Random thoughts on a summer Thursday

Item: The second week of August is almost over. I am not sure how this happened.

Item: This means that school is less than a month away. REAL school. Five full days a week. We’ve found out that despite having nine other children from his nursery school going to his new school, only one of them is in E’s new class. A new class which is a split JK/SK, which means it could have upwards of thirty kids in it. I am trying not to freak out, but it is hard.

Item: I am freaking out about lunches instead. We are supposed to send two snacks and a lunch daily. Nut-free, but that seems light compared to the restrictions imposed on some of my friends who live in other cities (no homemade items being the most egregious). I am not sure what we will do about protein given a) we cannot send nut butter and b) I’ve found more than one study that suggests an insulated lunch bag and cold packs still doesn’t keep food cold enough to be safe. I am also utterly overwhelmed by the sea of lunch packing options and am trying to strike a balance between getting good stuff and not freaking out at the cost of replacing it if E. loses it all in the first week.

Item: As a result, I have yet to buy any sort of lunch packing equipment. I have a week to sort this out (E. will need a lunch packed for his week of full-day camp run by his nursery school, which we are hoping to use as a transition point to JK).

Item: At no point am I likely to turn into one of those Pinterest bento box mothers who constructs unique, adorable, and nutritiously balanced lunches, all cut into beautiful shapes and designs, each and every day. That way lies madness.

Item: Not that I am complaining, but my child is going to have to stop this “go to bed at 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. and sleep until 8:30 a.m. or later the next morning” phase before school starts. He slept until 9:45 a.m. the other day. School STARTS almost an hour earlier.

Item: Child is also eating like there is no tomorrow, so hopefully this is just a growth spurt and not some new need for thirteen hours of sleep a day.

Item: I had a Skype conversation with my supervisor this week where he wondered about my progress on getting a couple of articles ready to be sent to journals. Answer: none.

Item: The day before, E. spent twenty-five minutes of his hour-long quiet time singing (loudly) “When is quiet time going to be over?” to the tune of “Bumping up and down in my little red wagon”. And my supervisor wonders why I get nothing done.

Item: I heard back from the academic press where I sent my dissertation/book manuscript in March. Two very long, very detailed reader reports. One generally in favour of the book, one more on the fence. Editor wants the book again when I’ve made the revisions and seems very positive about it, so it’s a good result, as the two expert readers have basically given me a road map of what I need to do to make the book better. I could have tinkered with it for months without being able to reach the same conclusions.

Item: Supervisor wonders when I might get the revisions done. “By Christmas?” I laughed. “If I’m still unemployed, maybe.”

Item: I am still unemployed. Still putting out applications, still have irons in the fire, but nothing concrete as of yet. I just applied for a job that would be absolutely perfect- permanent, part-time doing interesting work involving research and writing for a non-profit organization that does a lot of good in the community. See? Perfect. I am just hoping I get an interview with them as I know I could do the job, but my background isn’t quite approaching it from the angle they wanted.

Item: Cycle day eleven today. This cycle’s experiment is apparently “let’s not follow the diet we have been and eat a lot of sugar and dairy products and see if we still ovulate”. Oh the ice cream.

Item: Out of the last seven weekends, we have had grandparents staying with us for six of them. That is too much. E. has forgotten how to play by himself.

Item: I read Station Eleven, The Bone Clocks, and Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood trilogy all in the last month. It turns out that is too much dystopian near-future fiction. I might have to go back to Guy Gavriel Kay for a bit. (I recommend them all most highly, just not all at once.)

Item: The sun is going down noticeably earlier in the evenings now. I’ve realized one of the things I miss most from my pre-kid life is going for long walks on summer evenings after dinner. E. was staying up later earlier in the summer, but he’s too tired at the end of the day to want to go on yet another walk (and I’m not really at a point where I can handle the constant barrage of questions as we walk).

Item: I had to take E.’s balance bike away from him for a week because he twice forgot to stop before rolling out into an intersection. This is a punishment for me as much as it is for him as running errands now takes four times as long.

Item: I had a birthday recently (post to come on that). E. dictated my birthday card to his father. It said: “Dear Mummy, I think you have had a good supper and a wonderful birthday. We’re about to give you lovely presents. I hope you’ve had a lovely birthday. Love, E.” (with his name signed). Heart exploded.

