Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day One

The Champ started 1st grade yesterday. Unfortunately for me, they were with their mother. I was able to see him, though. On the first day, the school greets all the kids together in the gym. The families are asked to attend. The teachers and staff are introduced. It's a good chance to catch up with the other parents after another amazingly short summer.

They are grouped together by grade so I was able to see him interact with the other kids in his class. I recognized most of the kids from last year. It is amazing that kids can be away from each other for two months but pick up right where they left off.

The Champ's teacher is new to the school. Better yet, she's new to a lot seeing this is her first teaching job out of college. I am a little concerned with that. The early grades are so important and to have such an inexperienced teacher worries me.

The backpack he chose this year was Speed Racer. Last year it was Cars. When did new school clothes and supplies include a new backpack?

Mrs. Joe and I had nothing to say to each other. Probably for the best. She talked with some of the other moms while I spent some time with Peanut.

So another school year is underway and the summer begins to draw to a close. I hope this change keeps his mind from wondering about his mother and me. I would much rather help him with his math or reading instead of trying to explain why mommy and daddy are still fighting.

already planning for recess


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brick By Brick

Saturday, Peanut, The Champ & I took off early in the morning. I planned on taking them to a large park nearby so they could ride their bikes around.

The Champ learned how to ride this Spring and Peanut has moved up from a tricycle to a bicycle with training wheels.

With how slow Peanut is, I just walked along side of her, pushing her up the few hills and hanging on when we went down.

As I left my street, I drove past a yard sale and this caught my eye.

I immediately pulled over.

As a kid, I built with Lego blocks like every one else. But my next door neighbor had every one. All the city buildings, the train, even some from the space collection. His father set up a few folding tables in his basement for us. We played for days without coming up, creating and recreating city layouts.

So when I seen this I thought of The Champ and how much fun we would have putting it together. He has a few smaller sets but nothing from the Technic collection. They are really for older kids but I know he will be able to do it.

The box was a little beat up but it was taped shut. Everyone knows one missing piece and the whole thing might not go together. I asked the lady somewhat sarcastically what the chances were that all the pieces were still there.

"Oh yes, they're all there," she replied.

She added, "You know that set is over a hundred dollars".

"Lady, it ain't worth shit to me if some pieces are missing," I thought to myself.

"How much?" I asked.

"$20 bucks, " she replied.

So I took a chance and gave her a twenty. The worst thing that could happen would be a bunch of pieces were missing and he wouldn't be able to build the tow truck. But honestly, $20 bucks for all those pieces is still worth it. We could build other stuff. I took the box, put it in the trunk and went to the park.

We got home later and I was curious as to how much this thing actually cost new. She was a little off.

But the best part was when we opened the box later in the day. Safe to say all the pieces are there seeing they haven't been taken out of the original plastic bags yet.

So unless an entire bag of blocks is missing I scored a major yard sale find. although I am definitely a novice when it comes to yard sales...

...I didn't even try to haggle her on the price.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In The Spirit Of Fairness

A few days back, Whit, over at Honea Express shared with us pictures of his son Atticus heading off to his first day of school.

In good fun, I may have questioned if he was looking for ammunition for future bribery by dressing him in red plaid.

Noting he could have dressed his son worse, Whit replied with a photo of himself as a youngster.

Well, in the spirit of fairness, I will share with all of you a similar photo of myself.

At least I'm smiling in mine.

Anybody else want to share their pictures?

Friday, August 15, 2008

To The Extreme

Combine the extremes, and you will have the true center - Friedrich Von Schlegel (1772–1829), German philosopher.

Every day now is to the extreme.

I am learning a valuable lesson that I would assume most single parents, and some others, can attest to. Whether the day is spent with Peanut & The Champ or alone, every day takes me to the extreme.

Mrs. Joe and I agreed to a 50-50 split when it came to time spent with the kids. She has them a little more than I do because she does not work 40 hours a week but it is fairly close. It breaks down mostly 1 week with the kids, 1 week without.

Tonight is the first night I have had the kids since last week. I had seen them a few times here and there but this is the first time they are spending the night with me all week. We went out to dinner and went to Barnes and Noble for story time after. They ate a good dinner and behaved while the story was read so they each got to pick out a book for me to read to them at bedtime. We got home, I got them into their pj's, had them brush their teeth, read the new stories and put them to bed. After, I had laundry to fold and mail to go through.

