canadian money, coins and the rare US dollar or two he comes across.  Helpful as ever, he agreed immediately.

“Actually, do you have two ones?”

Again, he did not balk and set off for his room to get his lamemom his dollars. Once in his room, I see a ten-dollar bill in his register.

“Actually, do you want me to give these TWO ones for that one ten-dollar bill?”

Admittedly, I was getting greedy, but the ten would allow me to pay for dinner, tip the guy AND pick up a coffee in the morning when I was walking the dog. – it was solving my problem and promising a smoother morning for everybody. Jake jumped at the offer – two bills for the price of one and a happy mother – win-win.

Did I feel badly? I was without doubt taking advantage of my 5-year old son. But I really wanted that ten, and isn’t it better to play a little trick (unbeknownst to him) so we all come out ahead? The vanilla shake I “accidentally” ordered helped assuage my guilt. And now I know we need to spend a little bit of time practicing money math.

Filed under Kindergarten, NYC
Jan 12, 2011

Apparently I’m not so loose.

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I was all fired up a few weeks ago that it’s fine for my son to have a pink kayak, because who cares? Apparently my laisse faire attitude regarding gender specificity doesn’t include undergarments.

One of my family members yesterday tried to sneak out of the house in a pair of the 3-year old’s Hello Kitty undies. They’re adorable:  white with a scalloped top and a repeating pastel Hello Kitty pattern on them – if I weren’t long past a size 3T, I would try them out, too. (Especially if they cost $20 because then they would most certainly make my butt look great.) Well, said family member was so pleased with the undies that it was impossible for him to keep them hidden under the pants he was wearing out that day, and he showed just the tiniest scalloped edge to his lamemom.

I stifled a laugh and excused myself to get more coffee. Do I really care? Do I believe that there’s anything wrong with him going out in little girl underwear? No, not at all. I actually think it is cute and figure it will be a great story some day (or right now).

So what did I do? I returned to his room and insisted that he change them before he leave. He countered with a very sure, “No.” And then, “Why?”

I grabbed that band-aid and yanked: “You can’t wear them out because you won’t be able to not show your friends, and some of your friends, or at least some of the other kids, will be mean and make fun of you.”

Is it my job to protect him from others or to prepare him for others? Maybe both, but today, I chose to protect him. At lease partially. I’m certain he though he was fooling me when he simply put his underwear on over the Hello Kitties. I felt a tiny bit relieved, as he marched off that day in layered underwear, that if he was teased, at least he could kick the tar out of the offender if it came to that. Yes, he is one of the bigger kids in his class but don’t the magazines all say good underwear will make you stronger and more confident? And, having read enough of these magazines, I have to admit that I was also relieved that it was the son, and not the husband, who was sneaking out in pretty undies.

Filed under Kindergarten, Underwear
Jan 11, 2011

I have a new hobby

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My son’s kindergarten class has a Yahoo group for the parents to communicate with each other and share information. Easy enough, it seems. But somehow, it is difficult -everybody keeps sending emails to the whole group when they are clearly intended to be sent to just one member of the group. This lamemom isn’t mean spirited but I laugh really (really!) hard every time one of these little gaffes makes its way into my email! (And I’m a little afraid to write about this because I don’t want to jinx myself and tomorrow send the whole group an email inadvertently.)

Last month, it was particularly embarrassing as one parent was (kindly) sending pictures of a school event to the list.Unfortunately, the pics were big and were sent one by one during the middle of the day. Problematic, but ultimately, the sender’s heart was in the right place. Finally, one parent fired off an email to the group, “Can we stop this?” There was a collective gulp and pause and the pictures stopped. Ultimately, of course, the replying parent realized he hadn’t just been snarky to his wife but to the entire group. He apparently took a few deep breaths and sent a very gracious email saying sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for all the great pictures. Well handled, I thought. But it makes my palms sweat, still.

Do you know that embarrassed panic-y feeling when you think you sent an email to the wrong person – like, one about how your mother breathes like DarthVader on the phone and as you hit send, you think you see your mother’s email address at the top of the page instead of your sister’s? It’s the same feeling I get watching the show The Office. Well I now get that panic-y feeling every time I see an email from the kindergarten group. I hate it and love it all at once.

Earlier this week, one mother sent an email about a birthday party, referencing one child. Of course, she didn’t mean to invite all 25 kids, even though she sent the whole group an email about the swimming party. Rats. One mother quickly asked if she had meant to send to all and party inviter apologized and said no. The story should have dropped but another mother had already fired off an email complaining that the list should only be used for group emails blahblahblah. (I thought to myself, my kid didn’t get invited, either. And he LOVES swimming parties.) Then maybe firey-email mother either had a cup of coffee or her husband emailed that she had seemed like a bitch and she sent another email apologizing for seeming harsh but the list should only be used for group emails blahblabhblah. Is she wrong? No. But did she think that poor party mother intended to send that email to the whole class?

It’s all together too easy to quickly reply to something in haste and regret it later. As much fun a I get out of these mis-sent notes, I expect that eventually I’ll be the sender of one. If we all counted to five before we hit send we would 1) maybe avoid the inadvertent group emails and 2) maybe not have to apologize immediately after.  It’s the same tool I have been trying to pull out of my “toolbox” this week as I try not to yell at my kids. Thank goodness I can’t yet send them nasty emails.

Filed under Kindergarten
Jan 5, 2011

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