Item: E. is currently shouting the alphabet (alternating in English and French) from his room. There is not much quiet in quiet time these days.

Item: Really though, FOUR is awesome. Loud. But awesome.


Filed under A (Good) Day's Work, Books, Brave New (School) World, Cycle Madness, E.- the fifth year, Food, JK, Life after the PhD, Who am I really? (Career Angst)

3 responses to “Random thoughts on a summer Thursday

  1. Oh I have so much to say, so I will say it randomly as well:
    -P’s scooter is close to being taken away due to the same, but if I do I know I am SO SCREWED anytime we go anywhere as she dawdles so much while she walks. I am wondering about a leash tied to the scooter (I think I am kidding).
    -Good for you with the ice cream, one can’t be perfect every month.
    -WAY too many weekends with houseguests, yowza. When we got back from traveling the states we had the same issue where she had forgotten how to play solo, luckily she got it back within a week or two.
    -I AM SO JEALOUS OF E’S SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!! P sleeps about 8pm-2am in her bed then climbs in bed with us. Maybe one night a week she makes it all night by herself if we are lucky. UGH. She sleeps till about 7:30 and isn’t a bad bed mate, so if it wasn’t for the upcoming hecticness I imagine my overnights to be I wouldn’t mind it so much, I just totally envision me in bed with 3 children and my husband sleeping soundly in the Big Girl bed. Wow I think I just felt my blood pressure rise right there.
    -It is so hard knowing what food to pack for school. P’s main form of protein at home is nut butter so we have the same problem. She starts 5 days a week in September as well, but only 8-12 so I just have to send a snack. I usually send string cheese, chocolate milk and a cereal bar. Not the healthiest but sometimes I send apples or blueberries, knowing she won’t eat them, just so the teachers won’t judge me.

    This should have been a blog post. 🙂 Enjoy the end of summer! xxx

  2. Re: lunch protein. I had the same concern this time last summer. Then The Bean simplified things by giving up all nuts and nut butters. *headdesk*. Two things that got me through:

    1. Realizing that it really is only lunch, and he can have more protein at breakfast/dinner. Even with full time school, it will only be five meals a week. I know those five meals matter, but it helped me to think about it that way. Less looming.

    2. We buy those yogurt squeeze tubes (stoneyfield is one brand) and freeze them. They are still cold at lunch time, even in an uninsulated cloth bag. Plus the school has to deal with the mess. Win, win.

    3. (There are never just two things with me.) If he can drink milk (can’t remember), you could consider those shelf- stable juice box style milks. We use them when traveling. The bean likes them, and he doesn’t like anything. Also bear in mind there is protein in things like flour and so on. Or maybe you have a kid who will eat beans! I have one that will. (Hint: not the picky one.) Cheese is very stable and will be fine at room temp for much longer than a morning. Lunch meats are also fine for a morning. Hard-boiled eggs?

    ^see how much time I spend obsessing over all the kinds of protein my own child won’t touch? AAAAAAAAARGH.

    Re: real school, me too. The bean will be going five days a week, wearing a uniform, walked to his classroom by Persons Who Are Not Me, and I am freaking out. I can’t even be there for drop off most days, or pickup for some of them. While trying to maintain a cheerful, confident attitude towards him about how wonderful it all is. One friend from school/apartment building will be going to the same place, but while I don’t know what classes they are in, I’m not too hopeful it will be the same one. Deep breath for me. So many many deep breaths.

  3. There are schools that don’t allow homemade items??? That is insane. Have y’all tried sunbutter? It is a pretty decent substitute for peanut or almond butter. I keep it on hand for my nut allergic sister, so that we can make a quick fudge for desserts when she comes to visit. Isaac’s allergies are such that there are very few prepared, processed, ready-to-eat things that are safe for him. School is probably going to be a nightmare for us, and I’m halfway convinced I want to homeschool (for more reasons than that, obviously). We still have a year to figure it out though, thankfully. When we go to DC for the day or bring picnics to the park, we take salami, pepperoni slices, fruits and veggies, olives, and other foods that don’t spoil easily.

    You’re story of E. singing his whole quiet time cracks me up. I love how talkative four year olds can be :). Even though it can drive you mad some days, it’s really so much fun to have conversations about real things with our little men, and to hear everything they’re thinking.

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