The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Three Days On The Road

Allrighty, then. It’s Tuesday afternoon, and I’ve finally wrangled a couple minutes. Only a couple, though, because we have plans this evening. I’ll get to that in a bit.

I wish I could say all of my previous (unintentional) build up was worth what you’re getting here, but it’s gonna fall short of expectations. I’m sure. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It was a nice weekend. Just mostly busy.

To do it justice, I’ve got to back up to Friday (and really get my ramble on). Last week (and coincidentally this one, as well), Highlander had Friday as his floating day off. As my office closes at 11:30 every Friday, it afforded us a few opportunities. However, my Friday afternoon started by picking up Highlander from a luncheon date.

Early last week, [Kid 3] had asked me if Highlander could come to her school and have lunch with her. She intimated that other kids’ parents and grandparents had lunch with them on “regular ol’ days” all the time. So I suggested that she ask him. Of course, I knew full well that if my adorable bitsy blonde girl invited him, he’d be incapable of turning her down. I'd just like to say that I have, once again, been vindicated.

So it was that Highlander walked 30 minutes to enjoy 20 minutes worth of her company. I have no doubt he’d do it again without hesitation. Primarily because he enjoys her company, but also because he is seriously wrapped around her smallest finger. Deny it though he (unsuccessfully) tries. Frankly, I find it all incredibly sweet.

He and I had talked about lunching at a new restaurant in our neighborhood, so he planned to eat rather light in the school cafeteria. (Which, given the culinary prowess of school cafeterias, was not terribly difficult.)

I arrived a few minutes early and found him seated at a lunch table beside [Kid 3] and surrounded by first graders. He was helping open milk cartons, encouraging the kids to eat their lunches, dabbing pizza sauce from the corners of [Kid 3]’s mouth and generally delighting her with his visit. I could have watched from across the room all day.

Pretty awesome to see your fiance’ placing such value in your child’s happiness. Even moreso to know that she loves him that much. Not that I need more confirmation that this is the right fit, but I get it pretty constantly anyway. He adores the kids and is so supportive of (and good for) them, and they love, trust and respect him back. I guess that’s what you get when you have great kids and a great man!

Anywho, after I picked him up, he and I had lunch at a new deli in our neighborhood. It was yummy and the atmosphere was very, very comfortable. The menu is extensive and I’m pretty sure we both would like to sample more from it. After lunch, we delivered cookie orders to a couple of my girlfriends (at their offices).

Then off into some official business that isn’t for public view. Interested parties may email me (or Highlander) if you’d like more on that. Without sounding unnecessarily mysterious, let’s just say it’s on a need to know basis.

After a light supper, Highlander and I escorted [Kid 3] to a PTA movie night at her school. THE WILD is likely the most appropriate film they could have chosen for this event.

The kids were instructed to wear their pajamas and bring a sleeping bag or pillow. [Kid 3] got into her Disney princess jammies, fleece robe and kitty slippers, grabbed her “Angel” pillow (that H gave her when we moved in together) and away we went.

I had foolishly assumed that there would be some kind of seating for the adults. Ah, ha, ha. It’s funny to even think of it. Sooooo, Highlander and I grabbed some back wall (for support) on the gym floor and [Kid 3] moshed on up into the main area with some friends. The PTA had all kinds of free movie snacks. None of which (I found rather ironic) were popcorn. They had pretzels, chips, cheetos, bananas, baby carrots and ranch dressing, some non-chocolate candy and fruit punch and water. Much more than I had expected.

Before the movie started, the school counselor instructed the children that they should use the restroom and get a snack before the movie started, as there would be no one allowed to get up during the movie. She also advised that there would be an intermission at the midway point, where they would be allowed to repeat that. They were asked not to talk and I can’t remember what other nonsense that not one of them followed.

The entire first hour was excrutiating. Children of varying sizes and shapes trod over us, spilled things on us, tripped over us, coughed on us. H and I were both getting stiff and sore from sitting in that position on a hard wooden floor. During the intermission, he snagged us a couple chairs, which was a most precious gift to my back.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to avoid THE WILD in an alternate setting should continue to do so. While I’m a fan of many animated children’s films, this one will never end up on my list. It was, as my teens would say, 'teh suck'.

As bad as it was, though (and please add to that list that her white kitty slippers got slimed with ranch dressing at some point), it was so nice to be able to see her having such fun with her friends and sharing some time with her. We don't get that often enough.

It was home to showers and off to bed for her. A few games of Magic The Gathering with the other girls and they were gone, too.

Saturday morning brought a trip to River City U to take [Kid 1] to a state singing competition. Her choral teacher had nominated her to participate in the solo division (singing an Italian love song) and as part of a duet (singing an English lullaby).

The weather had been so lovely (sunny and warm) on Friday, that I didn’t think much of it when it was a little cool out early on Saturday morning. In fact, I was wearing a sweater and didn’t even grab a coat at all. Which became pretty hysterical when we encountered snow flurries before we even got there. You know, if 'hysterical' means something like 'fucked up'.

We met the chorus teacher at the music school, but the actual performances were being done in another building on campus. Because we had to be there for the duet at 9:30 and then the solo was at 11:15, we were running back and forth between the buildings to get access to a practice room to prep for each performance. And it was pretty darned cold out, too!