Tomorrow we are going shopping for school supplies and may stop at a friends house to go swimming if the weather cooperates. Maddie is starting to leave the tricycle behind and ride her brothers old bike with training wheels. I feel the need to spend some time helping her with that. I haven't throw a baseball to The Champ in I don't know how long. I could think of a bunch of other things if time allows.

That is what I mean by extremes.

Because I have not spent any time with them all week, I feel the need to cram all these things into the little time I have with them this weekend. Come Monday, I will get home from work and have to start dinner for us. After dinner, it's baths and a little time together before bed. Then it's lunches, dishes from dinner, etc.

I know come the end of next week, after an entire hectic week of kids to the extreme, I will be ready to let their mother take them. I get mad at myself knowing that I admittedly want time to myself.

How can I not want to have my kids with me?

But once they are with their mother, the other extreme comes out. Extreme free time. Free time to spend outside the house. The same house that I was in the previous week, trying to parent two little maniacs all by myself.

So I will escape, like I did last weekend. I went out with friends on Friday night, drank too much, narrowly avoided a DUI arrest, only because someone else offered to drive (she was not so lucky) and found myself crawling into bed around 4 am. I spent Saturday with GBD, doing things with a married woman I am not supposed to do. Which rolled all the way into Sunday night, sitting on the deck of a lakefront bar, still with GBD, completely exhausted from a weekend of escape wondering what my beautiful children have done that weekend.

Again, extremes.

I know this is how it will be now. It is true, too much of a good thing is not good for you. I know I must bring these two extremes closer together. I must relax and not try to do so much with the kids. Quality not quantity.

I also must step back from the partying. I am not 21 and shouldn't pretend to be. I can enjoy a night out without worrying if the cops are going to get involved. The house need some work anyway. My bedroom needs a coat of paint. Who will believe I wanted a pink bedroom, anyway?

Maybe starting there the center will become more focused.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Handle On It No More

Two weeks ago I decided to hit the pause button regarding my divorce from Mrs. Joe. At the time, it seemed a good decision.

After further review, I have decided it wasn't the pause button I should have hit.

I should have hit the delete button.

After our conversation, Mrs. Joe has decided that a reconciliation will not work out. She sent me and e-mail telling me this (how nice!) and asking what day would be good for meeting again with the divorce mediator.

After thinking about this for a few days, I came to the conclusion that a divorce was probably what she wanted all along. And with me being the one filing, she didn't have to feel any additional guilt. Once I told her I wasn't going to push her, I guess she figured she had to take control of the situation.

Fine by me.

She e-mailed me again earlier tonight asking what day would be good for the appointment. I replied that it didn't matter to me. I will let her handle this from now on.

And in 15-20 years from now when Peanut & The Champ are older and ask me what happened, all I will have to do is give them this blog address.

And let Mrs. Joe handle that, too.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Spoon! A Spoon! My Kingdom For A Spoon

When Mrs. Joe left, she cleaned me out of most of the kitchen stuff. Luckily, (I'm going to hell for saying that) her grandmother passed away just prior to her leaving so I got all her pots, pans, dishes and silverware.

I didn't care. The pots and pans were wedding gifts as well as the silverware. The dishes were some Pfaltzgraff set that Mrs. Joe bought long before we got married. As long as the freezer in the basement and the microwave stayed put, I knew I would survive with paper plates and plastic ware.

As for the silverware, I was a little worried about Peanut & The Champ. You all know that the little ones need little flatware. So when the day came and Mrs. Joe moved out, I assumed she would take all the kid's forks and spoons.

She left some, thankfully.

The problem is with my little princess, Peanut. She has fallen in love.

She has fallen in love with a spoon.

I don't know where we got this spoon but Peanut will not use any other spoon. It's not like it's the only one though

There are three of them but it seems the problem is the other two aren't yellow. The one on the left has yellow in the handle but it's still not the yellow one. Yesterday, I tried to offer one of the other spoons to which she replied,

"I want the yellow spoon!"

"But the yellow one is dirty from breakfast this morning."

"Can you wash it, please."

So to insure dinner was eaten without a meltdown of epic proportions, I promptly went and washed the yellow spoon for the third time. You would think she was born with in her mouth.

Does anybody know where I can get a few more of these? Remember, it has to be the yellow one.