As these performances are usually closed door affairs, I hadn’t been expecting to hear her actually sing. However, the choral teacher invited me to sit in and, always eager for an opportunity to hear my songbird, I appreciated the gesture, and was, as usual, not disappointed. A little more volume would likely have improved her scores, but her pitch and her range are always pretty impressive. Her performances on Saturday were no exception.

Afterwards, we went home for some lunch to find Highlander (and his minions) had cleaned up the kitchen and done a couple loads of laundry (as well as taken [Kid 3] out to play in the snow flurries). We snatched up the littlest bit and headed for the grocery store, where we proceeded to spend more money than I’d wanted to. I’m sure it will all get eaten, though.

Once we’d put all the groceries away, [Kid2] and [Kid 3] and I headed out to deliver the balance of the girl scout cookies in our house. We actually did pretty well, leaving only three orders undeliverable at this point. The money is due in the next few days, so we will try to make another attempt soon. (I gave Highlander a ride to work yesterday to help with the substantial load he’d sold at his office. He’s making great in-roads in getting those orders settled, too.)

I can’t even remember what we had for dinner Saturday, but after dinner we played some games and then [Kid 2] and I headed out to Blockbuster to take advantage of a giftcard we’d received in the mail. One of Highlander’s brothers sent us a very cool Christmas gift last year. Each month, we receive a box from these guys that is full of popcorn and candy (movie snacks) and a card for a free rental from Blockbuster.

Last month, we opted for something we could all watch. (Tricky with adults, teens and a 7 year old.) NACHO LIBRE. Uh huh. We shall never speak of it again. This month, we opted to let the teens pick one. Next month, Highlander and I will pick up something just for us.

In any event, the kids opted for CLERKS 2, and after reading [Kid 3] a bedtime story and tucking her in, we popped some corn and settled in with a little Kevin Smith. It started a little slow and was pretty sophomoric in areas, but there were more than a few places where we were all cracking up!

Also on Saturday, I had gotten a note back from an old college friend of Highlander's. He will be in town tonight, actually. Lecturing as part of a nationwide tour he's doing. Most of you know who I'm talking about. I'd invited him (and his family) to enjoy a home-cooked meal and some southern hospitality, but their schedule is such that they really can't. (They have, however, invited us to grab a bite out with them.)

Knowing that the lecture and dinner would be hitting on a Tuesday evening, I realized it would conflict with the Evening Religious Education classes that my youngest attends (and American Idol, which I will be taping!). With it being a "school night", I couldn't get too complicated with babysitting options, soooo, I got up Sunday morning and started baking mini muffins.

Bribery, I realize. But, it's much harder for someone to deny you when you are putting fresh-baked muffins in their hands. Or at least, it was hard for one of my upstairs neighbors. She's a sweet girl and when I dropped in on her and her boyfriend Sunday morning, they were both very gracious about keeping [Kid 3] until we got back home.

To say that [Kid 3] is eager to spend some time with her, may well be the biggest understatement of this blog. Evah. My neighbor advises me that she has some toy ponies that she plans to get out to play ponies with [Kid 3]. I may never get her back. Well, not of her own volition, anyway. My neighbor is likely to only be able to handle an hour of that.

In any event, that was Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon brought a birthday party for a friend (and fellow Brownie member) of [Kid 3]. So, we stopped by Walmart and picked up a gift and headed to Gattiland. It's not quite Chuck E. Cheese's, but close enough. Kids hopped up on pizza and softdrinks and WAAAYYYY too much adrenaline from the overstimulating games. But no animatrons. Small favors should be taken where you get them, I suppose.

[Kid 2] asked to tag along, so that when we dropped her little sister off, she and I could have some time to 'hang out' before picking her back up.

And that is how the plan was hatched. Like most plans in my life, they never come off exactly as planned. But this one was close enough. A trip to my Mom's to pick up some cookie money took a little longer than I'd expected, but then my girl and me headed to a little park nearby and goofed around on the seesaws. Laughing and talking about life and love and enjoying each others' company. She's just so easy to be with.

A stop at Baskin Robbins afterwards, left us just enough time to get back to the party and pick up [Kid 3]. Say it with me, "home again, home again, jiggety jig". Some dinner, showers and getting everyone ready to start the work week pretty well ate up our Sunday evening.

In between a couple meetings at work, I ran Highlander to his office (along with many, many Girl Scout cookies) on Monday morning, only to get a call from school that [Kid 2] was sick. More lost production, but she seems to be recovering well today.

So, after finishing up here, I'll pick up the littlest Superkid and run her home for a quick dinner and a quicker change of costumes before her dad picks her up for her weekly dose of catholicism. Then to pick up Highlander and the rest of us are off to a lecture and dinner out with a side of "blast from the past".

Wish I could say that this weekend (which will be 'sans kiddies') will be more restful, but it's already shaping up to be pretty hectic, too. I'm gonna try to keep it minimized, though. H and I could both use a little down time.

::Exhale::

Okay, I'm shuttin' up now...;)

1 Comments:

Blogger AaA said...

Wow, it was exhausting just reading all that. How do you manage?

3/12/2007 12:44 PM  

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